“There’s no doubt that local food and local farms are an important part of our economy and our communities. That’s why I am doing my part in the Maine Senate to support local agriculture.” - Senator Jim Dill
There are a lot of exciting bills being introduced into the legislature in our home state of Maine in order to support the local food movement in a variety of ways. Here in Maine, local food and farms are central to the economy and state culture and it’s great to see how this movement is backed in the state legislature.
There are several important bills being proposed and here are a few that we’re watching:
LD 351, “An Act To Ensure Accuracy in the Labeling of Maine Meat and Poultry,” was introduced by Rep. Bill Pluecker of Warren and clarifies that meat labeled as “Maine-raised” must be born and raised in Maine. This bill will help Maine-based meat producers differentiate their product and provide transparency to consumers.
Rep. Pluecker also introduced LD 920, “An Act To Establish the Fund To Support Local Fruits and Vegetables Purchasing,” which is a bill that provides incentives for Mainers on public assistance to purchase healthy, local foods.
LD 497, which has already been signed into law by Gov. Mills, is called “An Act Regarding the Providing of Human Food Waste to Swine Producers.” This bill was introduced by Sen. Stacey Guerin of Glenburn, and makes it easier for individuals and organizations to donate their food waste to pig farms. This is a great idea that helps to reduce food waste and supports local farms.