WERU News Report 3/5/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

The legislature is considering a bill that would allow dairy farmers to sell products on the farm, without jumping through all the regulatory hoops that apply to large scale commercial producers.
LD1786 “An Act to Allow the Sale of Unregulated Farm-produced Dairy Products at the Site of Production” facilitates direct sales of dairy products sold on the same farm on which the product is produced, by exempting those sales from state licensing and inspection requirements, if certain conditions are met. Those conditions include the following: farmers would be required to allow the customers to visually inspect the farm, they would be prohibited from advertising the dairy products, labels would be required that include the name and address of the farm, along with the following statement: “This food has been produced at a facility that is exempt from licensing and inspection by the State of Maine.” If the dairy product is made from unpasteurized milk, the label must also contain the words “not pasteurized.” Farms selling dairy products this way would be exempt from state inspection, except in cases where an outbreak of foodborne illness was being investigated.
The Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry held a public hearing on the bill yesterday. Here’s some of the testimony from that hearing