Valley First: Committed to Making a Difference and Supporting Sustainable Agriculture
Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, is committed to making a difference in the communities they serve and supporting sustainable agriculture in BC. We are deeply thankful for their support for the Okanagan Feast of Fields this year as our platinum sponsor.
Valley First describes their commitment to sustainability, saying: “Thinking and acting sustainably means we take actions and make decisions that contribute to greater short to long-term wellbeing for our colleagues, friends, family and community. These measurable actions are a North Star toward continuing to make positive impacts in environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas.”
ESG is a term that refers to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) activities. At Valley First, ESG is tied to the measure of their organization’s performance and ability to effectively manage their environmental and social impacts—and create opportunities in the ways they do business.
As a values-driven cooperative, Valley First’s drive to create positive change for its members, employees and communities goes back to the beginning of its over 70-year legacy. Today, continuing to build a sustainable and thriving future is even more relevant and important to their growth.
Several of the food and beverage participants at the Okanagan Feast of Fields this year are Valley First members. We connected with Empire Crepe and Abandoned Rail Brewing Co. to ask them why they bank with Valley First.
Empire Crepe is a Parisian-style creperie in the heart of Kelowna. After owning a crepe food truck business in the eastern United States for four years, they relocated to Kelowna and opened Empire Crepe. Chef Brandi serves freshly-made signature French crepes, along with nutritious salads, soups, and a few delicious baked items.
Chef Brandi describes,
We chose to bank with Valley First because of their approach to independent businesses. We needed a partner when starting our cafe, and Valley First and their representative, Brandon Robson, was able to procure the right loan for us. Valley First had been a partner from the beginning, and they have been invested with us and our woman-owned business and sustainable practices.”
Located on the Naramata Bench in Penticton, Abandoned Rail Brewing Co is one of just a few farm breweries growing barley for their beer production in BC. Abandoned Rail Brewing Co. served their local beers at Feast, and is a proud member of Valley First.
They said, “We bank with Valley First because they are a like-minded financial institution. They see the value in Small Business and take the time to make sure we’re taken care of with all our banking needs.”