How to Walk the Path of Independence

Session II: 1:30pm - 3:00pm

You can’t fix a broken food system with a broken finance system. Conventional financing approaches can create misaligned short-term incentives, losing sight and focus on long-term social-environmental value generation. Panelists and attendees will engage and explore the emerging models of regenerative steward ownership and constructive capital financing that can protect the continuity of values-based operations and enable growth into the future.

Speakers: Kate Danaher; Ron McFall; Dan Fireside, Equal Exchange; Elizabeth Nardi, CEO Organically Grown Company; Natalie Reitman-White, Organically Grown Company

Speaker Bios

Natalie Reitman-White (Moderator) Vice President, Organically Grown Company, is a leading executive and change-maker sustainability, trade and policy advocacy, organizational development-- making the food supply greener, healthier and equitable. She founded several trade associations, and serves on numerous Boards throughout the organic food sector.  Most recently she has shifted her focus to transforming economies by advancing “steward-ownership” models of business ownership, finance, and governance. She now leads Organically Grown Consulting and is a co-founder of a new Foundation for Steward Ownership U.S. to support entrepreneurs and founders with resources for alternative ownership succession and business financing strategies that protect independence and mission for the long term.

Daniel Fireside is the Capital Coordinator at Equal Exchange, the worker co-operative that introduced Fair Trade food and beverages into the US in 1986. Daniel has raised nearly $10 million in mission-aligned investments and loans for the company and advises others on how to follow in Equal Exchange's footsteps.