Typically, independents do not have the same access to marketing resources, category management, and supply chain experience as chain store operations. Independents miss out on the resources that could be invested in programs targeting local needs and market conditions that would fuel increased sales and growth.
The cooperative’s value-based approach to the supply chain builds on existing relationships to meet the market and business needs of independent retailers and is a win/win for all parties.
“In 2011, CEI began a specialty lending program called the Healthy Food Finance Initiative, supporting Maine’s independent grocers and making connections to Maine’s food producers. Mark Sprackland and the IRSSC quickly became key go-to resources. Mark brings significant sector expertise to the table to strengthen these critical community assets. CEI is proud to support the cooperative and the work it does to sustain vibrant, robust grocers across the region.”
–Daniel Wallace, Program Developer, Sustainable Agriculture, CEI