The existing social finance approaches for sustainable food systems are already proving to be insufficient following the current overwhelming global food crisis. Social financiers for alternative food systems have primarily focused more on industrial food productions than small and medium-sized biodynamic farms. Large-scale or industrial farmers are highly likely to receive a loan boost from social financiers than small producers (Stephens, 2021). These investment patterns are the cause for the increasing unsustainable outcomes in alternative food systems around the world because they are mostly inclined towards firms that apply industrial agricultural production methods. Surprisingly, it is so devastating to learn that the industrial food systems pose an intense social and ecological threat to the current and future generations. The objective of social finance is to redirect financial resources and provide highly sustainable financial outcomes to investors for achieving broader social and environmental goals (Stephens, 2021). For the food system to sustainably benefit the populations, the role of finance ought to shift its trajectory to small investors.
Restructuring the capability of social finance initiatives to boost alternative food networks is the most outstanding approach towards greater sustainability. This milestone can be achieved through formal governmental policy implementation for farmers to ease agricultural credit issuance. The government can achieve food sustainability through the creation of marketing boards that will increase farmers’ power to negotiate loans. Small farmers, in particular, have experienced difficulties in maintaining the autonomy of their operations because of the reduced government involvement in agriculture (Stephens, 2021). Understanding the existing gaps in social finance systems is important in shaping the global food crisis in ways such as sensitization, mobilization of resources, and education to government stakeholders regarding the issues. Agricultural institutions and concerned government sectors are called upon to take action and implement necessary measures for eradicating the food menace. The initiative will assure long-term sustainability of food resources to citizens as many small agricultural investors complement the market with consistent food supplements.
Stephens, P. (2021). Social finance for sustainable food systems: opportunities, tensions and ambiguities. Agriculture and Human Values, 38(4), 1123-1137.