ACCIDENT, MD. – FireFly Farms Inc. financed additional working capital through the RSF Social Finance’s Food System Transformation Fund. With the loan, they plan to fund the expansion of their goat cheese manufacturing operations, increasing the production of their larger wheeled and longer aged cheeses for wholesale distribution in 2019.
FireFly Farms is an award-winning goat milk cheese producer in the Allegheny Plateau of Western Maryland. Established in 2002, FireFly Farms’ growth over the past 16 years has spurred the development of a vibrant and growing regional community of family goat farms, cheese makers, cheesemongers and a growing network of wholesale and retail distribution partners across the nation. FireFly Farms is committed to ensuring that its operations are sustainable economically, socially, and environmentally in order to create lasting value for its employees and regional community, while protecting our natural environment for future generations.
RSF Social Finance is a financial services organization dedicated to revolutionizing how people relate to money. RSF provides opportunities for people to align their investing and giving with their values and connects social entrepreneurs with diverse forms of capital. RSF launched the Food System Transformation Fund to provide financing to organizations with replicable strategies creating impact across the food and agriculture supply chain and who are enabling local economies to flourish.
“Firefly is a perfect fit for this fund because they’re a creamery effectively serving as a regional food hub,” commented Casey Johnson, senior associate of social enterprise lending at RSF. “By sourcing fresh, raw milk from a growing local farming community in rural Appalachia, they are helping to lift the rural economy and instill value in sustainable methods of farming.”
The Food System Transformation fund is seeded by program-related investments (PRI) from foundation partners who share RSF’s goal to rebuild local food systems. Foundations get a 1% return on their recoverable investment and are able to catalyze more of their assets toward charitable goals. The fund enables RSF to work with borrowers who are addressing inherent hurdles in creating regional, sustainable food systems such as food production, value-added processing, aggregation and/or distribution. Firefly Farms is one of 25 loans in the US-based portfolio.
“Our partnership with RSF Social Finance has helped FireFly Farms flourish and will help us achieve our expansion goals in the coming years,” said FireFly Farms Co-Founder and President, Mike Koch. “We are excited to see what develops from this relationship and the value that we can create for regional farms and dairy manufacturers.”
About FireFly Farms Inc.
Founded in 2002 by partners Mike Koch and Pablo Solanet, FireFly Farms now comprises of a community of cheese makers and cheese mongers dedicated to making excellent cheese while creating value for the regional farming community and the rural economy of western Maryland’s Garrett County. It is dedicated to ensuring that its operations are sustainable and protect our natural environment for future generations. Maryland’s premier and most-awarded cheese maker, FireFly Farms is a proud member of the Maryland Cheese Guild and the American Cheese Society. They enthusiastically support the growth of sustainable farming, food production, and artisan cheese making in both the Maryland region and across the nation.
Source: FireFly Farms Inc.