By: Amanda Kool, Clinical Fellow, Transactional Law Clinic & Emily Broad Leib, Director, Food Law and Policy Clinic
Recent years have seen a dramatic shift in consumer attitudes regarding where and how the food they purchase is produced. Responding to the consequences of the consolidated national food supply that occurred as a result of proindustrialization policies and a market driven primarily by cost-efficiency, buyers have grown increasingly aware of the hidden costs of inexpensive food. A growing number of shoppers prefer locally sourced, sustainably produced food and are willing to pay a premium for it. To see this shift in demand, one need only look at the increase in the number of farmers markets across the United States over the past decade: the USDA reports that 8,144 farmers markets are in operation in 2013, which is nearly double the number that existed in 2006.
Unfortunately, as the U.S. food chain grew and consolidated, so did the legal and regulatory regime that governs the food system. The existing body of laws is intended to apply to massive food industries and is thus ill-equipped to govern small-scale, local food enterprises.
Read the full article “Using Cross-practice Collaboration to Meet the Evolving Legal Needs of Local Food Entrepreneurs” to find out how policy lawyers and transactional lawyers can effectively collaborate to improve the food system.