By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 14 October, 2012
Two small business and farming support nonprofits are teaming up to study how to make Maine seafood more widely available to consumers in the northeastern U.S.
Wholesome Wave is a national organization that supports small and midsized farmers, and works to make locally-grown fruits and vegetables more readily available. It has partnered with Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), a nonprofit that provides rural business financing and other assistance to small and medium-sized companies that create jobs or provide other economic development efforts.
While both organizations have worked together to help distribute more land-based foods, they are now launching a new two-year feasibility study, focusing on how they can turn their efforts to the Maine seafood industry.
“In the current movement to support locally-produced foods and rebuild local and regional food systems, the emphasis to date has been primarily on agricultural products. Seafood is not well-integrated into these discussions and efforts,” said Ron Phillips, CEI’s Founder and President.
For the past year, CEI and Wholesome Wave have been working with the U.S. Treasury’s Healthy Food Finance Initiative to move USD 3 million into what they call local “food hubs.” Now, they said in a joint press release, the plan is to figure out how to get seafood from Maine into food hubs in the northeastern U.S.
“We have developed a powerful collaboration with CEI in order to invest in healthy food hubs,” said Daniel Ross, Wholesome Wave’s Chief Financial Officer. “Getting Maine seafood into New England food hubs will generate economic development and healthy food systems not just for the Maine seacoast but also for business throughout the region.”