Fruit fortune! Cheese capital! Tomato treasure! These financial food headliners encapsulate the message behind the economic business model aptly termed, Slow Money Movement. In the 21st Century, the food industry pendulum oscillates between big business profit and production and sustainable environmental practices. Investors, non-profits, and social entrepreneurs affiliated with the Slow Money Movement are attempting to converge these two inimical worldviews.
Traditional investing has generally involved plunging money into voluminous businesses
that yield fast and furious profits. This approach to investing has successfully furnished savvy investors with the profits they seek. However, their voracious success has proven detrimental to the environment by the rapacious consumption of fossil fuels from the demands of larger corporations. Opponents of corporate dominance view this model of business as a form of economic violence anathema to small businesses and long-term sustainability. Due to the comparably slender profit margins of smaller businesses, conventional lenders are disinclined to stake their financial support in these diminutive entrepreneurial efforts.
Stalwarts of the Slow Money Movement are transmogrifying the financial world by applying the sagacity of traditional investing to locavore practices. Slow Money practitioners acknowledge that traditional investing yields substantial financial returns for investors and big businesses. Nevertheless, Slow Money Locavestors now subsume the additional gains that the Slow Money Movement proffers such as safer food systems, expanding biodiversity, reduction in food transport miles, and the unhampered pleasures of dining on healthy, local foods. Slow Money further connects economic success by creating stable, local jobs and by investing in local economies.
Applying agricultural allusions, Slow Money supporters express their economic manifesto by describing the health of any economy and any environment as beginning with a soil infused
with the elements of microcosmic collaboration interweaving diversity and regeneration. To build a sustainable structure in the economy and the environment, we are all responsible for replenishing those elements we have used. Slow Money champions then add that small food entrepreneurs are the seeds that nourish the community while investors are the water source to grow local businesses.
Slow Money pundits prescribe to six key principles in navigating the economic playing fields. First of all, Slow Money investors need to literally and figuratively bring money and profits back to earth by investing in the small food producers who care for the land. Counter to fast profits found in multi-corporations, Slow Money advocates to balance the growth and profits to ensure a more long-standing, supportable economy. The Slow Money Movement also encourages investors to engage in nurturing capital where the credo is cooperation rather than business dominance. By connecting money investors with businesses in their hometowns, the Slow Money Movement spotlights the value of food, farms, and fertile land. Slow Money further promotes the paradigm shift to making a sustainable living and putting back into the land that which we have borrowed.
As consumers of local, organic foods and members of CSAs, we are essentially acting as Slow Money investors on a small scale. We can further extrapolate the immediate and long-term benefits of locavesting by placing our dollars in companies and financial investments to follow the holistic path of Slow Money. Supporting Slow Money is another means of reinforcing a sustainable economy and environment.
*Money Tree Image from Island Breath
*Turtle Money Image from Small Biz Trends