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Urban agriculture, local food, food security

Position: Urban Food and Agriculture Fund Coordinator
Organization: Fair Finance Fund
Location: Remote based in Toronto. Occasional in-person meetings in Toronto.

The Inclusive Prosperity Project Phase 2 (2023-2025) is a partnership between SETSI, the Fair Finance Fund and the Learning Enrichment Foundation. Initially, the Fair Finance Fund undertook the Inclusive Prosperity project in 2021, a multi-year project to assess and redress internal and external biases in governance, operations and lending practices. The work responded to the knowledge that racial bias in lending is a significant problem. Black, indigenous and other equity-deserving groups face unequal treatment from conventional lending institutions. The partners share a mandate to meet the needs of under-served communities.

The Inclusive Prosperity project builds on the 2022 feasibility study to implement a social finance and business support model to provide farmland access for African Canadian Farmers. In addition, the project partners and team will implement a novel finance model for urban agriculture and food businesses to support projects led by equity-deserving communities and leaders that grow and distribute food in Canada’s urban areas, beginning with a pilot in Scarborough, Ontario.

The project will co-design and test an urban farm and food micro-finance product with 12 community urban farms and food businesses in Scarborough that will result in an increase (or revitalization) in local food production and local food sales each year over three years. The project will be extended to other urban areas after piloting in Scarborough.

KEY QUALIFICATIONS

The Urban Food and Agriculture Fund Coordinator must have expertise in managing diverse groups, with a strong background in Canada’s equity-deserving communities and significant expertise in equity, social justice, economic justice and gender equity.

The successful candidate will thrive on the excitement of starting something new, and is:

  1. a patient and resourceful leader
  2. a good facilitator of discussion and planning
  3. committed to creating innovative economic mechanisms that build equity
  4. welcoming and effective at building stakeholder governance and commitment
  5. adept at building networks for social change
  6. familiar with urban food and agriculture issues particularly in the Greater Toronto Area
  7. experienced with stakeholder research

The successful candidate will have a background in entrepreneurship, social finance, business development or similar sectors, with a high level of comfort with spreadsheets and financial modeling. Preference will be given for French fluency.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

The Urban Food and Agriculture Fund Coordinator will work with the Inclusive Prosperity Project Manager and the Fair Finance Fund team to manage the project as outlined below:

  1. Collaborate with community urban farms and food businesses, such as Malvern Urban Farm, Toronto Urban Growers, and others, to determine their specific needs and challenges.
  2. Engage in a co-design process to tailor financial solutions to address these challenges effectively.
  3. Develop a microfinance tool based on feedback and insights from the co-design process. This tool should adopt a shared-risk financing model between the financier and borrower, with a maximum lending cap based on research and input from urban farmers and food businesses.
  4. Pilot the microfinance tool in partnership with organizations to gather practical insights on its effectiveness and make necessary adjustments. Ensure that the tool aligns with climate resilience goals and supports sustainable practices.
  5. Allocate funds of up to $50,000 to urban farmers and food businesses, considering factors like their scale of operation and the specific needs identified during the co-design phase. Encourage hybrid models and commercial food production that integrate climate-resilient practices.

KEY INDICATORS OF SUCCESS

  • Identify key partners
  • Establish regular meetings with the partners
  • Establish stakeholder process for consultation and research in Scarborough
  • Completed robust research using interviews, secondary research, surveys and focus groups as appropriate reaching at least 50 stakeholders and 12 potential partners
  • Review of outcome-based finance models and impact-focused finance models
  • Completed report on stakeholder needs and finance gaps
  • Clear recommendations for finance solutions
  • Consultation with at least 12 urban farm and food organizations, as well as 25-30 discussions with equity-deserving food and farm managers to assess needs and provide input and guidance for successful solutions for financing.
  • Consultation with potential investors to explore shared risk model, including outcomes and metrics
  • Regular meetings with 2-3 partners
  • Meetings with financial and legal consultants to assess best model
  • Development and implementation of marketing plan for outreach and communications to investors and potential clients
  • Completed comprehensive list and pros/ cons comparison of different structures: GP/ LP, for-profit or not-for-profit co-op, not-for-profit, etc.
  • Completed detailed business plan with clear targets and metrics for social and environmental impact.
  • Completed ten year cash flow and financial plans with best and worst case scenarios assessing different timelines for investment and client demand
  • Launch event with at least 30 participants and at least 1000 reached through launch communication.
  • Short list of immediate investors and clients with 2-4 letters of agreement to create pilot and begin full operations rapidly
  • Implementation of metrics from business plan to align with climate resilience goals and sustainable practices
  • Successful allocation of funds through innovative finance mechanism
  • Work with a range of urban farming and food enterprises, including those producing diverse vegetables, honey apiaries, farm-to-plate restaurants, and organic meal providers. Foster a diverse portfolio of climate-resilient ventures that address food security.
  • Evaluation of project model and recommendations for changes as needed
  • Ongoing implementation of urban food fund

OTHER DETAILS

  • Salary range for this position is 45-62K, prorated to 80% time.
  • Approximately 32 hours/week (80% FTE), mostly business hours with flex time for evening or weekends as needed; the Fair Finance Fund offers paid leave and sick days
  • This is a remote work position based in Toronto; the Coordinator should be available for in-person meetings in Toronto.

TO APPLY

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and close March 11, 2024 or until the position is filled. To apply, please send a CV and a fulsome cover letter to info@fairfinancefund.org .

Please indicate you saw this posting at FoodWork.


ABOUT US

Fair Finance Fund

Fair Finance Fund is a non-profit social finance fund dedicated to providing loans and mentorship services to local food and farm enterprises that value strong local food systems, local economies, and a healthy planet.

Building on seed capital, the Fair Finance Fund implements an ongoing investment opportunity for community-minded investors, that is, individuals and institutions who want to invest their capital to build local food systems in Ontario to support food that is grown, raised, and processed in their backyards.

SETSI (Social Economy Through Social Inclusion)

Our Mission is to engage and provide meaningful opportunities to the historically under-represented communities in the social economy, social finance, impact investing and cooperative ecosystems.

Our Vision is committed to building a world that thrives on innovation and diversity as catalysts for community prosperity and inclusivity. We aim to co-create a social economy ecosystem in Canada that:

  1. Reflects the diverse genders, races, cultures, orientations, and perspectives of constituents across Canada.
  2. Nurtures broad coalitions to cultivate respect.
  3. Establishes intergenerational collaboration that will foster empathy between diverse opinions, beliefs, and interests.

Learning Enrichment Foundation

The Learning Enrichment Foundation provides integrated & holistic community responsive initiatives that enable individuals and families to become valued contributors to their community’s social and economic development.


 

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Note: The above is provided on an "As Is" basis and for general informational purposes only. People and Planet (also known as "FoodWork") is not responsible for the content, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, legality, reliability, quality or suitability of this posting. We do not screen or endorse the organizations or individuals involved. If you decide to accept an offer of employment, volunteering or any other arrangement, you do so at your own risk and it is your responsibility to take all protective measures to guard against injury, abuse, non-payment or any other loss. Please read our full Terms & Conditions.

Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Feb 12 2024    ID: 70268