Maine Grains President to Head to Iceland to Seek New Business for the State's Artisan Grain Industry

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2014

Contact:
Nancy Marshall, Nancy Marshall Communications
207-623-4177 or nmarshall@marshallpr.com

SKOWHEGAN, Maine - Amber Lambke, president of Maine Grains and a driving force behind the state's sustainable food movement, will be heading to Reykjavik, Iceland June 8 as part of a trade mission organized by the Maine International Trade Center to explore new business opportunities in the country. Lambke is taking part in the mission to explore new wholesale markets in Iceland for Maine Grains stone-ground flours and oats.

Amber Lambke, proprietor of Maine Grains
Maine Grains President Amber Lambke

She explained, "Iceland augments its locally-sourced foods like lamb, dairy, fish, and greenhouse vegetables with imported food products, including grain. With the Eimskip shipping company having recently created a direct link between Maine and Iceland, we have a unique opportunity to trade high-quality Maine-grown and processed goods, like grain, with our Icelandic neighbors."

Eimskip, Iceland's largest cargo shipping line, moved its U.S. port of call to Portland in 2013 with the goal of making Maine a hub for trade in the North Atlantic region. According to the International Trade Center, Maine is now shipping more diverse products in and out of the state to North Atlantic markets than ever before.

Tate McPherson, owner of Maine Seed Co. in Mapleton, Maine Grain's biggest grain supplier, will also be part of the trade mission. He will be pursuing new markets for feed and seed grain. He said, "I think any time we can open doors, we owe it to our growers and ourselves to explore each potential market to its fullest. Our support of this endeavor shows how we are working in Maine from the farm level through the processing phase to ensure Maine products shine on the global stage."

Governor Paul LePage, representatives from the newly-formed Maine North Atlantic Development Office (MENADO) at Maine International Trade Center, representatives from the U.S. Commercial Service, and more than 24 Maine business representatives will also be taking part in the trade mission, which will continue on to London and Cambridge, England after two full days in Iceland.

Janine Bisaillon-Cary, president and state director of International Trade at the Maine International Trade Center, said, "We will have agricultural products, seafood and pulp/paper suppliers on the upcoming mission. There is strong interest from Iceland and the U.K. in many of Maine's natural resource products."

Lambke adds that Iceland is a special place for her, personally. She was born in Iceland while her father was stationed there in the military.

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Maine Grains President Amber Lambke

About Maine Grains
Since 2012, Maine Grains (www.mainegrains.com) has worked with local farmers to process all-natural and certified organic whole grains and oats at Skowhegan's historic Somerset Grist Mill using a traditional stone milling process. Maine Grains products are carried at natural food stores, groceries and bakeries in the northeast region of the U.S. Gotham Bar and Grill and Gramercy Tavern in New York City; Blue Hill Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York; The Standard Baking Co. of Portland, and Scratch Baking Co. of South Portland are some of the award-winning establishments that use Maine Grains products.

About Amber Lambke
Amber Lambke has played an instrumental role in bringing about a revival of the grain industry and local farming in Skowhegan. Through collaboration with local business and community leaders, Lambke transformed Skowhegan's old county jail into a vibrant community gathering place. Now the milling facility for Maine Grains, it also hosts a year-round farmers' market, three start-up businesses, a multi-farm Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA), a knit shop, a youth-run technology center, and a local foods café.

In addition to serving as president of the Somerset Grist Mill, LLC and its Maine Grains label, Lambke is the executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance and co-founder of the alliance's Kneading Conference, which attracts attendees from across the country. She is also active with Main Street Skowhegan, is a Skowhegan Farmers' Market board member, chairs the Western Mountains Committee of the Maine Community Foundation, and is advisor to the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences.