Impact Investors Living Lab - Meetings and Webinars

The following is an overview calendar of the Food Trails Impact Investors’ Lab meetings and thematic sessions from February 2022 to March 2023. Under each is a Summary Brief note. 

For more resources and working documents produced in the Investors Living Lab, please visit

Impact – 24 February 2022  

Defining impact in healthy food and nutrition  
Aiming to piece together an integrated definition of impact, allowing for measurable investable opportunity across a range of activities that make it possible to transition food systems. Investors Lab Intro Meeting Summary Brief

Ambition – 24 March 2022

Food impact ambition: review of barriers to progress, emerging opportunities, innovative business models, and accessibility  
Focusing on emerging business strategies that address issues of affordability and access, creating opportunities for expanded investment in healthy food producers and local retailers. These include new modes of cooperative and distributed SME financing. Investors Lab March 2022 Meeting Summary Brief

Ambition – 28 April 2022

Food-related innovation clusters and reaching critical mass for urban food systems transformation  
Innovation clusters tend to operate around joint competitive advantage; in food systems transformation, all localities need to crowd in resources to transition from business as usual. Knowledge and digital resource sharing can be powerful levers for localizing capability. Investors Lab April 2022 Meeting Summary Brief

Data – 2 June 2022

Establishing data and innovation needs (and strategies) for effective impact  
Initial discussion, noting: Cities can be both sources and users of impact tracking data; organic development and refinement of metrics and data systems can be most effective; mapping of needs, cooperative sharing of resources can increase overall impact potential. 

Data / Policy – 7 July 2022

Policy frameworks and Data needs (continued from June 2022) 
This session explored critical details in two thematic areas:
1) Policy frameworks for mobilizing impact investment for sustainable urban food systems;
2) Data and information needs (and strategies) for achieving effective impact. 
Participants reviewed a diverse range of stakeholders needs, as well as strategies for assessing and acting toward them. Cases presented looked at levers of action, food budget mapping strategies, transaction enablers, and timescales for implementation.  
Milan Municipality presented its experience in mapping the city budget to the SDGs. 
Investors Lab July 2022 Meeting Summary Brief

Products – 15 September 2022

Integrating healthy food and food waste reductions into business, entrepreneurship and financing models
Unsustainable food systems generate hidden costs that proliferate and compound; reducing risk and maximizing opportunity requires sustainable practices to be mainstream. Macro-scale metrics, fiscal measures, business incubation, and impact investment can all align with this insight to maximize shared value creation. 
Rachel Veitch-Straw, fund manager at Key Fund, presented their experiences and practices in financing healthy foodinitiatives.
Investors Lab Sep 2022 Meeting Summary Brief

Products – 27 October 2022

How can investors develop products to align with a city-specific or city-region food strategy?  
Detailing potential financial and intermediary services, and enterprise outputs, that fit into a food system value chain, improving outcomes in specific local or regional contexts. Relevant cases will be explored in this meeting. 
 Groningen Municipality and BlockchainLab Drenthe presented plans for the Groningen Food Wallet project. 
Investors Lab Oct 2022 Meeting Summary Brief

Capacity – 1 December 2022 - Webinar

Financial literacy for food policy actors and stakeholders Webinar
What do cities, SMEs, and food system actors need to know to maximize opportunity for new investment and to make the most of those investments?  Presentations were shared by Helena Wright, Policy Director at the FAIRR Initiative, in dialogue with Mauricio Benitez, Food Systems Specialist at responsAbility; and by Andrea Magarini, Milan Director of Food Policy. 
Event invitation
Follow-up News Piece & recording

Policy – 26 January 2023 

Policies and regulations that support food-related impact investment  
Reviewing policies, regulatory standards, and incentives that create an enabling environment to unlock impact investment in urban food systems. Which policy options exist in which city context, or in combination with which other policies and incentives?  Francesco Rampa and Daniel Adeniyi, from the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), presented lessons from Kenya and South Africa, regarding the realignment of incentives for investing in urban sustainable food systems. Dr. Muriel Verain, from Wageningen University & Research, presented insights on harnessing the potential of public procurement to support the protein transition. 
January Investors Lab Meeting Overview
Investors Lab January 2023 Meeting Summary Brief


Scaling – 23 February 2023

Scaling sustainable food system finance—enabling policies, investment strategies, capacity building  
Creating opportunity is one part of a broader process; tracking impact and bringing favored practices and outcomes to scale requires careful sequencing of actions in the short-, medium-, and long-term timeframes.  Abel Fernández, EU Project Manager for the European Business Angels Network (EBAN), shared insights on multi-level policy action, enabling environments and cooperative scaling. 
Investors Lab Feb 2023 Meeting Summary Brief

Community – 23 March 2023 - Webinar

Capstone Webinar 
Review of Impact Investing Roadmap and Lab outcomes—outlining impact investor types, exploring emerging ways of assessing non-financial impact, and detailing tools and strategies for mobilizing food system impact investment. The webinar was hosted by Joe Robertson from EAT. Speakers included: Karen Wohlert, Berlin FoodSHIFT 2030 innovation hub “the Baumhaus”; Andrea Patrucco, Food Trails Project Manager, Food Policy Department, Milan, Italy; Renske Stumpel, Groningen, Netherlands; Shaleen Meelu, Food Trails Nutrition Cross-Cutting Manager.

Event invite
Follow-up News Piece & recording

Slides from the webinar