FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bingham, MAINE—July 10, 2015—On July 1, Bingham, Maine became the sixteenth town in that state to pass the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance (LFCSGO) when its citizens voted to adopt the LFCSGO at a special town meeting by a ballot vote of 59-8.
Under the food sovereignty ordinance, farmers and other local food producers can sell their products direct to consumers without licensing or inspection. Bingham is the fifth town to pass the LFCSGO since the beginning of the year and is the third Somerset County town to pass the ordinance in the last month, joining Moscow and Solon.
The Maine legislature came close to passing a bill (Legislative Document [LD] 925) that would have adopted the LFCSGO on a statewide basis but the measure was stopped on its last vote before reaching the governor’s desk when a joint appropriations committee voted against LD 925. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry had claimed the bill would cost it nearly $40,000 in licensing revenue over the next two fiscal years, requiring an appropriations committee vote.
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) provided funding for lobbying on LD 925 and for the grassroots efforts to pass the food sovereignty ordinance at the local level. Congratulations to FTCLDF member Heather Retberg, Bonnie Preston of the Maine advocacy nonprofit Local Food Rules, and Somerset County activist Susie Miller for their success.
Read Heather Retberg’s speech on the subject, Advancing Food Sovereignty in Maine.
YOUR FUND AT WORK
Services provided by FTCLDF go beyond providing legal representation for members in court cases.
Educational and Political Action Services also provide an avenue for FTCLDF to build grassroots activism to create the most favorable regulatory climate possible. In addition to advising on bill language, FTCLDF supports favorable legislation via action alerts, social media outreach, and the online petition service.
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