Drafting "Locally Produced Food" Laws
If properly managed and implemented, local food production can yield numerous environmental and health benefits such as decreasing transportation distances and providing residents with minimally processed fresh food. In addition, a vibrant local food industry also generates jobs for area residents and keeps money within the local economy. Local and state governments can support their local food industry by, among other things, enacting laws that require government facilities to buy locally produced food. However, if not properly crafted, such “locally produced food” laws can violate the dormant Commerce Clause doctrine (DCCD), which is a doctrine deduced by the U.S. Supreme Court that limits state and local governments’ ability to improperly burden or discriminate against interstate commerce. To help local and state governments craft Constitutionally defensible locally produced food laws, a recent article in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development*:
- Briefly explains the DCCD and its restrictions on locally produced food laws
- Explains exceptions to these restrictions
- Provides recommendations for drafting locally produced food laws that make use of DCCD exceptions
* Laws to require purchase of locally grown food and constitutional limits on state and local government: Suggestions for policymakers and advocates, Copyright © 2010 by New Leaf Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.