Here’s a highlight from the Maine Farmland Trusts’ Maine Farmland Trust report, released in 2016, concerning institutional access to Maine-grown foods. It describes the challenge that Make/GrowLocal was created to solve — on behalf the makers and growers.
Almost 30 percent of the buyers participating in this study, across all markets segments, report not knowing where or how to locate farmers or other direct suppliers of Maine grown food and ingredients.
They lack information about how to set to set up and manage direct buy arrangements. Personnel working at locations that are successfully integrating locally sourced food into their operations report that personal relationships with their farmers and local distributors are very rewarding.
A significant barrier to increasing Maine-sourced food and ingredients is related to lack of information about availability of distributor’s Maine-grown lists: many buyers working with broadline distributors are not aware of such lists and don’t know how to access the information.
With our new community-run digital platform “MGL”, buyers of any size can discover new local suppliers, directly order from them, and aggregate orders together across several smaller providers to full larger demands.