M3 COOPERATIVE

M3 COOPERATIVE

The mid-Atlantic region faces unique challenges in food security as food production—particularly livestock production—declines while the population continues to grow. The pandemic heightened awareness of the importance of a decentralized food system and increased demand for local food. But despite growing consumer interest in conservation-based agriculture, small-scale farmers have difficulty scaling up to satisfy demand. The M3 Cooperative (Mid-Atlantic, Meat, Milk) is a grant-based project working to connect regional producers to larger consumer markets through product aggregation, shared processing, marketing, and distribution, as well as shared governance and educational/technical support. In order to secure the larger grant amount from the USDA, M3 had to front a portion of the capital. FoodCap stepped in to provide this bridge funding to help kick off the project.