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Innovative​ ​Financing​ ​for​ ​Sustainable​ ​Food​ ​Systems

The Sustainable Food Enterprise Network cooperated with student researchers Phoebe Stephens and Amberley Ruetz throughout 2017 to create policy position papers, in order to identify gaps, set direction and strength the Ontario food system. This paper is about innovative financing for sustainable food systems. 


Small farmers and social entrepreneurs in Ontario find it difficult to access capital. This reflects a global trend in bank lending practices where traditional risk assessment dictates that an agrifood conglomerate is more likely to receive a loan than a smaller, innovative (and arguably more sustainable) company. This highlights the need to innovate financing options for small, sustainable food enterprises, and requires investment from governments and the non-profit sector and increasingly of for-profit investors.

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Policy Brief or Recommendations

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Phoebe Stephens

Date published

November 29, 2017