The Alliance has long supported local food activists in Maine through the “Local Food RULES!” campaign, which works at the city or town level to pass Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinances (LFCSGOs). You can read the basic ordinance text here and here. These ordinances protect the rights of farmers and small producers to sell directly to their neighbors, preserving traditional foodways and expanding the availability of local food.
After passing 20 town-level ordinances in Maine, the campaign won an even more important victory—passage of a state-level bill guaranteeing that Maine will not interfere with town- or city-level food safety regulation. This bill, LD725, An Act To Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, was signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage this month and will take effect at the end of the current legislative session.
Organizers thanked the Alliance for Democracy for the local food issue of Justice Rising, calling it “our most helpful organizing tool.” Read it online here, or contact the office to see about ordering printed copies. They also praised the bill’s legislative champions, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and the countless people who passed LFCSGOs locally and wrote their legislators in its support: “Grassroots democracy at its best!"
You can read more about the bill on our blog, and in this article in the Bangor Daily News.