Monday, December 03, 2012

Harvard Releases New Resource on State Food Policy


The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic recently announced the release of Good Laws, Good Food: Putting State Food Policy to Work for Our Communities

This is the second "toolkit" prepared by the clinic; each has been designed to assist communities in improving their food and agriculture systems.  The first, Good Laws Good Food: Putting Local Food Policy for Work for Our Communities focused on local initiatives, with the new effort focused at the state level.

The primary authors of the toolkit are Emily Broad Leib, Director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy
Clinic, and Alli Condra, Clinical Fellow in the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic in partnership with Mark Winne, noted community food activist, writer, trainer and the principal of Mark Winne Associates. Winne is recognized for his longstanding work with food policy councils and other community food projects.

From the press release announcing the new toolkit:
The laws and policies that shape our nation’s food system affect all of the processes that bring us food from farm to fork and are created at various levels of government. Although the federal government sets many of the food and agricultural laws and policies that impact our food system, state and local governments also have significant roles to play. This state level toolkit focuses on the ways that states can change their policies to improve their food and agriculture systems. . . .
Good Laws, Good Food: Putting State Food Policy to Work for Our Communities focuses on eight areas of law and policy that are likely the most relevant to state food policy councils, including “Food System Infrastructure,” “Farm to Institution,” and “Food Safety & Processing.” Each section provides general background in addition to examples of states doing innovative work in that area. A couple of the state food policy solutions highlighted in the toolkit are Vermont’s financing of a mobile slaughter unit for small-scale poultry processing and Alaska’s procurement law that requires state agencies to purchase agricultural products from in-state producers as long as the in-state product costs no more than 7% more than similar out-of-state products. We hope this toolkit inspires and guides state food policy councils so that we can add even more innovative policies in our next edition of the toolkit.

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