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The CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series is a free, exclusive online series connecting businesses and projects within the food system to development finance tools, such as bonds, tax increment finance, tax credits, revolving loan funds, and more, to create equitable local and regional food systems. This series will showcase how development finance agencies from across the country are investing in local food systems. Development finance agencies will present case studies of projects – from farmers’ markets, food processors, farmers, restaurants, food hubs, and more – explaining how the financing tool works and why that financing tool was chosen for each project. Each installment of this series will explore how the development finance toolbox can be used to generate investment for different focus areas, such as disaster relief, neighborhood redevelopment, entrepreneurs, and more.

The Landscape of Food Systems Finance

Over the past several years, CDFA has been researching the ways traditional development finance tools can be used to support food-related businesses and projects, leveraging further investment to catalyze local and regional food systems. CDFA has discovered nearly $1 billion in innovative financing for the food system, from historic tax credits and industrial development bonds to tax increment finance and revolving loan funds. However, this just scratches the surface. Despite the fact that financing for food-related endeavors is fragmented, there are many more food systems projects demonstrating that their work is worthy of traditional financing tools. CDFA is proving that localized food systems and economies can be strengthened with development finance. For the second installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will present key initiatives and programs being used to finance local food systems, and how CDFA is continuing to prove the food system as an asset class.