What is a CDFI?

While many people understand the work of nonprofit organizations, we have the privilege of also being a CDFI.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are organizations that provide fair and responsible loans with community development as a primary objective. California FarmLink’s mission-based lending focuses on underserved communities. We offer flexible and affordable loans as well as unique education and assistance programs designed to support business resilience.

FarmLink is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that received its certification as a CDFI in 2013 in order to strengthen our approach to lending, education, and technical assistance. All CDFIs are certified by the U.S. Treasury, in part to ensure that at least 60% of businesses served are owned by low- and moderate-income people who may not otherwise have access to affordable business loans. We were one of the first CDFIs in the nation dedicated to serving beginning farmers, women farmers, and farmers of color.

FarmLink specializes in sustainable and organic agriculture, and Latine farmers, the fastest-growing demographic in California agriculture. In 2021 FarmLink also began to make loans to small-scale fishers and aquaculture businesses. There are growing numbers of CDFIs investing in regional food systems and food access in underserved communities, and we’re pleased to help advise and support this growing movement.

FarmLink is a state-licensed lender pursuant to our Lenders License (#605 4397) issued by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.