24th – 25th February 2015
FAST Financial Fairs (FFFs) are a core service of the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) that aim to increase investment flow to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within sustainable agriculture value chains. An FFF consists of a set of strategic one-on-one meetings between preselected sustainable SMEs and socially-oriented Financial Service Providers (FSP). In these meetings, SMEs present their investment cases and financial documentation to selected financial institutions to discuss a potential business opportunity. Following these meetings, further discussions and negotiations between the parties may or may not occur. FAST monitors and follows up on these discussions to identify the impact of the events.
Since the first FFF, which was held in Honduras in 2010, FAST has hosted 9 FFF events bringing together SMEs and FSPs from over a dozen countries at events in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, and Tanzania. Several Fairs have also targeted key sectors in different regions like coffee and forestry.
The first seven Fairs have facilitated approximately $38 million USD in funding for agricultural SMEs. Results are still being collected from the 2 most recent FFFs.
The next FFF is scheduled to be in Tanzania over February 24th and 25th 2015. It will follow a process through which FAST has pre-selected local agricultural SMEs, and has strengthen their financial management skills through training and a target coaching, as well as outreaching FSPs highlighting the potential of investment in the local agricultural sector.
If you are interested in being considered for participation in the upcoming FFF, please contact FAST Project Manager Ainina Aidara ([email protected]) for more details on criteria and the selection process.
At the World Economic Forum 2010, a new initiative to accelerate growth in sustainable agriculture was announced. The project, ‘A New Vision for Agriculture’ aims to enhance public-private collaborations among stakeholders throughout the industry.
Indicating the role of agricultural investment in the recovery of the global economy, the initiative was set up by industry, governments, multilateral organisations and civil society. A Project Board from the World Economic Forum will provide leadership to the initiative and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security will also offer guidance, whose global leaders will help to provide a network on which to build partnerships.
The initiative aims to develop a sustainable agri-food system that will be able to provide enough food for the projected 9.2 billion people in 2050 whilst meeting environmental sustainability goals. Recognising the extent to which action needs to be taken, the initiative will focus itself on bringing together the capacities of both the public and private sectors to address issues such as:
- Increasing investment in agriculture.
- Improving stewardship practices of safeguarding natural resources.
- Building infrastructure and improving policies to enable farmers’ access to markets.
- Maximising the economic growth opportunities provided by agriculture.
‘A New Vision for Agriculture’ intends to provide a platform for key high-level leaders to share insights, offer advice and recommendations and support existing initiatives that show promising opportunities for collaboration and scaling.