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Rebuilding a Better, More Equitable Food System: Lessons from Good Food Ventures

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In the wake of COVID-19 and our collective grappling with widespread systemic injustice, a sustainable and equitable food system is needed more than ever. We see early-stage food and agriculture companies stepping up to contribute to relief efforts, leveraging their resources and expertise to support those in need, ease pressure on our food supply chain, provide consumers with essential goods and services, and more. And in a time of uncertainty and upheaval, the good that these companies are doing right now is creating meaningful business growth as they work to serve communities across the country. For example:

  • Everytable, a fresh food restaurant chain that sells grab-and-go meals at varied prices based on local affordability, is working with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles to deliver fresh, nutritious food to public housing sites, providing more than 62,000 meals to 2,000+ seniors and people with disabilities. Through another partnership, the company is also helping to feed caregivers on the front lines of response. It has also created a helpline for those at-risk for illness or hunger.
  • Seal the Seasons, an early-stage food company that partners with local farmers to grow, freeze, and package fresh fruits for consumers, has leveraged its regional production model to meet increased demand where conventional manufacturers have fallen short. The company has increased production to maintain consumer access to fruit and is expanding its product line to create greater access to a variety of produce.
  • Tiny Organics, an organic baby and toddler food company dedicated to expanding access to healthy food to support child development, recently announced its collaboration with Partnership for Healthier America (PHA), a nonprofit created in conjunction with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative, which is committed to improving the food supply and increasing physical activity. As a tribute to the partnership with PHA, Tiny Organics has launched a new recipe, “Michelle My Broccoli Belle.” Tiny Organics donated 100% of proceeds from the sale of this recipe to the Food Bank For New York City.

As food and agriculture companies continue to play a critical role in COVID-19 response and recovery, philanthropists and impact investors can contribute catalytic capital as well as leadership for the field on how to better rebuild our food systems. Using examples from Good Food Ventures, a community of impact investors that have funded 15 early-stage companies that promote regenerative agriculture, secure our food supply, and make healthy food accessible to all, this SOCAP session will share lessons learned from food-focused impact investors and explore current community needs and long-term market opportunities.  Many innovations are born out of crises, and this session will focus in on the entrepreneurial solutions that will help address COVID-19, systemic racial inequities, and related food systems challenges.

Confirmed Panelists

Alexandra LaForge, Director of Impact Investing, Arabella Advisors (Facilitator)

Unconfirmed Panelists

  • 2 early-stage food and agriculture entrepreneurs (example: Everytable, Seal the Seasons, Tiny Organics)
  • 2 impact investors (one angel investor and one foundation)

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