Proposed bill tackles raw food issue

BLUE HILL — A food fight continues in Augusta this month.

The battle started when Blue Hill Peninsula towns and other Maine municipalities passed local food sovereignty ordinances beginning a few years ago.

The movement picked up steam earlier this month when the Maine Department of Agriculture sanctioned Blue Hill dairy farmer Dan Brown for selling raw milk without a license.

Now, State Rep. Ralph Chapman (D-Brooksville) and Rep. Walter Kumiega (D-Deer Isle) have co-sponsored legislation to help Brown and other small-scale farmers sell their products including dairy.

The proposed bill, LD 1287, is An Act to Deregulate Face-to-Face Transactions between the People and Small Farms and Small Food Producers.

The bill was written by Rep. Craig Hickman (D-Winthrop). Hickman owns Annabessacook Farm.

A summary states the bill would facilitate sales between Maine farmers and consumers. “It allows persons preparing food in their own homes to sell directly to consumers or to offer homemade food at certain events without being licensed as food establishments,” the proposed legislation states.

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