Local Food Rules
From the Diggers, who defiantly planted vegetables on enclosed common land, to farmers in the western US who built institutions like the Grange, the Farmers' Alliances, the People's Party and the Populist Movement, to present-day defenders of local food sovereignty and right-to-farm ordinances, farms and food have been cornerstones for building popular democracy.
Today a new food movement aims to regain democratic participation in our political system, promote the survival of small-scale farming, institute scale-appropriate rules around food production, build community and strengthen local economies.
Starting with courageous small farmers in Maine, whose survival is threatened by corporate-driven regulations, communities are passing Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinances (sample text here and here). Written to reflect each town's needs and values, these ordinances reject corporate use of the regulatory system as a mechanism to put small farmers out of business. Instead, they promote an alternative that depends upon the farmer/customer relationship. This creative approach to subverting corporate power has caught the attention of food sovereignty activists nationally and worldwide.
To learn more about this movement and how the Alliance's Local Food Rules campaign supports it, take a look at our farm and food issue of Justice Rising. Read the other resources on this page, and follow the links to learn more about our allies in Maine and elsewhere.
To keep up with the latest on the campaign, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our e-newsletter. Check out what our allies are doing by clicking on the links below, too.
For more information about the Local Food Rules campaign, and how you can pass an ordinance to protect food and farming where you live, please contact Bonnie Preston, AfD Co-Vice Chair, or the Alliance for Democracy office.
Local, State and International action for food democracy
Local Food Rules
Local Food Rules secures and promotes community self-governance of food and traditional food exchanges through municipal ordinances and other mechanisms of local governance.
Food for Maine's Future
Food for Maine's Future brings together advocates and activists for small farmers, farm workers and their patrons to build a just, sustainable and democratic food system that benefits Maine farmers, communities and the environment, in the face of corporate-food monopolies. As part of a growing international food sovereignty movement, FMF builds alliances between rural people in Maine and around the world, work that is strengthened through their alliance with La Via Campesina.
La Via Campesina
La Via Campesina, the international movement of millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers. It defends small-scale, sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity, and opposes corporate-driven agriculture and transnational companies that are destroying people and nature.
Stay up to date with news from our Local Food RULES campaign
For the latest news from the Local Food Rules campaign, go to this page on our blog.
Which towns have passed Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinances?
Nineteen towns and counting, not including the state of Maine itself, where groundbreaking protection for local food ordinances passed this June.