Legal Information Resources in Food
A short list of legal information resources, mainly from other jurisdictions, for food entrepreneurs and advocates.
The Legal Food Hub is a project of the Conservation Law Foundation out of New England. They provide a resource library with basic guides and webinars to common legal questions asked by farmers and food businesses such as how to form a business entity, how to negotiate a farmland lease and how to set up a food policy council. They also have a network of pro-bono lawyers committed to supporting regional food systems–eligible farmers, food entrepreneurs or food organizations are placed by the Legal Food Hub with a lawyer with expertise to advise them on their specific issues.
The National Agricultural Law Center provides objective, scholarly resources for the agricultural and food law sector in the United States. They create and maintain accessible resources including research reports, informational guides on a wide range of legal issues, a compilation of states' laws on certain topics and access to relevant legislation. They also provide free webinars on current topics and present in-person at events.
The Farm Commons is an American organization that aims to build legal resilience for local farmers and farm communities. They offer workshops, a library of legal resources and create connections between farm businesses and legal professionals. Some basic information, including short answers to common legal questions, is provided on the website–but to access the more robust and comprehensive workshops and legal guides a membership, including a fee, is required.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is the provincial governmental body responsible for providing services and support for agriculture and food in Ontario. They provide workshops, webinars and a long list of informational guides. Their focus is less on legal resources and more on providing support for farmers and food businesses to act in accordance with appropriate rules and regulations, improving food safety, growing Ontario’s agri-food sector and strengthening rural communities.
Think Farm provides introductory resources and guidance for starting a farm in Nova Scotia. They produce basic informational guides on thinking about your farm vision, planning your farm business and potential regulations and other hurdles you may face. Links to other resources and publications are also given to help guide farmers to further support.