Lisa Sebesta of Fresh Source Capital recently appeared on “Growing Business” with Aaron Niderhelman, Lindsay Poole and special co-host Jan Schlickman.
Sebesta is a Co-founder and Managing Partner of Fresh Source Capital, an investment firm focusing on companies that offer sustainable food, fishery and agriculture options in the Boston and greater New England area. Fresh Source Capital seeks to invest in companies that can help meet an increasing demand for locally-sourced food in a sustainable way, both for individual consumers and institutional buyers.
Sebesta discusses how, during her 15 years of portfolio management and equity analysis experience, she developed a growing interest in how her food was sourced. At the same time, she noticed an increasing trend in the number of clients seeking socially responsible, sustainable investments. This led her to Slow Money, a national non-profit network that helps match local small businesses, particularly soil and agriculture companies, with investors. This experience also led to her meeting Dan Pullman, with whom she Co-Founded Fresh Source Capital. Mutually interested in the concept of investing responsibly while increasing the infrastructure to support sustainable local food options, the two offer a combined 40 years of investment, management and operational experience.
In her appearance, Sebesta discusses some key concepts of her philosophy and her investing. Notably, she discusses the concept that as a younger, more health-conscious generation become decision makers in business, more demand from local, healthier food will exist. As younger people have grown up wanting good, healthy food, they are in increasing numbers willing to take steps to ensure they get it. Further, Sebesta believes that the prior-existing cultural expectation that food should be as inexpensive as possible has begun to evolve. She believes people in greater numbers place value on the freshness and healthiness of food, not merely its convenience and price. Finally, Sebesta cites her belief that there are a growing number of institutional buyers, such as hospitals and universities, who are looking to fill their food budgets from a local source, in an effort to ensure that the food provided to their constituency is healthy and consistent with the values the university promotes.
Although early in the process, Sebesta believes a movement toward local food is gaining momentum. In her appearance, she briefly discusses what it may entail to move 5-10% of food being currently sourced in Massachusetts and northern New England, up to a 50% level.
In addition, she discusses some companies in which Fresh Source Capital has invested, and the positive efforts each has made to rebuild the infrastructure and make it easier for smaller, local suppliers to compete in the food supply area.
For more information, or to hear Sebesta’s complete interview, please click here.