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One Year After Becoming Law, Food Sovereignty in Maine Has Taken Hold

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. And according to those behind the movement, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

The legislation, which was 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.

Common sense policy

“We are so much farther along than where I could have imagined we would be,” Heather Retberg, food sovereignty advocate, said.

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