Good Shepherd Meals Financial institution able to launch new enterprise

Good Shepherd Meals Financial institution able to launch new enterprise

AUBURN — The biggest hunger-relief group in Maine is about to broaden its position and attain by making a for-profit enterprise to develop, course of, freeze and distribute native produce.

Broccoli grows in rows at Circle B Farms in Caribou. Submitted by Matt Chin

Good Shepherd Meals Financial institution is launching Harvesting Good, a completely owned subsidiary, for-profit public profit company this fall, however the idea has been within the works for a while. The corporate is fully Maine based mostly and can launch frozen broccoli florets as the primary of six merchandise in late 2022.

Harvesting Good will piggyback on the present infrastructure and capabilities of blueberry farmers and processors and make investments an estimated $2.5 million to buy and set up the tools wanted to course of frozen greens. The capital funding comes from a part of a $25 million present from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to the meals financial institution’s marketing campaign to finish starvation in Maine. Matt Chin, president of Harvesting Good, mentioned 100% of the earnings will profit meals banks within the Northeast.

Circle B Farms in Caribou is rising the broccoli. It’ll then be hydro cooled, then trucked 4 hours to WR Allen in Orland, the place it is going to be reduce into florets, blanched, then frozen. An hour away is the ultimate step within the course of, the place the broccoli shall be packed and saved by Jasper Wyman & Son in Cherryfield. From there, the frozen broccoli shall be bought to retailers and establishments throughout the Northeast and can finally make its manner into the Good Shepherd Meals Financial institution system for distribution all through Maine.

Chin instructed Meals Financial institution Information final yr that they’ve an bold outlook for a million kilos the primary yr, two million kilos within the second and as much as 5 million kilos by the third yr. He additionally mentioned they hope to announce and launch the second product in 2024. The long-term objective is to generate between $15 million to $20 million in gross sales yearly between the six frozen merchandise.

Greater than 10 years in the past, Good Shepherd Meals Financial institution created a community of farmers who develop crops for distribution via the meals financial institution system, known as Mainers Feeding Mainers.

“This system rapidly grew with the meals financial institution investing practically $1 million in additional than 80 Maine farms that grew 2.2 million kilos of meals simply final yr alone,” mentioned Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Meals Financial institution of Maine.

Miale additionally factors out that the brand new enterprise will create high quality year-round jobs along with the inherent advantages for farmers, the meals financial institution and its beneficiaries.

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