Since 1978, CEI has played a strong role in the family farm sector. CEI has provided more than $10 million in financing and equity investments to over 140 agricultural and food-related enterprises, leveraging another $43 million in additional public and private capital. Its work has now broadened its focus to provide comprehensive support for building the local food system infrastructure.
CEI’s business counselors deliver business counseling and technical assistance to develop products, business and marketing plans for agricultural and food-related enterprises. CEI finances loans to qualified borrowers to implement those plans. For more information or to request service, email Gray Harris
or call her at 207-882-7552.
CEI works with a diversity of agricultural enterprises on the continuum of the supply chain—from production to processing and retail marketing – farms, slaughterhouses, grist mills, food processing, seed companies, custom processing facilities, farmers markets, restaurants, community markets and co-ops – that serve as centralized outlets for agricultural products and facilitate access to wider markets.
Our goal is to build on Maine’s agricultural infrastructure and create diverse local channels for the processing, distribution and marketing of locally produced and value-added products. We do this by pursuing three objectives:
- Applying current lending/investment resources and raising additional flexible and patient loan and investment capital to finance diverse agriculture enterprises.
- Offering business planning and technical assistance services based on the unique and specific needs of agricultural enterprises.
- Participating in state/federal advocacy networks to foster greater reliance on locally-produced healthy foods and access to food among institutions, retailers, and low income families.
Farm counseling and technical assistance
Services to improve economic viability of Maine farms and ag-related enterprises
1.Planning on farming for the foreseeable future?
2.Thinking about making a major change within your business?
3.Looking for help to start up, transition or expand?
4.Operating an ag-related business that is part of the food system infrastructure?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may qualify for free assistance to, for example:
- Develop a business plan that covers management, operations, marketing, and financing, and new investment to improve the farm’s bottom line and long-term sustainability.
- Prepare for a financing request from CEI or another lender
- Explore and employ sustainability practices and/or new technologies.
- Research new markets or products.
For more information about services for farmers and others on the food production value chain, please contact Gray Harris, 207-882-7552, ext. 5135.