University of Maine Systems
in 2015, the University of Maine system released a request for proposals for their dining services. Seeking to find new ways to provide large scale dining operations that were still rooted in community, equity, and local agriculture, the cooperative was born. After becoming a finalist, the contract ultimately went to a large competitor. However, the winning provider adopted Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative's drive for 20% local food within the first year of operations.
Our team of food system, operations, business, and nutrition professionals became a finalist against multi-billion dollar corporations, presented in front of 20+ University of Maine administrators and staff, and successfully scored the highest in multiple categories; Local Sourcing, Sustainability, and Maine Economic Impact.
Local Food Promotional Events
Since 2016, Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative has been a proud partner of Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s annual event BikeMaine. BikeMaine, which features a different region of the state of Maine every year, was founded to promote Maine as a bicycling destination and to use cycling as an economic development tool for local communities. Proceeds from the event support BikeMaine host communities and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s cycling and pedestrian initiatives.
Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative brings in-depth knowledge of food operations, logistics, food safety, and operations to BikeMaine. We work with each town to create unique local and place based meals in every host community over the course of the week long event. Taking care to ensure proper nutrition for such an athletic event, we take pride in the excellent feedback we receive from participants on the quality and amount of food available.
In 2019, over 74% of food was local for breakfast and dinner, and over 58% of food was local for lunch.
FEEDING 5000 PORTLAND
Through a collaborative effort with the City of Portland, Midcoast Hunger Initiative, Healthy Acadia, and experts from all fields of the food system, we contributed to the effort by menu planning, site design, and leading a team of chefs and volunteers to serve 5,000 people.
The Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative is thankful to have a thriving partnership with the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation. Through their Healthy People Healthy Places program, MFSC has been able to further the impact of our Farm to Institution work. For 2020-2021, the focus is K-12 and higher educational institutions. Our goal is to identify long term, sustainable opportunities in these areas:
Staff Engagement and Training
Local Food Systems Knowledge
Increasing local food procurement
Through strategic surveying, diving into purchasing habits, and working closely with staff, we are working with each institution to develop specific-to-them goals and metrics.
We educate and support many hospital food service operations in Maine to be key community leaders when it comes to integrating healthy local food. Our clients stretch from the southern regions of the state all the way up to Fort Kent and Caribou. Local nutritious food is paramount to healthy outcomes when coupled with best food handling practices to ensure the hospital's compliance with regulations and health safety standards for both patients and customers.