Friday evening, November 20 –Sunday, November 22
Local food production is flourishing in Maine. Young people are starting farms in record numbers. Chefs are developing creative uses of under-utilized fish species and some are raising fish and greens together in closed loop systems. Expanding this emerging and critical economic sector will require innovative thinking as to how we aggregate, process, distribute, and market local food and seafood. Maine has the opportunity to become the food production engine for New England and a model for land-based and ocean-based food self-reliance and best practices.
What we need: Sustainable business models (both financial and ecological) offering a fair return to the farmer or fisherman at a fair price to the buyer, while minimizing their carbon footprint.
We are looking for: Bold and big ideas pushed by people who want to challenge each other and the status quo. We expect solutions that either significantly enhance current models, such as farmers’ markets, fish markets, CSAs, pick-your-own and farm-stands, or create new models that adapt to local and regional needs, utilize technology and adopt creative business structures such as cooperatives and L3Cs.
One size does not fit all. Many possible solutions exist, some local and replicable, others regional. Our goal is to create a variety of market models, existing and new, that benefit producers, buyers and consumers.
Your challenge is very straightforward – create a team and enter the Maine Farm, Fish and Food Innovation Challenge. If your idea wins, you and your team will take home up to $10,000 in cash and services to help bring your solution to market, coupled with an expert support network to help you maintain momentum.
MORE AT: www.MaineInnovationChallenge.org
The Sustainability Lab
SOURCE & Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
The Betterment Fund
Drummond & Drummond
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Cribstone Capital Management
Merrymeeting Food Council
Brunswick Topsham Land Trust
Kennebec Estuary Land Trust
Bill Seretta, Co-Chair – The Sustainability Lab
Tom Settlemire, Co-Chair – Brunswick Topsham Land Trust
Ben Tettlebaum -Conservation Law Foundation
Barry Woods -Drummond & Drummond
Tyler Kidder – USM
Eileen Johnson – Bowdoin College
Monique Coombs -Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association
Farm to Institution New England
Cooperative Development Institute
Wolfe’s Neck Farm
Penobscot East Resource Center
UMaine Cooperative Extension Service
Maine Venture Fund
The Maine Food Strategy
Maine Farmland Trust