2017 P6 Microloan Applications now available

The VFC P6 Microlending Committee is pleased to announce that applications for our 2017 P6 Microlending Initiative are now available on our website. We invite any local farm or business selling food or products to VFC or at the Viroqua Farmers Market to apply for a one-year no-interest loan of up to $3,500. Through the VFC P6 Microlending Initiative, VFC aims to strengthen small, local farmers and producers that are part of our local food system.

Deadline: Applications are due by January 15 and can be sent to Bjorn Bergman, VFC Outreach Coordinator at 609 N Main St, Viroqua, WI, or bjorn.bergman@viroquafood.coop

Announcement: The VFC P6 Microlending Initiative Committee (includes VFC staff and Board members) will review applications in late January 2017 and announce the recipient(s) in the 2017 Spring Pea Soup.


Types of projects that are funded by the VFC P6 Microlending Initiative are the ones that:

1.    Help fill a hole in local food system by expanding production and/or distribution of products.
2.    Purchase equipment to increase efficiency and decrease production costs.
3.    Help a local producer grow their business.

 

2016 P6 Microloan awarded to Wisco-Pop

2016-Microloan--wiscoPop.jpgWe are excited to announce that Wisco Pop is the recipient of the 2016 VFC P6 Microloan! The VFC P6 Microlending Committee is pleased to fulfill their entire request of $3,500 to develop a certified organic soda line.

Wisco Pop is owned and operated by Austin and Hallie Ashley and Zachary Mathes. They specialize in making delicious soda without artificial flavors, preservatives, corn syrup or caffeine at the Food Enterprise Center in Viroqua. To learn more, check out their website.

With the support of a 2016 VFC P6 Microloan, Wisco Pop aims to develop a 100% certified organic soda line. While they have always used fresh organic citrus, ginger, and other organic ingredients in their sodas, they are excited to take their business to the next level with organic certification. “We feel it is the right move to offer 100% certified organic soda and vote with our dollars to encourage and support organic farmers,” Mathes said. The loan will help finance the development of new labels, organic certification of their production facility and the purchase of certified organic ingredient inventory.

The VFC has a deep commitment to local and organic farms, businesses and foods. As a result, the P6 Microlending Committee is excited to have the opportunity to support one of our local P6 Producers with financing to transition their product lines to 100% certified organic. Wisco Pop previously received a 2014 VFC P6 Microloan for $1,500 that helped finance bottling their sodas for the first time.

The VFC P6 Microlending Initiative was created in 2012 by the VFC Board of Directors as a way to make interest-free loan(s) of up to $3,500 available for farms and producers selling to the VFC or at the Viroqua Farmers Market. Loans are aimed at financing new projects or infrastructure for small farmers/producers that will help them grow their businesses and must be paid back within one year. Through this P6 Microlending Initiative, the VFC strengthens small, local farms and producers that supply the Co-op and creates opportunities to improve their operations.

Congratulations, again, to Austin, Hallie and Zachary of Wisco Pop! We look forward to having your locally produced certified organic sodas on our shelves at the VFC in the near future.


 

Microfinance—the granting of very small loans—is a concept most closely associated with the developing world. But tight credit and the recession have increased the demand for smaller loans in the United States, giving microlending a higher profile and broadening its appeal.

Interest-free loans are opposite of the normal cycle all too many farmers find themselves in – the cycle of high interest loans, debt, and the inability to reach financial security and true economic viability through their business. VFC’s intention is to share the resources that we have to better enable farmers to provide us with the food and resources needed to live a healthy life.

Through the VFC P6 Microlending Initiative we hope to strengthen small, local farms and other businesses that are part of our local food system and create opportunities to improve their operations.


Past P6 Microloan Recipients

2016

Wisco Pop!

2015

Del Sol Chocolate

Deep Rooted

2014

Second Cloud on the Left

Wisco Pop!

2013

Pat Slattery