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Applicants Sought for National Seafood Marketing Training Program

Trawler fishing boat working in open waters

By Press Release

ORONO, Maine – Small and mid-size seafood businesses across North America are invited to apply for the inaugural cohort of Scale Your Local Catch (SYLC), a no-cost, five-month virtual business accelerator program designed to train seafood producers on marketing their catch directly to consumers, scaling their business, and building greater resiliency within local and regional food systems. 
According to a release from The Local Catch Network, applications are open online through Nov. 5 for the program beginning in early December and concluding in April 2022.
SYLC is produced by The Local Catch Network, based at the University of Maine, and is offered at no cost through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s AMS Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). SYLC was developed in partnership with Ecotrust and alongside Orca Design GroupOasis ConsultingFarm Commons, Winona Dorris, of CFO Consulting Services, and Davis Wright Tremaine, with the goal of strengthening local and regional seafood systems by addressing challenges associated with direct marketing and by building the knowledge, skills, and networks needed for direct marketing seafood businesses to scale up their operations and increase their capacity and viability for long-term resilience.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to engage with and facilitate connections between innovative small-scale and community-based seafood producers to strengthen local and regional seafood systems,” stated Jordan Richardson, coordinator, Local Catch Network.
“We’ve successfully built a training program for farmers, ranchers, and fishers in the Northwest to expand their ability to feed the region. I’m excited to work with the Local Catch Network and our partners to expand the model and reach communities across the country,” stated Tyson Rasor, Fisheries and Food Systems program manager, Ecotrust.
Program topics include business structure, taxation, accounting, credit/finance, market development, and additional topics. Participants will receive customized business support from service providers and consultants who understand the unique needs of fishers and seafood harvesters who want to build financial viability, strengthen their business structure, and grow with integrity.
Applicants should meet all selection criteria. Preference may be given to applicants who:

  • Are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, or identify as a person of color
  • Are women
  • Are located in a remote/rural community with a population(s) of less than 25,000
  • Produce a value-added product from a raw commodity they are fishing, raising or harvesting

Interested applicants can register here to attend an information session Oct. 15, from 1-2 p.m. 
For full program information and to apply, visit https://localcatch.org/scale-your-local-catch/ or contact Jordan Richardson (Jordan.Richardson@maine.edu) and Tyson Richardson (trasor@ecotrust.org) with any questions.

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