CDFA and King County partner to explore innovative funding for food system infrastructure

A new partnership between King County and the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) aims to identify innovative solutions for funding food system infrastructure projects in our region.

Unfortunately, much of the regional infrastructure needed to grow our local food economy no longer exists or is not appropriately scaled to meet the needs of small producers. To meet the growing demand for local products, farmers and food entrepreneurs require appropriately scaled food system infrastructure.

With funding from the WK Kellogg Foundation, CDFA is researching how traditional finance mechanisms such as bonds, tax increment finance, tax credits, and revolving loan funds can be utilized to fund much needed investment in food system infrastructure – the aggregators, processors, distributors, and kitchens – necessary for local farmers and food entrepreneurs to develop products and connect to markets.

The goal of this pilot project is to use development finance tools in order to finance a food processing and distribution hub in King County. CDFA and King County will make this happen by bringing together a pilot project team which may include development finance agencies, private banks, foundations, and local food systems stakeholders. This team will regularly convene over the duration of the project and will consider various financing structures to determine the best fit.

“CDFA is very excited to partner with King County on this initiative,” said Toby Rittner, President and CEO of CDFA. “With their support, we will be able make great strides within Washington’s food system space. We look forward to advancing and supporting King County’s current work towards financing a food processing and distribution hub.”

“To meet the growing demand for local products, our farmers and food entrepreneurs require appropriately scaled food processing and distribution infrastructure,” said Michael Lufkin, Local Food Economy Manager of King County. “King County is pleased to partner with CDFA to identify investment approaches and development finance tools that can fund this necessary infrastructure in our region.”

View CDFA’s press release here.

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