News Center Maine: Born and raised in Maine — new law means big changes for meat and poultry industry

|LegislativeMFB in the News

AUGUSTA, Maine — Picture this — you’re shopping for dinner at your favorite grocery store. You walk down the chilly meat aisle for a local steak, and you’re faced with a decision to choose between one of two beef options: one is $10, the other is $20, and they’re both labeled with a “Maine-raised” sticker. Which one are you buying?

It’s no secret that most of us would choose the cheaper steak — however, what we’re often left in the dark about is where it really came from.

Governor Mills recently signed LD 351, “An Act to Ensure Accuracy in the Labeling of Maine Meat and Poultry”, into law.

The law requires all poultry and meat products labeled with a certified “Maine” trademark to be born and raised in the state. The only exception within the act is for poultry, which may be labeled as “Maine-raised”, as long as it’s raised in the state no more than a week after hatching.

Rep. William Pluecker, who’s a farmer himself at Hatchet Cove Farm, presented the bill back in January. He said prior to LD 351 mislabeled meat and poultry was harmful to consumers and undermined honest neighborhood farmers.

The Maine Farm Bureau released a statement on LD 351 today:

“We are pleased that Governor Mills signed this important legislation into law and are excited for the new opportunities this change will bring for small beef producers in our state. We see this as an important step towards protecting the “Maine” brand, which is synonymous with high-quality.”

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