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Food Sovereignty In Maine

Sedgwick's food sovereignty ordinance makes a stand for local food.

Stephen Fortune
Stephen Fortune on March 11, 2011.

We’ve recently entertained heady notions of how best to tackle what some feel to be the needless and intrusive presence of governmental regulation, but this instance of a pragmatic, bottom up, approach is just as merit worthy.

Sedgwick in Maine has become the first town to pass a food sovereignty law. The food sovereignty law stems from the efforts of a:

a group of farmers and consumers intent on pushing back against overly aggressive state food regulators.

The ordinance cites America’s Declaration of Independence and Maine constitution to propose:

that Sedgwick citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” These would include raw milk and other dairy products and locally slaughtered meats, among other items.

The ramifications of this ordinance are interesting, with room afforded for buyer and seller to agree to omit lawyers from the transactional equation. Furthermore, by enshrining the above rights it effectively incorporates a legal declaration against oppressive state licensing requirements. It is hoped that the ordinance will create:

favorable conditions for beginning farmers and cottage-scale food processors to try out new products, and to make the most of each season’s bounty

Town of Sedgwick

The Complete Patient: “Here’s a Way to Eliminate the Regulators and Lawyers, and Build Community At the Same Time: Organize and Declare “Food Sovereignty”

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