While the Slow Money Principles have inspired us in our work, we wanted a more operational set of principles to drive our investment efforts. There are many ways to define what makes a responsible business, but we started with the vision of our friends at BALLE, and adapted it to include our goals of increasing healthy food production and soil fertility. Thanks to our management committee for pulling these together.
We want to support responsible food and farm businesses that are:
- working to promote a thriving and just regional food economy; and
- designed to maximize benefit to people, and the planet while yielding a “living return” to owners and investors (triple bottom line performance)
There are many paths to achieve these goals, but for the sake of example, efforts to approach this type of performance could include some of the ideas below:
Improving environmental performance and quality by reducing chemical inputs in operations, promoting carbon sequestration in soil, increasing soil depth and fertility, minimizing runoff and water use, promoting biodiversity, minimizing waste, or tracking impacts of your business.
Helping individuals and communities by sourcing products from and selling products to businesses that are also working toward promoting a responsible and just regional food economy, providing employees a healthy workplace with meaningful living-wage jobs, cooperating with other businesses in ways that balance their self-interest with their obligation to the community and future generations.