Testimony of GrowSmart Maine in favor of LD 738, “An Act To Require Disclosure of the Origin of Certain Products Sold at Farm Stands”

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine

in favor of LD 738,

An Act To Require Disclosure of the Origin of Certain Products Sold at Farm Stands

March 22, 2011

 

Senator Sherman, Representative Edgecomb and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation. My name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. As many of you know from our previous interactions with the committee, GrowSmart Maine (GSM) is a statewide non-profit membership-based organization working to grow Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character, and enhance our state's quality places. Thank you for the opportunity to present this testimony at today’s Public Hearing.

As a part of our commitment to strengthening Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about well grounded, thoughtful and creative proposals which seek to grow the economy in a sustainable manner while at the same time preserving our state’s unique character and quality of place. We believe that LD 738 accomplishes these goals and strongly urges the committee to support this legislation.

This bill brings farms stands to the same standard required of vendors at farmers' markets. People assume they are buying from local farmers, and make the extra effort to shop at both farmers’ markets and farm stands for this reason. While the quality of the product may be evident at the point of sale, the origin is not. Disclosure of the origin of products offered for sale ensures the credibility of all farm stands, allowing customers to be confident that they are indeed supporting Maine's farmers when they buy at a farm stand.

Thank you for the opportunity to present these remarks. I would be happy to attend the work session if that would be helpful to the committee.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding GrowSmart Maine’s support for LD 738.

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