Our focus on redressing historical and present-day inequities in the food and finance sectors has been a constant since our founding. Since our very first loan in 2019, we have endeavored to provide affordable, flexible capital and business support to BIPOC farmers and food entrepreneurs. In 2021, we formalized our support for Black farmers by committing to:
Extending 0% financing to all Black-owned operations
Offering technical assistance for Black farmers and food business owners at no charge or very low cost
Increasing our capacity to support Black farmers through outreach and innovative financing models.
Total loans made to Black-owned operations
Total capital deployed to Black-owned farms and food businesses (over a third of all capital deployed)
Total value of business support, training, micro-grants, supplies, and other costs awarded to Black-owned operations
Black Yard Farm Collective
Cattle Run Farm
Minority + Veteran Farmers of the Piedmont
Provided this organization with a $12,000 grant to support the development of mobile markets for several of their members.
Piedmont Progressive Farmers Co-Op
We cover the ongoing cost of packaging materials for this growers cooperative to help them fulfill a food procurement contract for 600 dozen eggs a week to Elon University. Over $5000 provided since the beginning of 2022.
Ongoing No-Cost Business Support
Allocated over $4,000 for multi-week business training and coaching for Black farmers with our partners at Kitchen Table Consultants.
Virginia Black Farmer
This tool was compiled by our Diversity Coordinator, Bri Stevenson, as part of her work with our partners at Local Food Hub. The Directory serves as a way for Black Farmers to connect with each other, as well as with consumers, wholesalers, and new markets.
To access the directory and locate Black-owned farms in Virginia, click here.
Real Roots Food Systems
Thanks to the following partners for their support of our racial equity inititatives: