The No Regrets Initiative

The No Regrets Initiative is the creation of funder Sally Calhoun with Esther Park and Nikki Sylvester as support staff and is focused on healthy soil as a key factor in the regenerative agriculture movement. Based at Sally’s ranch in California, this initiative has been educating landowners and investors throughout the country to take courageous and essential actions that integrate approaches to land, money, and community health and well being.

Read on for more details…

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Win a chance to kickstart your own food business! Fork Food Lab (Pilotworks Portland) and partners are working together to offer scholarships to three food businesses this Spring (9 total in 3 years) that incorporate local produce into their operation.


Scholarship recipients will receive a five month Basic Membership to Fork Food Lab. This includes:

Full use of commercial kitchen space
Storage space
Mentorship program
Networking opportunities
Participation in markets and events

Food businesses that are looking to use local produce as a significant ingredient are welcome to apply.

A USDA grant effort to make surplus available will support startup costs with good price points for local ingredients.

Hannah Semler

Online Farmers Market –
Local Food Promotion USDA Grant –
Food Rescue World Wildlife Grant –

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Press Release: The Power of Messaging Domestic Fair Trade

For Immediate Release
May 11, 2018

Erika A. Inwald, (347) 589-3398

RELEASE: The Power of Messaging Domestic Fair Trade
Announcing the release of newly compiled research, “A Report on Market and Supply Chain Research on Domestic Fair Trade,” in time for World Fair Trade Day

Brooklyn, NY–On May 11, 2018, the Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA), in partnership with the Center for Fair and Alternative Trade at Colorado State University, is releasing the first-ever comprehensive report on consumer market patterns and awareness of domestic fair trade messaging.

This exciting report highlights a strong potential market opportunity for domestic fair trade. Information about consumer preferences from this newly compiled research brings valuable insight for farmworkers, farmers, food co-ops, and NGOs committed to ecological sustainability and social justice.

“Our research allows current and future DFTA members to see the marketing potential of Domestic Fair Trade, and how important it is for businesses and organizations to make the public commitment to ethical values in our food system,” says Erika A. Inwald, the National Coordinator for the Domestic Fair Trade Association.

Part one of this report presents reviews of ten key academic articles. Next, this research offers an analysis of media coverage illustrated with tables. Part three is a summary of consumer and market research on domestic fair trade.

“We often think of fair trade as addressing inequalities in international food systems and forget that US food production faces many of the same challenges,” said Laura T. Raynolds, Director of the Center for Fair & Alternative Trade. “This research highlights opportunities for strengthening domestic fair trade, a mission the DFTA and its members are helping advance.”

The term “local” is reported to be a widely effective marketing phrase and there is evidence that domestic fair trade advocates can utilize this angle to uplift fairness for farmworkers and small/mid-size farmers. “Products that offer human benefits, such as good working conditions, may be able to obtain a greater price premium and have a wider appeal than those focusing just on animal or environmental benefits,” (Tully and Winer, 2014).

This report also illustrates the importance of food cooperatives in expanding the movement for increased fairness and environmental sustainability in domestic agricultural supply chains. One survey included in the report concludes that 80 percent of co-op shoppers from 9 different states say they are interested in learning more about or becoming involved in Domestic Fair Trade.

Release of this report is in celebration of World Fair Trade Day, an inclusive worldwide festival of events hosted by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) that celebrates Fair Trade’s contribution to sustainable development, economic empowerment of small producers, gender equality in workplaces, and responsible production practices.
The Domestic Fair Trade Association is a non-profit membership-based organization with 35 members spanning five stakeholder groups along the food chain—farmers, farmworkers, retailers, intermediaries (manufacturers, processors, and distributors), and NGOs. The mission of the DFTA is to promote, educate, and advocate for an agricultural production system that meets the sixteen domestic fair trade principles identified by diverse stakeholders throughout the agricultural supply chain.

The Center for Fair and Alternative Trade at Colorado State University is an internationally recognized research facility dedicated to the rapidly growing field of market-based social change and environmental protection. Through a variety of research and outreach activities, CFAT produces in-depth analyses of current initiatives, future opportunities, and on-going dilemmas to better understand the potential and limits of fair and alternative trade, product certification schemes, and other aspects of the emerging conscious consumer movement.

Erika A. Inwald
National Coordinator
Domestic Fair Trade Association

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Upcoming events from ‘New Entry’

Join New Entry, Mass. Dept. of Transitional Assistance, Mass Dept. of Agricultural Resources, and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to learn about accepting SNAP benefits, WIC coupons, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons at your stand or mobile market. Registration will be open all day for your on-the-spot USDA SNAP vendor license. These services are available for farmers in both MA and RI.
This event is for: Farmers and food vendors looking to increase their sales while helping those who need it the most!
Location: Round the Bend Farm | 92 Allen Neck Road | Dartmouth, MA 02748
Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Cost: FREE (Registration required)

See full schedule of events and registration links, here.

