What Should be in Our Cottage Food Law?
Drafting a cottage food law is not as complex as it may appear if you are not boggled down with making sure you have a substantial number of requirements that will hinder the a food processor from starting their business. A cottage food bill is intended to outline what a home food processor (home-based baker) can prepare and explain in detail the…
Drafting a cottage food law is not as complex as it may appear if you are not boggled down with making sure you have a substantial number of requirements that will hinder the a food processor from starting their business. A cottage food bill is intended to outline what a home food processor (home-based baker) can prepare and explain in detail the legal requirements for preparing these non-hazardous foods. Anyone can write up, or draft a bill, but only a member of the state legislative body (the House or Senate) can introduce it; and after being drafted it will need support and approval from both the state House and Senate to be passed on to the State Governor for final approval.
Begin drafting your bill by including the name of the cottage food bill and the following sections.
Preamble: The preamble provides reasons why the bill is necessary. This section of the clause may begin with a “Whereas…”
Body: The body of the bill should be separated into sections and subsections. Each proposed idea for the implementation of the bill should be a section; and subsections are used to provide further detail and clarification (definitions, etc.) for their appropriate bill sections.
Enactment Clause: The enactment clause is the final section of the bill.
The cottage food bill should specify a listing of the non-potentially hazardous foods that can be processed by food processors, i.e. breads, cakes, pastries, cookies, candies or confections, fruit pies, jams, jellies, preserves, dried fruits, dry herbs, dry seasonings and dry rubs, homemade pasta, cereals, trail mixes, granola, coated and non-coated nuts, vinegar, flavored vinegars, some sauces, popcorn and popcorn balls or whatever products your state deems non-potentially hazardous foods; which may be based on your state/federal definition of non-potentially hazardous food products.
- The bill may indicate who (what department or division of government) will be regulating/overseeing the cottage
food operation in the state.
- The bill may indicate if cottage food operators will complete an application process to sell products in the state.
- The bill may require a type of permit or license for cottage food production
- The bill may require cottage food operators have their home residence and/or kitchen inspected by a
- The bill may require may require a maximum annual income on how much income a home food processor or home-based baker can make annually.
- The bill may require cottage food operators sell or not sell using specific selling methods, i.e. from personal home only, not by by the Internet, not by mail order, consignment, to retail outlets, farmers markets, flea markets, farm stands, food cooperatives and wholesale.
- The bill may require cottage food operators limit how they market and/or advertise their business i.e. using or not using a website, social media websites like Facebook, Twitter etc or other paid media tactics.
Below is a sample template for drafting a cottage food bill.
State of ___________Cottage Food Bill 2012
|Title of Bill:|
Be It Enacted By the State of ________________________
Preamble: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED, AN ACT relating to the regulation of cottage food products and cottage food production operations…
View the video to learn how a bill becomes a law; and remember your state governor must sign the cottage food bill into law.