Local Food Micro-Loan Fund

Upscaling Local Food Production Through Lending

FarmFolk CityFolk (FFCF), the Island Chef’s Collabrative (ICC), and Vancity have partnered to offer zero interest micro loans to local food producers. The aim of the fund is to provide capital for farmers, fishers, ranchers, harvesters and processors to invest in equipment and materials that allows them to increase the supply of local food in their region. Together we have leveraged funds raised from our respective fundraising events—FFCF Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island Feast of Fields, and the ICC Island Chefs' Food Fest—to administer a $350,000 capital pool, provided and managed by Vancity, for loans in Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Loans will be brought forward by FFCF and the ICC and awarded in amounts between $1000 to $20,000 for up to a 36 month term. During the term of the loan, payments including interest (prime +3%) will be made via a Vancity account. Once the loan is successfully repaid the interest paid will be rebated through a fund established by FFCF and the ICC with support from Vancity, Whole Foods and West Coast Naturals.

Micro-Loan Requirements

  • Open to farmers, fishers, ranchers, harvesters and processors.
  • Open to individuals, businesses, cooperatives and organizations.
  • Must demonstrate how the funds will increase local food production.
  • Funds must be used for equipment or materials; not for travel, education or wages.
  • Must provide written quotes for materials.
  • Must have been involved in either FFCF’s Feast of Fields or the ICC’s Island Chef Food Fest (or must commit to doing so during the time the loan remains unpaid).
  • Must include a payment plan indicating where the funds will come from for repayment.
  • Supply a description and a photo of the project once underway, for use on our websites for program promotion.
  • Open a VanCity account through which the loan and repayment will be administered. (If there is no VanCity in your immediate area, you only have to set up a Vancity account, then make regular payments through any Credit Union Branch).

Selection Criteria

The micro-loan fund strives to create a flexible structure that meets the needs of producers, during the application process we consider the following;

  • Impact on the supply of local food.
  • Ability to repay the loan.
  • Ability to creating a greater impact on the local economy beyond the loan itself.
  • Ability to fill an area of food production that is not currently being fulfilled.

For more information or to request an application contact:

Nicholas Scapillati, Executive Director, nicholas@farmfolkcityfolk.ca

Other Financing Options

FarmFolk CityFolk is committed to upscaling local food production and supports this goal through projects and events like our Local Food Micro-Loan Fund and our Metro Vancouver and Okanagan Meet Your Maker events. Many of our partners also support this goal and resources that can help your business grow.

Vancity Small Growers Loan

The loan for small growers with big vision. We believe a viable and sustainable local food system gives us healthier choices, and contributes to a stronger economy. The Small Growers Loan is designed to help your farm business get off the ground. We’ll provide loans up to $75,000 at a competitive rate. See loan details.

We value potential more than collateral.

Loan approval is based on your character, your farming training or experience, your skills and knowledge, and the potential of your business plan – not just on your credit history and collateral. You’re a Small Grower if

  • You’re farming under 50 acres, in a rural or urban setting
  • You’re an individual owner or co-operative owner, or you have a lease
  • You’re working the land, or growing food in other ways, like tending nurseries


The  BC Ministry of Agriculture through its Growing Forward 2 program offers funding for both farming and food processor businesses looking to expand or grow their business. The program will fund up to 85% of the cost for an authorized consultant to help develop business plans.  This planning can include financial analysis, business development (e.g. Expansion) strategies, marketing strategies and other key business management areas. For further information on this program visit... http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/apf/GF2/GF2.html.