Our Approach

 

Mission

We are a force of many and diverse voices, mobilizing resources to build power that transforms food systems and fosters the well being of people and the planet.

Our Shared Vision

In thirty years, robust rural and urban communities with thriving economies will offer dignity and livelihoods for all food producers as well as the ability to adapt to and mitigate environmental change. Biodiversity and the earth’s ecosystems will be conserved not only in wild areas, but in cultivated areas as well. Local cuisine will be celebrated, produced by people gleaning knowledge of agroecology from elders and scientists alike and drawing on the creativity of all. Governments and financial institutions will fully support regenerative and restorative economies and ecosystems as well as rights protections for human beings and nature. Everyone will have access to healthy, affordable, and diverse foods harvested from fair food systems that are governed locally by both producers and consumers.

Cultural diversity and the role of farmers as stewards of natural resources will be encouraged and respected. Fair food economies will be good for people and the planet, leading to the halt of climate change. In thirty years, agroecology will be the model for food systems, while industrial agriculture will be remembered only in history books and museums.

Theory of Change

The primary protagonists at the center of the AgroEcology Fund's theory of change are agroecology movements. They organize constituencies, conduct real-time field research, construct new economy food systems and apply political pressure to win agroecology-friendly public policies and programs. These movements are composed of a diverse groundswell of allied organizations advocating for equitable and sustainable food systems and resisting policies, institutions and vested interests that undermine such systems. The AgroEcology Fund applies its resources to the intersection of these movements, where farmers, consumers, scientists, policy-makers and environmentalists collaborate.

For these localized movements to succeed, collaborations of constituencies must be supported to engage in strategies as diverse and complementary as researching soil carbon sequestration, creating agroecology schools and seed banks, offering new models of agricultural extension, passing local land and water use ordinances, and critically, resisting systematic and intentional barriers to agroecology, such as corporate control of seed systems. The AgroEcology Fund seeks to fortify these multi-sectoral movements around the world.

5-Year Strategic Directions

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Shift and Leverage Significant Financial Resources Towards Agroecology

  • Double the AgroEcology Fund’s (AEF) annual grantmaking pool to $2 million in five years;
  • Influence private foundation funding (not including AEF grants) to shift $10 million toward AE efforts in five years;
  • Influence large-scale funding from public sector budgets, leveraging a significant shift of resources (tens of millions of US dollars) toward agroecology in five years; 
  • Develop and implement a plan for AEF to promote mechanisms for leveraging foundation and private sector resources toward agroecology, including impact investing, enterprise loans, etc.

Strengthen Political and Economic Systems to Enable Agroecology to Thrive

  • Fund grassroots collaboratives that are influencing national policies to support new economy food systems and shift support away from industrial agriculture;
  • Fund a campaign to halt and redirect a major financier of industrial agriculture;
  • Develop and implement a strategy to direct bi- and multi-lateral development agencies’ investments toward agroecology;
  • Design and implement a strategy to influence private foundations and large NGO’s to desist from funding industrial agriculture and redirect resources toward agroecology.

Influence the Global Conversation about Solutions to Global Hunger by Amplifying Agroecological Solutions

  • Extend grants that support and strengthen the communications capacity of grantees to reach and move their targeted constituencies;
  • Amplify messages and stories gathered from, and co-created with, AEF's grantee partners and allies, featuring focus on science, practice, rights and policy changes;
  • Use AEF's growing communications capacity and expertise to place messages and stories from around the world in highly visible, strategic outlets in order to inform and advocate for exemplary agroecological practices and policies;
  • Help shift the dominant narrative about food and hunger, craft and implement a comprehensive communications plan to be a powerful voice in the philanthropy community that provides evidence and inspiration about the viability of agroecological food systems while exposing threats posed by corporate concentration and industrial systems.

Co-Create and Share Agroecology Knowledge and Practice

  • Map actors with whom AEF can collaborate in ongoing relationship to fortify co-creation and amplification of knowledge about agroecology;
  • Implement a monitoring, evaluation and learning system that analyzes learnings about agroecological amplification from grantee partners and broadly disseminates key lessons to influence fields of development, philanthropy and public policy;
  • Make grants to advance collaborative learning and knowledge sharing among farmers and allies, with focus on integrating practice, science, and policy shifts;
  • Convene an international learning and knowledge exchange in 2019 among grantees, advisors, donors and allies and disseminate conclusions and recommendations broadly.