$721,000 of community investment in local food and farms
June 16, 2014, Halifax, NS – More than 25 jobs have been created as a result of strategic investments by FarmWorks Investment Co-operative Limited. FarmWorks announced today that 18 Nova Scotia food-related businesses have added 20 full-time jobs and six part-time jobs as a result of FarmWorks loans they received between May 2012 and December 2013. This is in addition to 21 full-time and 14 part-time positions held by the business owners themselves. The 2013 Workforce Multiplier Effect Study of Local Farms and Food Processors in Northwestern Ontario described a multiplier of 1.4, which indicates that 20 jobs in the local farm and food processing sector in Northwestern Ontario support eight additional jobs indirectly with suppliers and retailers.
Click map to view all 18 FarmWorks Loan Recipients
For startup and young businesses involved, roughly 25% of their total capital came from FarmWorks, representing a significant contribution to their businesses. For established businesses, loans accounted for 1.5% to 100% of project capital.
FarmWorks was established in 2011 to promote and provide strategic and responsible community investment in food production and distribution in order to increase access to sustainable local food for all Nova Scotians. Money invested in the FarmWorks CEDIF is used to provide subordinated debt funding to farms and food-related businesses to help increase the supply of local food, and the level of agricultural and related economic activity. Multipliers ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 bring about direct, indirect and induced economic improvement with relatively small amounts of local investment.
FarmWorks does not require collateral, payments are deferred for three months, and no fees are charged for loan applications or early repayment. Applicants’ values and goals must align with FarmWorks’, and extensive due diligence is required before loans are made. Protection of shareholder investments in the FarmWorks Community Economic Development Investment Fund is paramount in order to ensure the ongoing success of the CEDIF program.
The amount invested in the surveyed businesses was part of $449,500 raised in the first two CEDIF offers. The recently closed third offer raised $271,500 that is now being loaned to food related businesses across the Province. The total raised within 27 months was $721,000.
The survey was conducted by Dr. Irena Knezevic, PhD, Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and Chloe Kennedy, MSc, Farm to School Coordinator, Clean Nova Scotia, in March and April 2014.
Linda Best, Peter Hicklenton, Ann Anderson
FarmWorks Investment Co-operative Limited
Read Why FarmWorks Matters, Nova Scotia, and beyond report by Irena Knezevic and Chloe Kennedy
The Chronicle Herald reports: FarmWorks points to investment fund results
For more information please contact Linda Best lbest[at]ns.sympatico.ca