Our 2016 Policy Priorities!

July 9, 2015   Tags:

It may be the middle of summer, but the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is gearing up to represent West Virginia farmers in the 2016 legislative session. In June, we had the Local Food Policy & Advocacy Training, and then a survey gathered your input on potential issues. The results are in! And we can’t wait to get started.

  1. Advocate for the state to expand the list of foods that can be sold as cottage foods if the producer has been trained in food safety practices and expand the cottage food laws to allow sales in retail outlets.
  2. Advocate for a local preference law that allows public institutions such as hospitals, prisons and state agencies to preference locally grown food during their bidding process; and/or that reimburses public institutions up to a certain amount for purchasing locally grown food.
  3. Establish a tax incentive for the costs associated with harvesting, storing and transporting food donations.

Those three priorities might take the shape of bills. This last one is more of a general-transparency issue, and not likely to take the form of a bill:

  1. Increase transparency for farmers and the agricultural community about where mineral rights and surface land rights have been severed, and related tax and ownership issues.

 

There’s a lot to be done between now and the next legislative session, but we couldn’t wait to share these goals with you. If you are interested in donating your time towards advocating for one or more of these issues in 2016, please email our Executive Director, Elizabeth Spellman.

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