Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets
The purpose of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets (MFFM) is to cultivate a vibrant and sustainable farmers’ market community, to provide a forum and repository for the exchange of ideas, and resources and to be an effective liaison and voice for the promotion, education and advocacy of Maine Farmers’ Markets.
In its first phase of existence (1991-1997) the exclusively volunteer-driven MFFM provided several key services for Federation members. These included a quarterly newsletter focusing on technical assistance to market vendors, coordination of a cooperative bulk purchasing order, and a mentoring program that paired new vendors with experienced vendors, and setting up a booth at the Ag Trades Show in Augusta. The MFFM also served as a valuable resource for the Maine Department of Agriculture—maintaining the statewide list of farmers’ markets for seven years—and engaged in activities to encourage Maine communities to patronize farmers’ markets and establish new markets.
Looking to the future, the goal of the MFFM will be to continue to serve the needs of Maine farmers’ markets, define and focus it’s mission, strengthen existing partnerships, forge working relationships with allied organizations, and create a strong organizational foundation on which to meet the needs of Maine’s farmers’ markets, their members, and their shoppers.
Currently, MFFM deliberately does not have a formal membership structure for markets, their members or individual supporters. Though the ultimate sustainability of the organization relies on market and member support, MFFM recognizes that there is a great disparity in some markets’ and individual’s budgets and most times, it is those markets with less funds that need more help and access to resources. If you are a market, member or individual interested in contributing to the Federation, please send check to: Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, PO Box 18, Freedom, ME 04941. Those markets which have invested in the Federation have typically used $5-$20/member (depending on market’s size and budget) as a rubric to determine annual investment.
MFFM considers any market “a member” that engages, interacts and self-defines as a member of the Federation. MFFM seeks to be inclusive of all markets and members, and believes that each market is unique and best governed democratically amongst its membership. Furthermore, MFFM has found it easiest to effectively engage with markets that have a clear, documented and fair way of making decisions.
If you are a market, member organization or individual who is interested in learning more about the Federation, please get in touch.