Local Line, an e-commerce platform that connects regional farmers and sellers across North America, has purchased Portland, Maine-based Forager, which works with farmers to get their products into local grocery stores.
Forager said that since its founding in 2014 by entrepreneur David Stone, the company has connected hundreds of producers and sellers in its home state, but the new relationship with Local Line will expand the company’s reach to the rest of North America.
Overall, Forager said it has procured more than $20 million in food on the platform and moves roughly $3.5 million of food through Maine annually. The company reported that the partnership with Local Line will widen its customer base and provide access to Local Line’s suite of innovative tools. Forager's headquarters will remain in Maine.
"Maine should be a national leader in food systems,” Stone said in a statement. “Food is the largest economic segment in the state, and this partnership will continue to accelerate this amazing culture and economy of food innovation. Forager, and now Local Line, are connecting the dots."
Forager CEO Cole Jones said the acquisition will help “enhance its offerings to farmers.”
"This partnership strengthens our suite of tools for farmers, with Forager's grocer-facing platform complementing our existing solutions,” Stone stated. “Together, we can empower more farmers and revolutionize the way local food systems operate."
Forager’s goal is to lower the carbon footprint of getting fresh foods to shoppers. Stone’s work earned him a 2020 Champions of Change award from the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association.