Knowledge Sharing: The Local Food Movement and How it Affects Southern Maine’s Economy


Our Capacity Building session on June 5th held in the Wishcamper Center in Portland, explored the Local Foods Movement and How It Affects the Economy.  The Local Foods movement in Maine and New England has the potential to have a major effect on future regional employment, land use, housing, even population. Why? Because experts have projected that by 2050, Maine could be responsible for producing as much as 80% of New England’s locally harvested food. The implications are enormous for many of our organizations and for the region as a whole – and the Partnership is uniquely positioned to provide direction and support.
Click below to read our summary and detailed session notes from the session:

Click play below to listen to the panelists and audience discussion at the June 5th Knowledge Sharing Session, or click “download” to download an MP3  to your computer so you can listen to the session on the go!

Dr. Jack Kartez, Professor at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, introduces Amanda Beal, co-coordinator of the Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine and a Tufts University-trained food and nutrition professional involved in multi-state studies. Amanda shared her work on food systems in New England.


John Piotti, Executive Director of the Maine Farmland Trust spoke with the Partnership about how Maine can play a critical role in feeding New England in the next 25 years, even though most don’t view Maine as a viable place for agriculture due to the inclement weather.


Dr. Mark Lapping, Distinguished Professor at the Community Planning and Development program at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service shared his extensive experience in food systems planning with the Partnership.


Following the panel’s presentations, members of the Sustain Southern Maine Partnership, panel experts and members of the audience engaged in a spirited discussion regarding the Local Foods Movement in Southern Maine.