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Why Money Matters in Rebuilding the Food System
Small food businesses, grocers and farmers’ markets play important roles in local food and farming systems, but they alone are not the solution to food deserts and nutrition insecurity in the United States. Targeted investments can drive systems change, but changes in investor behavior are also needed.

Join Esther Park, CEO of Cienega Capital, in conversation with Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO of Heifer International, as they discuss the root causes of inequities within our food and farming system, and the changes in investor behavior that could have big impacts for the food we eat.

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May 19, 2021 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Esther Park
CEO @Cienega Capital
Esther Park is the CEO of Cienega Capital, a regenerative investment firm utilizing an integrated capital approach to systemic change in the areas of soil health, regenerative agriculture, and local food systems. Prior to joining Cienega Capital, Esther founded Commons Stock, an impact-focused due diligence consulting firm. There she assessed and structured investments in social enterprises on behalf of high net worth individuals, foundations, and investment advisors. Esther has over 15 years of experience in mission-based financial services ranging from microfinance to risk capital investments. She also serves as a Board member at City Fresh Foods, Custom Food Solutions, and Carman Ranch Provisions, and is an Advisor to Kitchen Table Advisors. Esther has also served as the Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at RSF Social Finance, and oversaw all lending activity from 2007-2011, which resulted in a tripling of the loan portfolio.
Pierre Ferrari
President and CEO @Heifer International
Pierre Ferrari joined Heifer International in 2010 with more than 40 years of business experience. He worked for many years at Coca-Cola USA, before deciding in 1995 to focus his energy and business acumen on social issues. Ferrari is a former chair and board member of Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and a former board member of the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund. He received a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Cambridge and a Master's of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.