Food Economy

$667 Million

worth of agricultural sales in 2017.

100%

increase in aquaculture jobs since 2021.

96%

of Maine farms are family farms.

3,075

The food sector has grown by 3,075 workers from 2017-2022, a 16% increase.

10%

increase in the total value of aquaculture products sold in 2017.

$380 Million

in annual wages in the food and beverage industry in 2021.

27%

of farms sell directly to consumers.

2x

Best Places for Jobs.

Supported in partnership with FocusMaine. FocusMaine propels the growth of Maine's most promising industries and transforms Maine into a hub for top talent.here.

        

food economy in maine

        

Food economy in maine

What is a food economy?
A food economy encompasses the systematic orchestration of food production, markets, and distribution. It's the strategic interplay of various stakeholders, from dedicated kelp farmers in aquaculture to diligent farmers, ensuring that resources are efficiently utilized and food reaches every corner, sustaining communities and fostering growth.
Why is this important?
The food economy is especially crucial in Maine due to its significant impact on the state's agricultural heritage, local businesses, and community well-being. Maine's diverse food economy supports a wide array of farmers, fishermen, and food producers, fostering a sense of pride and sustainability within the local communities.

By promoting initiatives like sustainable fisheries, organic farming, and culinary tourism, Maine's food economy not only preserves traditional practices but also drives economic growth, creating jobs and bolstering the state's reputation as a culinary destination.

Additionally, a robust food economy in Maine ensures the availability of fresh, locally sourced produce and seafood, promoting healthier eating habits and overall well-being among its residents.
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looking to work in the food economy?

looking to work in food economy?

                  

hear from others

Our focus is on cultivating a premium product while embracing a distinctive mission: offering individuals the chance to delve into the world of oyster farming. Through collaborations with entities like Minorities in Aquaculture, we facilitate educational opportunities for women and individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering hands-on experiences on the water.

Nauti Sisters Sea Farm

Cultivating meaningful relationships between farmers and our communities so that we can all access and experience joyful food.

Rosemont Market and Bakery

Veggies to Table is a non-profit farm in Newcastle Maine. We grow top-quality organic produce and flowers to donate to local folks experiencing hunger and needing joy, create lasting community connections through our volunteer program, and provide education around healthy food and sustainable living.

Veggies to Table

Atlantic Sea Farms is a woman-run, mission-driven seaweed farming company. We are dedicated to making a powerful and positive impact on the health of our customers, our coastal communities, and our planet by creating delicious products made from regeneratively farmed sea greens.

Atlantic Sea Farms

We want to help the world eat more fruit. To do that, we impeccably maintain our barrens of antioxidant-rich Wild Blueberries and partner with like-minded farmers from all over, allowing us to pair our harvests with the most flavorful and nutritious fruits on the planet.

Wyman's of Maine

At Springworks, we’re on a mission to grow certified organic lettuce people feel good about in every way – how it’s grown, where it’s grown and how it tastes. Simply put, we grow better lettuce in a safer, cleaner and more responsible way.

Springwork Farms

Submit your story!

Do you work in Maine's food economy? Share your story with us to help others discover the opportunities available to them!

Submit your story

about this effort

Maine's food industry is a vital and dynamic sector within the state's economy. Known for its natural beauty and quality of life, Maine offers an attractive package for those seeking a fulfilling career and a vibrant lifestyle. The state's abundant natural resources, diverse agricultural landscapes, and rich culinary heritage contribute to a thriving food economy that provides ample opportunities for growth and satisfaction.

Maine’s location near major cities and its abundant natural resources position the state for significant growth. The demand for locally sourced, organic, and artisanal food products is on the rise, creating opportunities for farmers, food producers, chefs, and entrepreneurs to contribute to this expanding sector.

FocusMaine and Live + Work in Maine aim to showcase the abundant opportunities available in Maine's food economy. Our goal is to shed light on the diverse career paths within this sector and the fulfillment they offer. By sharing the success stories of individuals who have chosen to build their careers in Maine's food industry, we aim to inspire others to consider this exciting pathway.

Building upon FocusMaine's ecosystem of partnerships and programs, this collaboration contributes to a stronger Maine food economy. FocusMaine’s approach encompasses more than just workforce development and attraction—it includes robust initiatives in business and market development, attracting new businesses, and breaking down sector-specific barriers.