Arabella Advisors Channels the Power of Food Philanthropists

Emily Nink

Today, Arabella Advisors is announcing a new philanthropy and investment consultancy to harness the growing interest among donors and investors to create a better food system. Arabella’s is launching its Good Food Practice to advise philanthropy, advocacy, and investor clients to transform the food system from farm to fork, through strategic, mission-driven investments.

Eric Kessler, founder of Arabella Advisors, believes a new, holistic approach to social enterprise could truly transform the food system, catalyzing significant investment across the field and leading to new collaborative efforts. He has seen food projects become uniquely successfully in attracting funding and investment capital, due to expanding interest around pressing nutrition and agricultural issues. According to Kessler, the time is ripe for harnessing this interest and effectively leveraging the power of donors and investors through impactful portfoliosworking at a large scale.

The Food System Practice is a big shift for Arabella. For 10 years, the consultancy’s researchers and investment experts have worked behind the scenes to support nearly 40 clients’ food projects through sound impact investmentadvice, policy advocacy, and grantmaking. 

The new platform will go beyond meeting the needs of clients to identify funding gaps in the sector and opportunities for further impact. Next week, the Food System Practice will launch a policy platform, featuring 12 Good Food Policy Priorities, to identify realistic opportunities at the federal level to impact food and agriculture. Many of the leaders financing the food philanthropy movement—a fast-growing area of investment catalyzing food system change—doesn’t have a clear policy platform.

"This investment strategy is incredibly necessary for the food philanthropy movement,” says Kessler. “Our resources will support highly impactful commitments to a better food system, drawing on the expertise that our team has  developed over the past decade." Arabella is now one of the farthest-reaching philanthropy consultancies focused on strategic, mission-driven investments, supporting the placement of several billion dollars.

Arabella’s Food System Practice is prescribing three ingredients for a good food system, including a culture that demands good food,  food infrastructure to meet that demand, and a set of policies that enable the system as a whole to take root. The project hopes to leverage the expertise of its top researchers, analysts, and finance professionals to affect all three areas at once, achieving a large-scale scope and solutions at all levels.

Early in 2016, the Food System Practice will work to eliminate gaps in sustainable supply chains, explore issues of equity and demand, and connect with policy leaders, medical professionals, chefs, advocates, and more. Ideas can be contributed to the project HERE and individuals can keep up with the new platform on twitter, using the hashtag #arabellafood.