Organically Grown Company launches grant and loan program
When Organically Grown Company transitioned its ownership to the Sustainable Food and Agricultural Perpetual Purpose Trust in late 2018, its new bylaws prioritized investing in the company’s stakeholder groups, which include coworkers, growers, customers, community allies and mission-aligned organizations.
To fulfill that charter, the company announced the establishment of the OGC Mission Fund, a zero- to low-interest loan and grant program developed in partnership with existing allies, targeting mission-aligned supply chain partners and underserved and/or marginalized communities that lack ready access to capital. The goal of the OGC Mission Fund is to further the company’s vision to contribute to equitable and sustainable agricultural systems for global health.
“The OGC Mission Fund deepens our ability to support and strengthen the ecosystem in which we operate and is in line with our purpose and the change we seek to support in our supply chain,” said CEO Elizabeth Darrow Nardi.
The OGC Mission Fund will support companies and organizations working on:
Promotion of diversity and equity in the food system
Improvements in organic agriculture
Climate change mitigation
Fair labor practices and promotion of progressive food policy
Preservation of natural resources and biodiversity
Reduction of nonrenewable resources, toxics and synthetics and environmental degradation
2020 investments to-date include $100,000 in emergency funding support with $50,000 earmarked for organizations providing relief to those impacted by recent wildfires in Oregon. These funds are being directed to vulnerable populations, like OGC-partner farmworkers and retail workers who have suffered due to wildfire evacuation and home loss.
An additional $50,000 was invested in the California BIPOC Farmer and Land Steward Relief Fund. This fund provides short-term relief to farmers of color and indigenous land stewards who are leading on climate resilience and need immediate support due to COVID-19. Longer-term, the Relief Fund strengthens the POC-led ecosystem that can help build just and resilient regional food economies.
Rolling grants and loans will be made through the remainder of 2020 and into future years. Organizations interested in learning more about the OGC Mission Fund can complete an expression of interest form available on OGC’s website, www.organicgrown.com. An advisory group made up of representatives of Kitchen Table Advisors, Washington Farmland Trust, Viva Farms, Oregon Tilth and others will provide OGC with advice on the fund design and implementation.