Author Archives: Cheryl Rau

Maine Beer Box heads overseas again, while brewers grapple with growth

The Maine Beer Box is due to ship out tomorrow from Portland, bound for the Seaport Cider and Beer Fest in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The box — a custom-built, 40-foot-long, refrigerated shipping container with 78 beer taps and a self-contained draft system — is making its third international voyage. The box traveled to Leeds, England, last fall and first went abroad in 2017, to Reykjavik, Iceland.

The trips are intended to introduce Maine craft beer to overseas export markets, and the effort is paying off, says the box’s owner, the Maine Brewers’ Guild.

Read full article on Mainebiz

Paper mills honored for revitalization work

A Chinese paper company helping two old mills in Maine become more environmentally friendly, sustainable and successful was recognized by the Maine International Trade Center as the winner of the 2019 Foreign Direct Investor of the Year award.

“We’re really humbled to receive this award, and I believe this award is a reflection of a tremendous hard work of our colleagues who’ve been working very hard to make sure our mills are successful for the long term,” Ken Liu, CEO of ND Paper, told China Daily after he accepted the award May 24.

The Illinois-based company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper Holdings – the largest containerboard producer in China. It currently operates three pulp and paper mills in the US and plans to open a fourth this summer in Maine.

Read full article on China Daily

Maine teams up with Finland to focus on renewable biological resources

Maine is teaming up with the country of Finland to focus on using renewable biological resources, after an agreement was struck at International Trade Day in Portland.

This year, the event was dedicated to Maine’s future in the global economy and how the state can move from a fossil fuel to a bio-fuel based economy, using resources like fish and forests.

Watch on Fox23

Top Finnish official: Maine’s forests are huge asset in emerging biobased economy

Maine needs to tap the potential of its forests for new frontiers in business and innovation, a top government official from forest-rich Finland told hundreds gathered at the Maine International Trade Center’s Trade Day 2019 event in Portland on Friday.

“The market is huge,” said Jaana Husu-Kallio, permanent secretary of Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

She was speaking specifically about market opportunities for value-added, sustainable forest industry products, which her own country has begun to seize on, guided by a national strategy that’s regularly updated. Citing examples, Husu-Kallio said that men’s underwear in Finland is already made from wood fiber, and that her dream is to one day have all her clothes made of Finnish wood fiber.

The ‘bones’ of Maine’s bioeconomy on display

Leaders from across the state and around the world were in Maine’s largest city for International Trade Day.

We’ve heard a lot recently about new uses for resources we have in abundance, like wood waste for jet fuel or seaweed for biofuel. The future of Maine’s bioeconomy was front and center Friday at the trade show in Portland, now in its 39th year.

Among the hundreds who were there; Governor Janet Mills and Finland’s Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Jaana Husu-Kallio.

While there’s a lot Maine can learn from Finland and other Nordic countries that have become global leaders in the bioeconomy, Husu-Kallio says there’s a unique connection between Finland and Maine.

Watch on News Center Maine

Finland’s ‘bioeconomy’ could provide roadmap for Maine

When Jaana Husu-Kallio talks about her country, it is easy to forget she doesn’t live in Maine.

She has a deep respect for forests and the many industries they support. The same goes for coastal fisheries, local agriculture and thousands of fresh water lakes that dot the country. Even recounting tales of moose hunting along logging roads sounds familiar.

As the Permanent Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland, Husu-Kallio isn’t devoted to Maine. But she does think her country’s campaign to develop a “bioeconomy” anchored in forest products, foods and renewable energy holds lessons for the state.

“The challenges are the same, in the same way,” she said in an interview.

Husu-Kallio is visiting Maine for her first time this week to meet with economic development, trade and industry officials. She will give the keynote address at the annual Trade Day Friday in Portland put on by the Maine International Trade Center.

The focus of this year’s conference is Maine’s place in the global bioeconomy based on renewable resources for traditional and advanced products – everything from aquaculture to microorganisms to biobased materials and fuel.

Read full article on Portland Press Herald

Trade Day 2019: How can Maine leverage economic growth from forest and marine resources?

Maine International Trade Center is hosting the 39th annual Trade Day on Friday, an event that will feature talks and presentations by leaders in the rapidly growing global “bioeconomy” that’s tapping renewable biological resources from land and sea to produce energy, food and value-added materials.

The keynote address will be delivered by Jaana Husu-Kallio, permanent secretary of Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Husu-Kallio oversaw the transformation of Finland’s forest industry into a dynamic cluster of more than 50 pulp and paper mills with over 200 other production sites. The country’s bioeconomy sector employs more than 300,000 people and produces advanced biofuels, biodegradable packaging, chemicals, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, along with paper.

One lesson from Finland: Moving from a fossil fuel-based economy to a biobased one can help slow the negative impacts of climate change and create new economic activity.

Read full article on Mainebiz

Bio-Based Economy: Using Renewable Resources from Maine’s Sea and Forests

As industries try to move away from petroleum-based products, the bio economy will play a huge role in the transition. The bio economy is described as the use of renewable biological resources to produce food, energy and industrial goods. It involves climate change, renewable resources and issues of sustainability. Marine or forest resources—such as seaweed or wood—can be used to create energy as well as value-added products or food. Our panel will discuss what Maine is doing to promote the bio economy.

Listen on Maine Calling

Impact of new Chinese tariffs still being tallied for Maine

Wade Merritt, president of the Maine International Trade Center, says Maine businesses were so surprised Monday by tariffs announced by China that they are still figuring out the repercussions.

“The consensus seemed to have been that we were expecting a deal to resolve the (trade) issues that had arisen last year. The deal was imminent until it wasn’t,” Merritt said Tuesday. “To be totally honest, we’re still trying to get our heads wrapped around what it means.”

Maine exported $204 million in goods to China last year, according to the U.S. Census, making the country the state’s second-largest trade partner. China, however, is well behind Canada, to which Maine exported $1.4 billion in goods in 2018.

Read full article in Sun Journal

Maine lobster exports plunge 84% since 2018 tariffs

It’s been 11 months since the first round of Chinese tariffs were announced and the Maine International Trade Center now released tangible numbers on the impact.

President Wade Merritt says through the first quarter of the year Maine’s exports to China were down 51% and that’s not including Monday’s announcement by China, retaliating with even more tariffs on 60 billion dollars worth of U.S. goods.

Watch on News Center Maine