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Maine Grocers and Food Producers Meet and Greet

Thursday, May 24th
from 5 PM – 7 PM
Portland, ME

Please join the Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association at Bow Street Beverage’s Tasting Room for our Spring Meet & Greet. We’ll be chatting Maine food, best practices, making new contacts and snacking on savory samples.

The event is FREE to attend; RSVP’s are appreciated. We’re encouraging guests to please bring samples and food products for everyone to try & enjoy. Help us make this truly a Maine food products meet & greet! Wine tasting samples in partnership with Pine State Beverage.

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Startup Maine Kick-off Party – Open House at Red Thread May 31

Startup Maine Kick-off Party – Open House at Red Thread
Come meet the people, companies, and sponsors that make Startup Maine happen, and learn what’s happening at the conference this year!

Date: Thursday, May 31st
Time: Come anytime between 4:30-7:00 pm
Location: Red Thread, 1 City Center, Portland, Maine (next to MJ’s)

We’ll be providing beer and El Rayo!

Open house registration is free, but we ask that you RSVP via Eventbrite so we can make sure there’s enough beer and food for all.

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This event is for: Organizations and programs providing training to beginning farmers through hands on experiential training.
Location: Online
Date: Friday, May 11th, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Cost: FREE (Registration required)

See details and register here.

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The Good Shepard Food Bank invites you to a Ground Breaking Ceremony!

Groundbreaking Ceremony & Campaign Announcement
May 23, 2018 – 10:00 a.m.
Good Shepherd Food Bank
11 Penobscot Meadow Dr., Hampden, ME
Register Here!

Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine’s largest hunger relief organization, is renovating the former Bangor Daily News facility in Hampden. The building will be transformed into a food storage and distribution center for locally sourced produce, dairy, and seafood, as well as other nourishing donated and purchased products. Once complete, the distribution center will benefit 74,000 food-insecure Mainers in central, northern and eastern Maine—where food insecurity and its associated health risks are highest—and will allow the Food Bank to distribute up to 10 million more meals annually.

Join us to hear more about Good Shepherd Food Bank’s construction and campaign plans, and to learn how you can help end hunger in Maine.
Please contact Jody Emerald: (207) 782-3554 ext. 1185 with any questions.

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NMDC/FSA Workshop #5 “The Best and Final of NMDC’s FSA Workshops”

NMDC has assembled the best segments of its previous NMDC/FSA Producer Sessions held throughout Aroostook County and have developed what is certain to be an outstanding opportunity for producers to acquire and refine the skills needed to ensure business success.

They will present “quick hits” on business skills essential to running a business successfully, securing funding utilizing FSA’s many loan programs as well as private loans through banks and other institutions.

As a bonus, participants who desire more detailed, hands-on follow-up, a capable staff will on hand to arrange for appointments at mutually convenient times.

For more information, contact Alain Ouellette at 551-5837, or by email at

Register here!!

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Slow Money Maine ‘On the Road’ – Central Maine Meeting notes

Our SMM team is delighted that we’ve chosen to go “on the road”, especially after the energizing mood of our first-ever Central Maine gathering on May 2nd. Thanks to KVCC for generously hosting us at the farm center (shown above) and to all producers who shared the fabulous donations of food, including breakfast treats from Maine Grains, Spruce Mill Farm and Kitchen, and The Milkhouse, as well as lunch contributions from Maine Grain Alliance, Heiwa Tofu, KVCC’s farm, Wild Folk Farm, and others. We were well nourished by food and summery sunshine, as well as by presenter interviews with Amber Lambke/Maine Grains, Ben Rooney/Wild Folk Farm, Kevin Leavitt/Farmer Kev’s Orgnics (via Facetime), and Marada Cook/Crown o’ Maine, led by Linzee Weld, a SMM Steering Committee member who’s been actively engaged in several Central Maine businesses.

The energizing “buzz” of networking time provided opportunities to make familiar and new personal connections, and the focus groups held engaging conversations about capacity building and market opportunities/challenges. A fabulous lunch capped the morning, with many participants enjoying sunshine at outdoor picnic tables. Afternoon tours followed lunch, including visits to Maine Crisp, Wild Folk Farm, KVCC, and Maine Grains.

Thanks to everyone for pioneering with us in this new SMM program offering!!! Here’s a testimonial from Tristan Noyes of the Maine Grain Alliance .

“Thank you so much for putting on a terrific series of discussions yesterday! I’ve been very appreciative of my conversations and relationships that I’ve developed since becoming involved with Slow Money Maine.”

Our next regular gathering in Gardiner will be on Oct. 3rd and our “on the road” gathering will be in Machias on Oct. 10th. Stay tuned for pertinent announcements!

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