By Carol McCracken (Post # 730)
The town of Sedgwick made food news late last week when it decided to exempt direct farm sales from state and federal licensing and inspection. Residents of this small, coastal town on the Blue Hill Peninsula voted unanimously to adopt the Local Food and Self-Governance Ordianance. This vote sets a precedent for other towns looking to preserve small-scale farming and food processing.
“This ordinance creates 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,” said local farmer Bob St. Peter. “My family is already working on some ideas we can do from home to help pay the bills and get our farm going.” St. Peter serves on the board of the National Family Farm Coalition based in Washington, D.C. sees this as a model ordinance for economic development in rural areas.
The press release from “Sustainable Food News” continued that “small farmers and producers have been getting squeezed out in the name of food safety, yet it’s the industrial food that is causing food borne illness, not us. And every food dollar that leaves our community is one more dollar we don’t have to pay for our rural schools or to provide decent care for our elders,” added St. Peter. “We need the money more than corporate agribusiness.”
Three other towns in Western Hancock County will be voting on the ordinance in the coming weeks; they are Penebscot, Brooksville and Blue Hill.
This information was provided courtesy of “Sustainable Food News” which is published by Hill resident Dan McGovern. It’s a daily, on-line newsletter to the organic food industry. For more details on it, please call Dan at: 207 749-5249.