Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

CEI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Program provides technical and financial assistance to farms and food-related businesses in Maine and the northeast. Food system lending at CEI has resulted in over 295 direct investments totaling more than $15 million. In the past 5 years, food system lending created or retained 323 jobs and kept 6,773 acres of farmland in production.

Purpose

  • Support robust farm and food-related businesses and connect to local and regional markets for Maine producers;
  • Create jobs and build wealth in rural communities;
  • Ensure access to local, fresh and healthy foods for all people.

Services

Free Business Counseling

  • Team-based business planning to develop investment-ready business plans
  • Leverage resources and networks
  • Provide sector expertise

Financing

  • Flexible debt; Lines of credit; Equity and equity-like financing; Guarantees
  • Amounts from <$10,000 to >$500,00 or more
  • Coordinate multiple sources of capital

Sector Initiatives

  • Healthy food access for underserved populations (Healthy Food Finance Initiative)
  • State and federal policy and advocacy networks
  • Strategic collaboration with regional and national farming and food organizations

Clients

  • Farms;
  • Food-related “value chain” businesses such as food processors, distributors, and value-added manufacturers;
  • Rural food retailers, such as independent grocers or local food markets.

Contact us to grow your business today:

Gray Harris, Director
(207) 882-5135
gharris@ceimaine.org

Daniel Wallace
Off-farm value chain and retail businesses
(207) 535-2916
dwallace@ceimaine.org

Rose Creps
Farm-based businesses
(207) 504-6586
rcreps@ceimaine.org