BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- The "buy local" campaign continues to spread across the state and with warmer weather approaching many are looking forward to farmer's markets. Buying clubs, however, are popping up in communities. The clubs allow neighbors to purchase food from local farmers in bulk and at an affordable price. Sunday buying group coordinators met in Bangor to discuss how to spread the word and get more people to help support the local economy.
Tricia Cook with the Western Mountains Alliance said, "It's a way to promote the local economy and grow an economy that's right here. It exists here, it's a resource it should be used."
According to coordinators, the interest in buying local and buying clubs is there but it is a struggle to get people to place the orders.
Pittsfield buying group coordinator Holly Zadra said, "People will be very interested and they expect interest, but the actual follow through for actually buying the food and making it a legitimate working co-operative, it's back and forth."
Zadra said although the group has 40 members only 7 place orders. The group discussed different strategies and methods each has used to be successful.
The goal is to network across the state and create a more sustainable system.
One of the organizers, Sarah Miller, with Crown of Maine Cooperative Extension knows its not easy, "Starting a buying club it's often a lot of work and a lot of energy and often times happens without pay."
There are nearly 100 buying clubs across the state and this group hopes that number continues to rise.
Miller said, "It's putting our local dollars back into circulation within our own communities and within the greater state. It becomes a win-win situation."
The group plans to make these meetings a regular event to discuss the struggles facing different cooperatives.