Food and Environmental Law Symposium Draws Crowd
The Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law program combined its 16th annual environmental law symposium with the law school’s 3rd annual food law forum which was held on April 7th. The forum, titled “21st Century Food Law: What’s On Our Plates?”, focused on food related issues and included panels on food labeling, food production and environmental/animal impacts, as well as food and health policies and ethics. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (an alumnus of both the undergraduate school and the law school) gave the keynote address at lunch, speaking on environmental issues related to the U.S. Farm Bill. An enthusiastic group of academics, faculty, students, alumni, and the general public engaged in lively discussions throughout the day.
The panels and speakers for the symposium included law professors and lawyers from around the country. The professors also produced papers which will be published in the summer edition of the law school’s Environmental Law journal.
Attendees were invited to a field trip the day following the forum that highlighted Portland’s vibrant food scene. The tour started at New Seasons Market’s Slabtown store and highlighted the sustainable business model which features local producers and fishers. Next, the group visited Ecotrust’s latest project, The Redd on Salmon Street, a two block development located in the heart of Portland’s historic Central Eastside, which is designed to support local food enterprises and help scale a robust, regional food economy across the Pacific Northwest. B-Line’s CEO and President, Franklin Jones, walked the group through one of the buildings which provides cold storage and space for local producers. B-Line is located in this building and specializes in sustainable delivery – via specialized bicycles – to restaurants and business in the urban core. The field trip ended with lunch at the Mississippi Avenue food carts and a beer on the deck of the bar next-door.
With a crowd of close to 100 people in attendance at the forum this year, and an active core of law student volunteers and groups, next year’s forum promises to be an event to look forward to!