The Pace-NRDC Food Law Initiative (FLI) supports transitions to a just and sustainable food system. We address the unmet legal needs of farmers, food and beverage entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations in order to strengthen food sovereignty in disadvantaged communities, to foster growth of alternative economic models of food production and distribution, and to promote the emergence of a climate friendly food system. We help our clients navigate a complicated legal landscape governing all aspects of their work from land access to legal entity structuring to regulatory matters. FLI offers direct transactional legal services through its Food & Beverage Law Clinic, provides trainings on key food law issues to food and farm businesses, and educates the next generation of food system lawyers. Founded in 2015, FLI is a partnership between the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
As part of the FNGNY program, the Pace-NRDC Food Law Initiative will (1) provide direct legal representation through the Food and Beverage Law Clinic on matters supporting farmland access and transfer, including representing clients on developing and negotiating farmland lease agreements, farmland purchase agreements, and related matters; advising clients on strategies to facilitate continued or new farming activities, such as conserving farmland for affordable farm transfer; and advising clients on compliance with zoning and local land use law; and (2) offer legal training workshops on legal topics related to accessing and transferring farmland, including leasing, purchasing and conserving land, and general succession strategies.