Published on January 3rd, 2014 | by Mary Gerush2
Whole Foods Market Expands Its Local Food Loan Program
The company’s Local Producer Loan Program (LPLP) has provided 184 loans to 155 companies since its beginning. Those companies used the loans to improve their companies’ outlooks by purchasing equipment, expanding production facilities, buying livestock, implementing more sustainable practices, or converting to organic methods. From the press release: “In providing easier access to loans for budding food businesses, the program’s first $10 million in funding has not only enabled growth, but also supported pioneering projects in biodynamic farming, non-GMO animal feed, pollinator health and sustainable packaging.” The successes of current loan recipients were a factor in Whole Foods Market’s decision to continue the program with additional investment.
Betsy Foster, Whole Foods Market global vice president of growth and business development is quoted in the press release: “By playing a role in advancing new ideas, growing businesses, and realizing dreams, Whole Foods Market stays connected with both our neighborhood producers and our global food community.”
If you’re a new or existing grower, producer, or food artisan with a viable business plan, Whole Foods is welcoming new applications for loans through their Local Producer Loan Program. You can view program info and video testimonials from loan recipients on Whole Foods’ web site.
I’m happy to see local companies with an eye toward sustainability get this type of support. My herb farm may not be a pipe dream after all.