Growing Our Local Food Economy

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Rhode Island Legal Food Hub Has Officially Launched!
by Sumana Chintapalli

November 15 marked the official opening of the Rhode Island Legal Food Hub, and the day was celebrated with a breakfast launch event at Social Enterprise Greenhouse. We had a fantastic lineup of speakers from across the Rhode Island local food movement, who highlighted the importance of food systems work here and the need for…

Press Releases
Historic Settlement Agreement Reached to Remove Saccarappa Dams

Sean Mahoney, Maine Director for Conservation Law Foundation, commented, “The Presumpscot River was once home to hundreds of thousands of migratory fish before it was dammed, stem to stern, and treated as though it were a public sewer. Restoring the productivity of the fish populations in the Presumpscot is vital, not just for those who fish along the river, but also for the health of our fishing industry in Casco Bay and the Gulf of Maine. Migratory fish like alewives and bluebacks are critical bait for the lobster fishery and key to the entire food system.”

Press Releases
Federal Agency Weakens Protections for Vulnerable Fish Populations

“Before 2006, the New England Fishery Management Council took advantage of legal loopholes that produced disaster for our region’s fish and fishermen, decimating species like Atlantic cod and yellowtail flounder and creating long-term barriers to success for those who make a living in our waters,” said CLF senior counsel Peter Shelley. “It took a concerted effort from CLF and hundreds of community partners to right the ship and provide opportunities for important fish species to repopulate, but today’s decision unravels a decade of progress. By allowing room for more subjectivity and more flexibility within its regulations, NOAA Fisheries has weakened management tools that have been used successfully to restore over thirty fisheries once in severe decline.”

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Calling All Rhode Island Attorneys: We Want You!
by Sumana Chintapalli

On the heels of a successful two years running in Massachusetts and Maine, CLF’s Legal Food Hub is coming to Rhode Island, and we are looking for attorneys and firms to join our network.  The Hub connects lower-income farmers and food businesses to much-needed pro bono, transactional legal assistance and is a great way for…

Blog
Drought in New England: Expect the Unexpected
by Sumana Chintapalli

What does the climate have to do with the food system? A lot, it turns out. This relationship plays out in different ways, but lately we have been seeing an awful lot of one particular aspect. From the production side to the business side of agriculture, drought and heat are a dangerous combination. Drought conditions…

Press Releases
CLF Announces Plans for National Expansion of Legal Food Hub

“Small-scale farms and food businesses are indispensable to a just, healthy and economically vibrant region,” said Jenny Rushlow, Director of CLF’s Farm and Food Initiative. “Unfortunately, like every small business, they have legal needs that too often go unaddressed because of the cost. We started the Legal Food Hub to relieve that cost burden and help grow local, sustainable food systems, and we’re proud of the inroads we’ve made over the past two years. Still, we know that farmers and food entrepreneurs all around the country face many of the same challenges as those here in New England, and we look forward to replicating the success of this program.”

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CLF’s Hub Helps Improve New England Farms’ Uncertain Future
by Melissa Chalek

In late April, CLF partners American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Land For Good (LFG) released a joint study on farm succession in New England. The study reveals that our region’s farmers are aging fast – as of 2012, 85% of principal farm operators were over the age of 45, up from 76% in 2002. In…