ELLSWORTH — Trade wars can make for strange bedfellows, but few pairings would seem stranger than Maine’s lobster industry and Food Export USA-Northeast, a nonprofit group that works with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and nine other state agriculture departments throughout the Northeast to promote the export of “food and agricultural products” from the region.
Strange or not, earlier this month the organization announced that it had received $20 million in funding from the federal Agricultural Trade Promotion Program and that it planned to use “a significant portion” of those funds to help boost exports by New England seafood suppliers. No surprise, the effort, and funding, will be spread “over the next few years.”
According to Tim Hamilton, Food Export USA-Northeast’s executive director, over the next few years the organization will have a “special focus” on opening new overseas markets for the U.S. lobster industry — primarily based in Maine.
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