The Slow Money Alliance held its first national conference last week to discuss food issues, investment in farms and economic ideas. Slow Money is an emerging network of investors, donors, farmers, and activists committed to building local food economies.
The idea of the non-profit organization grew from the Slow Food movement, and is dedicated to catalyzing the flow of capital to local food systems, while promoting new principles of responsible investing that support sustainable agriculture and the emergence of a restorative economy.
The movement was founded by Woody Tasch, pioneer in merging investing and philanthropy, who likened a healthy economy to healthy soil. “The soil of the economy would have a lot of small businesses in it, like healthy soil has lots of micro-organisms,” he said. Reflecting on the global financial crisis of last year, Tasch commented: “We’ve just had a glimpse into the financial abyss. Our financial system is not sustainable….our idea of unlimited economic growth on a planet of limited resources is not sustainable.”
The conference, entitled From the Ground Up, focused on local farms, with recognition that food is fundamental to local economies. The event featured speakers including Ann Wright, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Eric Becker of Trillium Asset Management; Odwalla juice founder Greg Steltenpohl; and local-food advocates and producers from New Mexico.
For more information, visit Slow Money