2nd Fair Finance 2017 - March 20th 2017

Waterloo Summit Center for the Environment, Huntsville

The 2nd Annual Fair Finance Day is offered jointly by the LOFC and the Ecological Farmers Association. The program is a workshop format with a mix of presentations from experts and hands-on work for people to develop specific projects. The program will provide financial training and planning tools for members, board members, staff and developers of local food and farm enterprises, co-ops and collectives from start-up to expansion. This is a full-day training, appropriate for all stakeholders in local food and farm enterprises, co-ops and collectives. All members, board members, staff and developers of local food and farm co-ops, as well as producer suppliers of local food are welcome to attend.


Program for the day- 8:30 am to 4:30pm

Facilitators/ presenters: Sally Miller, Peggy Baillie, Maureen Strickland


Welcome and introductions


Morning session Facilitators and presenters will walk participants through the critical path for a co-op in the first five years from start up to stable operations and expansion, using examples from co-ops and collaborations around the province.  The critical path will establish resources and milestones for each stage of co-op development. The section will draw on the expertise of attendees as well as presenters to define the possible financing paths with examples from beginning and established co-ops that identify key steps, milestones and options in a presentation and participatory discussion.  Issues include project visioning, early funding, pre-feasibility work, incorporation and related financial requirements, business and financial planning, capitalization through shares, bonds, and loans, and the financial management of the co-op once operations have begun. There will be discussion also of how to handle expansion once the initial enterprise is launched, and the information and planning needed to launch a secondary or expanded business.


Lunch/ break - Catered by The Muskoka North Good Food Co-op



The second half of the workshop offers presentations and access to expertise from established co-op experts. Three presenters will provide specific insights in this session first through presentations and then as supporters for break out groups that give participants time to ask questions specific to their project. The short presentations focus on three key aspects of financing your co-op:


  1. How do you raise money? (capitalization)
  2. How do you manage money? (financial management)
  3. How do you make money? (operations/ revenue)



Participants will have time in small groups and plenary to discuss and get their questions answered by experts and peers. The participants will also work on their own projects in small groups . Groups are expected to be at different stages, and will be supported in the process by the experts and other participants to develop action plans appropriate to their own project. The workshop wraps up with another plenary discussion of opportunities, obstacles and ways we can work together to strengthen food and farm enterprises across the province.





In the evening, attendees are welcome to attend a good food film screening at the Muskoka Good Food Co-op.


For those staying on for the 8th Annual Assembly, accommodation can be secured at the Waterloo Summit Center for the Environment by registering for "An Additional Nights Accommodation at the Waterloo Center"  when registering




Craig Nakamoto

Craig obtained a Bachelor of Math in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, with electives in french and conflict resolution, at the University of Waterloo.  After working for several large Canadian companies learning all aspects of information technology, Craig spent a year working for a small Ottawa IT company and discovered his love for consulting and working with small businesses.   During this time he lived in Waterloo, Kitchener, Ottawa and Calgary.  After working for one year in Toronto in 2001 with Ernst & Young as a management consultant, Craig and two friends started the company that Craig still works for today.

Throughout the last 18 months, Craig has helped automate and implement the bookkeeping, accounting, and point of sale systems for the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op.

Mary Ellen Scanlon

Mary Ellen is a member/owner and Director at the Mustard Seed Co-operative Grocery in Hamilton. Now retired, she has a professional background in planning and environmental management. Her non-profit experience includes leadership roles in local and provincial level organizations. In 2013 she completed the Sustainable Local Food program through St. Lawrence College. Mary Ellen and her husband David divide their time between Hamilton and Callander, ON.