Despite Maine’s proud agricultural and fishing tradition that carries on to this day, our state imports more of its food than any other state in the continental United States, meaning we rely heavily on our nation’s industrial agricultural system. For many of the same reasons this system is unsustainable, it also is vulnerable, especially to climate change.

In addition, one-third of Maine’s best farmland will change hands in the next 10 years, and land affordability is an issue with young farmers, so the viability of small family farms also is a critical conservation issue.

Enormous potential for growth

The good news is that Maine has the potential to feed much more of our state and even be the breadbasket for New England. 

And we're on the right track. From 2002 to 2012, bucking the national trend, the number of farms in Maine increased by 13.5 percent, with much of the growth in small farms that sell directly to consumers such as through farmers markets.

Yet, that market is nearing saturation. 

For farming to continue to grow in Maine, we need to help largely small farms scale up and reach bigger markets—where most people get most of their food.

Together, we can grow the local foods movement

This year, we're working to pass a bill in Augusta to lay the groundwork for Maine farmers, fishermen, and entrepreneurs to access the resources they need to reach bigger markets. We also worked to convince the University of Maine to obtain a portion of the food it provides students from local farms and fishermen. Currently 21% of thier food and beverage purchases are from local sources. 

Sustainable food updates

News Release | Environment Maine

Maine governor signs bill to save the bees

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Gov. Janet Mills signed the nation’s strongest restriction on bee-killing neonicotinoids (neonics) into law on Thursday. LD 155, sponsored by Rep. Nicole Grohoski of Ellsworth, prohibits the use of the most harmful neonic pesticides in residential landscapes. The bill won bipartisan support in the Maine State Legislature, which passed it on June 7.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Maine House and Senate vote to advance bill to protect bees

Both the Maine House and Senate voted Wednesday to advance a measure that would prohibit the use of certain neonicotinoids (neonics) for outdoor residential use. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Nicole Grohoski (Ellsworth), passed by a bipartisan 92-53 vote in the House and 27-7 in the Senate. While this is a clear signal that the bill has the backing to become law, the measure will face additional votes in the House and Senate before reaching the governor’s desk.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Environment Maine supports a statewide ban on the use of chlorpyrifos

On March 2, 2021, Environment Maine's State Director Anya Fetcher testified before the Maine Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry in support of LD 316, a proposed bill to ban the use of chlorpyrifos in the state of Maine.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Environment Maine supports ban on neonicotinoids

Maine's bees are dying at alarming rate, and there are real consequences for the resilience and richness of our natural world, as well as our food supply, if we don’t act now.

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Report | Environment Maine

Environment Maine Legislative Agenda for 2021

Here is Environment Maine's Legislative Agenda for the 2021 session.

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