AN ORDINANCE TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND INTEGRITY OF THE LOCAL
FOOD SYSTEM IN THE CITY OF FLAGSTAFF, COCONINO COUNTY, ARIZONA
The City Council of Flagstaff believe residents have the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, gift, donate, and consume local foods thus promoting self-reliance, the preservation of family farms, and local food traditions. The City Council recognizes that family farms, sustainable agricultural practices, and food processing by individuals, families and non-corporate entities offers stability to our rural way of life by enhancing the economic, environmental and social wealth of our community. As such, our right to a local food system requires us to assert our inherent right to self-government. We recognize the authority to protect that right as belonging to the City of Flagstaff.
The City Council of Flagstaff has faith in its citizens’ ability to educate themselves and make informed decisions. They hold that federal regulations impede local food production and constitute a usurpation of our citizens’ right to foods of their choice. They support food that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, nourishes individuals and the community, and sustains producers, processors and the environment. They are therefore duty bound under the Constitution of the State of Arizona to protect and promote unimpeded access to local foods. The purpose of the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance is to:
i. Provide citizens with unimpeded access to local food;
ii. Enhance the local economy by promoting the production and purchase of local agricultural products;
iii. Protect access to farmers’ markets, roadside stands, farm based sales and direct producer to patron sales;
iv. Support the economic viability of local food producers and processors;
v. Preserve community social events where local foods are served or sold;
vi. Preserve local knowledge and traditional foodways.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council of Flagstaff, Arizona:
Section 1. Name. This Ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the “Local Food
and Community Self-Governance Ordinance.”
Section 2. Definitions. As used in this ordinance:
a) “Patron” means an individual who is the last person to purchase any product or preparation directly from a processor or producer and who does not resell the product or preparation.
b) “Home consumption” means consumed within a private home.
c) “Local Foods” means any food or food product that is grown, produced, or processed by individuals who sell directly to their patrons through farm-based sales or buying clubs, at farmers markets, roadside stands, fundraisers or at community social events.
d) “Processor” means any individual who processes or prepares products of the soil or animals for food or drink.
e) “Producer” means any farmer or gardener who grows any plant or animal for food or drink.
f) “Community social event” means an event where people gather as part of a community for the benefit of those gathering, or for the community, including but not limited to a church or religious social, school event, potluck, neighborhood gathering, library meeting, traveling food sale, fund raiser, craft fair, farmers market and other public events.
Section 3. Authority. This Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the inherent, inalienable, and fundamental right of the citizens of the City of Flagstaff to self government, and under the authority recognized as belonging to the people of the City by all relevant state and federal laws including, but not limited to the following:
The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, which declares that governments are instituted to secure peoples’ rights, and that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.
Article II, § II of the Arizona Constitution, which declares: “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.”
Section 4. Statements of Law.
Section 4.1. Licensure/Inspection Exemption. Producers or processors of local foods in the City of Flagstaff are exempt from federal licensure and inspection requirements provided that the transaction is only between the producer or processor and a patron when the food is sold for home consumption or freely donated. This includes any producer or processor who sells his or her products at farmers’ markets or roadside stands; sells his or her products through farm-based sales directly to a patron; or delivers his or her products directly to patrons.
Section 4.1.a. Licensure/Inspection Exemption. Producers or processors of local foods in the City of Flagstaff are exempt from federal licensure and inspection requirements provided that their products are prepared for, consumed, or sold at a community social event.
Section 4.2. Right to Access and Produce Food. Flagstaff citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.
Section 4.3. Right to Self-Governance. All citizens of Flagstaff possess the right to a form of governance which recognizes that all power is inherent in the people, that all free governments are founded on the people’s authority and consent.
Section 4.4. Right to Enforce. Flagstaff citizens possess the right to adopt measures which prevent the violation of the rights enumerated in this Ordinance.
Section 5. Statement of Law. Implementation. The following restrictions and provisions serve to implement the preceding statements of law.
Section 5.1. Federal Law. It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance. It shall be unlawful for any corporation to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance. The term “corporation” shall mean any business entity organized under the laws of any state or country.
Section 5.2. Patron Liability Protection. Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from federal licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect.
Section 6. Civil Enforcement. The City of Flagstaff may enforce the provisions of this Ordinance through seeking equitable relief from a court of competent jurisdiction. Any individual citizen of the City of Flagstaff shall have standing to vindicate any rights secured by this ordinance which have been violated or which are threatened with violation, and may seek relief both in the form of injunctive and compensatory relief from a court of competent jurisdiction.
Section 7. City Action against Pre-emption. The foundation for making and adoption of this law is the peoples’ fundamental and inalienable right to govern themselves, and thereby secure their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Any attempt to use other units and levels of government to preempt, amend, alter or overturn this Ordinance or parts of this Ordinance shall require the City to hold public meetings that explore the adoption of other measures that expand local control and the ability of citizens to protect their fundamental and inalienable right to self-government.
Section 8. Effect. This Ordinance shall be effective immediately upon its enactment.
Section 9. Severability Clause. To the extent any provision of this Ordinance is deemed invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such provision will be removed from the Ordinance, and the balance of the Ordinance shall remain valid.
Section 10. Repealer. All inconsistent provisions of prior Ordinances adopted by the
City of Flagstaff are hereby repealed, but only to the extent necessary to remedy the inconsistency.
Section 11. This ordinance shall take effect upon its first posting or publication.
Protect the Health and Integrity of the Local Food System
Coconino County and Flagstaff residents have the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, gift, donate, and consume local foods thus promoting self-reliance, the
preservation of family farms, and local food traditions.