This report, produced with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, examines the current state of funding for addressing the problems in the food system and promotes the goals and the vision for a healthier food system. Specifically, it looks at where capital is flowing and where it is not flowing, and what kinds of approaches are needed to increase the flow and effectiveness of capital where gaps currently exist.
The picture of a healthy food system in the U.S. does not look the same in every region, although the whole system would ideally incorporate values of sustainability, fairness, and justice as outlined above. To reach this goal, every region has to work with different needs depending on demographics and geography. Given this diversity, and the array of organizations, businesses, and funders that are working in different regions, the capital solutions vary. In some regions, impressive progress has been made toward food system change, but barriers for investing capital in market-based solutions remain, particularly in the middle of the supply chain as it relates to processing, aggregation and distribution. To achieve significant and lasting change, more capital is needed in more diverse and creative forms. This includes capital to support critical efforts to develop and lay the groundwork for viable markets that will attract investments. It also requires support to improve collaboration and strategy around food system funding.