Midcoast Farmers Alliance to discuss collaboration or cooperative for farmers

KNOX COUNTY – The Knox County Food Council (KCFC) is hosting the Midcoast Farmers Alliance for a presentation on an upcoming opportunity available to farmers interested in forming a collaboration/cooperative. Participants interested in any part of the proposed project can join the discussion at the next KCFC monthly meeting on May 10, 2022 at 5 p.m.

This virtual event, which will be held on Zoom, is open to all and free.

The Midcoast Farmer’s Alliance (MFA) is a support network for area farmers that the Maine Coast Heritage Trust formed in 2015.

At the KCFC meeting, presenters will introduce MFA to the wider food collective, talk about local food distribution needs, and the collaboration between the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) and the Midcoast Farmers Alliance (MFA), and will reflect with participants on how the proposed project can increase food security.

“MFA shares the opportunity to develop the former Coastal Blueberries Services, Inc. building at 61 Common Road in Union,” said Heidi Baker, general manager of Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Aldermere Farm, in a press release. “This property neighbors the Come Spring Food Pantry and Union Farmers Market and has key features like a barn, which faces the Union Fairgrounds, a large lot, an insulated shipping container in the lot and a bathroom.”

Farmers, Value-Added Producers, Farmers and Bakers may be interested in opportunities for them to contribute/participate in a shared chicken processing business, a shared retail storefront where people can buy produce grown locally, a shared cold and dry warehouse, a shared auxiliary cold room, possibility of improving the food system by reducing food waste by donating unsold items to the neighboring pantry, etc. The potential for a shared commercial kitchen should be developed.

MFA held a listening session with farmers in the area to gather feedback that they will use to develop a business plan and is seeking feedback from farmers and food producers in the area to identify specific community needs Midcoast Farm and gauge interest in the project. Farmers and food producers in the region who express an interest will be invited to be part of a small working group to develop a business model for this type of property.

The survey link is here: https://forms.gle/xXgUBk4dPYqNSKsXA

“MFA works with MFT; MFT is prepared to purchase the property and lease it to MFA until MFA has the financing to purchase the property,” the statement read. “MCHT is willing to pay for due diligence support.”

To register and receive the Zoom link for the next meeting, please visit www.aldermere.org/kcfc/meeting-registration.

For more information about MFA and upcoming MFA opportunities for this agricultural collaboration/cooperative, contact Managing Director Heidi Baker at [email protected]

The Knox County Food Council is a community coalition that formed in 2019 to promote a more resilient food system in Knox County, Maine.