Legal Food Hub will help build a resilient local food system
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has launched its Legal Food Hub in New Hampshire. The hub is a first-of-its-kind network that connects smaller-scale farmers, food businesses, and food-related organizations with pro bono legal services to help start, grow, and operate their businesses.
“Local farmers and food businesses are essential pieces of a healthy and thriving community,” Sara Dewey, Director of CLF’s Farm and Food Initiative. “Too often, high fees and complicated legal issues are a barrier to entrepreneurs and farmers getting their businesses off the ground. Communities, residents, and our climate benefit when these businesses prosper, and it’s time they are given the tools they need.”
The goal of the program is to help provide legal services for farmers and food entrepreneurs to bring economic stability to the local farm and food sector. Economic stability for these businesses will also increase regional food production and build a more just food system for all New Englanders.
“Access to legal services and education is key to building the resilience of New Hampshire’s family farms and local food systems. The Legal Food Hub is an exciting and important new resource for small farmers and advocates working to support them,” said Seth Wilner of University of New Hampshire Extension. “This network will be a huge help to farmers and agricultural service providers alike. It is a wonderful complement to our existing resources.”
“Strengthening the sustainable local food system in New Hampshire is vital to the health and well-being of the Granite State,” said Amy Manzelli, an attorney at BCM Environmental & Land Law in Concord who is a Legal Food Hub volunteer. “The legal community has a critical role to play in the food system and BCM Law looks forward to serving New Hampshire’s farmers through the Legal Food Hub.”
“In New England, farmers enjoy a significant benefit because of the Legal Food Hub’s work to support local agriculture. The Hub offers pro bono legal services to family farmers looking to address a legal issue,” said Jim Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Family Farm. “Knowing Legal Food Hub has our backs allows us to focus on the farming we love. Because of them we sleep better at night.”
More information about the Legal Food Hub is available at www.legalfoodhub.org.