Monday, December 3, 2018

40 Maine towns have declared food sovereignty

One year after becoming law, food sovereignty in Maine has taken hold — Homestead — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine - Julia Beilly:

November 27, 2018 - "Since becoming law a year ago, the number of Maine towns and small communities with a food sovereignty ordinance has grown to more than 40.... The legislation, ... signed into law last October, allows municipalities to regulate local food systems, including production, processing, consumption and direct producer-to-consumer exchanges. This type of commerce had been regulated at the state and federal level, which continues to regulate meat and poultry production and sales.

"No official data are being collected on the towns adopting the ordinance, but last week Augusta became the latest municipality in the state to pass an ordinance based on the sovereignty law, joining the dozens of municipalities including Auburn, Machias, Blue Hill, Rockland, Chapman and York.

"Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, ... along with Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, co-sponsored the food sovereignty legislation signed into law....

"In Greenwood, population 800, the ordinance is acting as a sort of small business incubator, according to Suzanne Dunham of Dunham Farms and Velvet Hollow Sugar Works in Greenwood. She and her husband Brian also manage the Greenwood Farmers Market.... Before passage of the food sovereignty ordinance made the licensing moot, the Dunhams were fully licensed by the state [but] 'others in our community didn’t have the economic means to go through licensing,' she said.  Now, thanks to the ordinance the town passed last June, that obstacle has been removed.

"'Greenwood’s food sovereignty ordinance allows me to make pies and other baked goods in my home kitchen and sell them directly to customers without having to be licensed by the state,' Greenwood resident Amy Chapman, who runs Amy’s Bakehouse out of her home, said. 'Since I have several other part-time jobs and baking is only a small part of what I do, it would not be worth my time, money and energy to do it for a weekly farmers market if I had to go through the state’s process to become a licensed producer'....

"That is exactly what Jackson envisioned for the law. 'A lot of people can’t take the chance on doing something they wanted to do because they found it too onerous or costly to become licensed under state or federal regulations,' Jackson said. “I think people who have a product will now take more of a chance and actually do something to create a small business'....

"Neighbors selling to neighbors has been going on for generations in Maine, but for all that time growers and producers not licensed by the state were forced to conduct business out of the public eye and only with trusted, known customers."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment