Economic Development

Economic Development SubcommitteeGOAL
Maine has a food system that creates economic development opportunities and builds lasting livelihoods.

The Economic Development Council will begin February 2017 to consider policies, programs, and activities that support the Framework document and MFS network values, all which relate to economic development and the food system.  FMI on the Council, contact us!

Stay connected! For upcoming meetings and related Council information, sign up for the Economic Development Council mailing list here.

The Economic Development Council is current pursuing projects related to the following Framework actions:

▪ Expand technical assistance available to businesses interested in scaling up production for larger markets.

▪ Explore tax incentives and credits as a tool to encourage investment in food systems infrastructure development and improvements that benefit Maine businesses.

  • To this end, the Council sees the need for better coordination between sectors and levels of the value chain, and is considering a collaborative event that will bring together producers, buyers, and financers, around scaling up topics most relevant to businesses.
  • The group is also looking at demand data to identify certain products that businesses might capitalize on.

Council participants: CEI, FDG Law Offices, Ferment Farm, Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, Maine Food Strategy steering committee, Maine Technology Institute, Marketing Strategy Decisions.

Current Projects:

1.University of Southern Maine Food Studies Program Collaboration

The Economic Development Strategy Council partnered with the University of Southern Maine Food Studies Program to research technical assistance needs for Maine food businesses working to expand.

Students conducted interviews with local businesses to learn how they have successfully scaled-up, and what can be learned for new businesses looking to do the same. The Maine Food Strategy and other supporters attended the final presentations to hear results. 

2. Food Systems Data project 

There are many concerns around the collection, availability, and comparability of market and business data in Maine’s food system. The Council is currently looking at identifying the problem and the most effective way to address it. If your organization is ‘in the business’ of using or collecting data, or you wish to but face barriers, please get in touch! Email us here with thoughts or resources: