Two weeks ago the State of Maine offered up the first official challenge to the growing Food Sovereignty movement by filing suit against a local farmer for selling milk without a permit and jam and homemade pickles without a licensed kitchen.
You’ll remember that when a town declares “Food Sovereignty”, it’s giving its citizens the right “to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” This includes everything from raw milk to locally slaughtered meats. Since the town of Sedgwick, Maine declared Food Sovereignty last spring, dozens of towns across the country have followed suit, including Blue Hill, Maine. Thanks to a push by the FDA, the state of Maine has finally pushed back.
Farmer Dan Brown of Blue Hill, Maine has one pasture-raised dairy cow. One. This cow produces all the milk for his own family, and any extra milk they don’t consume gets sold to his customers. He is not running a dairy operation, but rather farms vegetables and other produce and offers it for sale at an on-farm farm stand. In other words, he is the exact type of farmer that the Food Sovereignty ordinances have in mind when they offer up protection for small-scale, cottage-industry producers to be allowed to bypass expensive, debilitating state and federal laws in order to provide their neighbors with quality, farm-fresh foods in face-to-face transactions.
Watch the brief local news coverage of the events of the past two weeks:
Here’s Dan Brown’s complete 5 minute speech made at the rally featured in the above local news coverage: