COMMON WEALTH PARTNERSHIP
TOWARDS A REGENERATIVE MEAT VALUE CHAIN IN THE MID-ATLANTIC
Increasing the amount of acreage that is managed regeneratively is central to our mission. However, often we are met with producers who want to improve practices, but are faced with logistical issues as well as financial barriers—proximity and availability of processors, storage and distribution, and restrictive institutional purchasing contracts, to name a few.In November 2021, we received a $250,000 planning grant through the USDA's Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program to "build capacity and collaboration to develop a regenerative meat value chain the in the Mid-Atlantic."
From this funding, the Common Wealth Partnership was formed—seven organizations (including Foodshed Capital) working to expand holistic livestock production with verified ecological outcomes (EOV), help develop regional sales channels that include institutional buyers, and rectify processing bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
KEY LEVERS FOR CHANGE
1. TRUSTED TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
In partnership with Robinia Institute (the central Virginia Savory Hub), we are working with pilot farms to implement Savory’s Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) framework, a practical and scalable soil and landscape assessment methodology that tracks outcomes in biodiversity, soil health, and ecosystem function. We also partner with Kitchen Table Consultants to provide whole farm business planning for our pilot farms.
2. CAPITAL ACCESS
Foodshed Capital's flexible, patient financing is essential to incentivizing new farms to adopt regenerative practices and assisting conventional farms with transition. It is also critical for helping fund new meat processing capacity.
3. REGENERATIVE SUPPLY CHAINS
n order for this work to be successful, we know farms must have options for multiple revenue streams, in addition to local farmers markets and local wholesale/retail. The Common Wealth Partnership will help develop distribution networks to aggregate output from pilot farms and tap into markets they wouldn’t be able to access otherwise, thanks to relationships that have been developed by our partner 4P Foods.