- 30 min30 minutes
- Free ConsultationFree Consultation
- Customer's Place
The team at Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative will work with your new or existing food business at any point along the food system: from growers looking for institutional markets to institution chefs seeking the best mix of local products to meet their budget. Our goal is to maximize the amounts of local foods in order to build a resilient Maine economy and reduce our dependence on far-removed industrial food. MFSC staff employ strategic thinking, investigation, and testing to improve your business or marketing plans. We incorporate your past experience with a menu of new alternatives that allow you to select the best way forward for your company. Our work with the Auburn/Lewiston Farm to School Implementation Grant is indicative of the work we perform for operational consulting. School nutrition programs produce large numbers of meals under heavy regulation at minimal margins. Local foods can be seen as a burden rather than a blessing when time and money are short for schools and other institutions like higher education, hospitals, and congregate feeders. By analyzing the current operations of labor, food purchasing, and menu development, a range of options were developed for both districts to implement. It was critical to demonstrate that existing food purchases and menu items could be modified to save the money required to afford higher priced local foods. Staff were surveyed to determine training topics required to increase the amounts of local foods in production. Procurement tools that met USDA Procurement Regulations had to be developed and tested with stakeholders. Communication between educators, community resources, garden coaches and kitchen staff had to reinforce lessons and practices between each area to engage students in positive change.
Portland, ME, USA