Tag Archives: HB 5837

HB 5837: Michigan Cottage Food Operation Bill is now a law

It is offical HB 5837 is now a law. Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible.

Ann Arbor Food

I attended the bill signing. Also in attendance was Jeff McCabe of Selma, Amanda Edmonds of Growing Hope, Rep. Pam Byrnes, and Governor Granholm.

See News Video

So what does this mean to local food venture in Michigan? Amanda talked about how the passing of this bill into law will mean that more people can start their food business. The cost and access to a commercial kitchens will no longer be a barrier to starting certain food businesses. The hope and the potential is that some of these small start ups will lead to larger local food product businesses that will provide greater access to local food, put Michigan on the map for food tourism, and create more jobs from small businesses.

I can confirm first hand about the bill is creating new jobs because it help to create one for me and my girlfriend Emily. We are happy to announce our new business thanks to this new law: Inchworm Bakery.

This new law affects me directly and instantly because I plan to bake some pocket pies, and cookies as early as Thursday and have them packaged, labelled and ready for sale.

Come visit me at the Westside farmers market to get a sample of the new Inchworm Bakery’s baked goods of pocket pies, and shortbread cookies.

CB

HB 5837 Passes the Senate

It was a rainy day at the Westiside Farmers Market today. The rained cleared just as the market was closing. Most vendors will tell you that rain is great for growing, but not so much during market days, which results in people staying home.

So I ran over to Selma to donate some of my extra pea shoots for the thursday night work party supper, and for the friday morning meal. I got talking to Jeff and he told me that HB 5837, the cottage food bill passed the michigan state senate.

I was surprised that it passed so quickly. In fact I am surprised it passed at all. Readers of my blog might have followed this ongoing saga, which looks like it will have a very happy ending for local food producers.

When this bill get signed into law by Jennifer Granholm, my plan is to make and sell hand pies at the Westside Farmers Market. I am also playing around with making a organic energy bar.

Thanks to everyone who worked to make this happen. I know I was on the phone bugging my state reps to pass this bill.

Happy Baking everyone

CB

HB 5837 Cottage food Bill: Passes the House

Here is a quick update on HB 5837, the cottage food bill. This Bill just passed the Michigan House with a huge major, 95% with no votes against. See the vote. This is not the last stage in the process. Like all bills the process is to propose the bill. Then work on it in committee, then the house votes on it, then the senate votes on it, “Them Da gov-nah signs it.” We are at the process with it passing the house. It still needs to pass the senate, which I feel it has a good chance considering how easy it passed the house on both sides of the political fence.

So what will I do if, and when HB 5837 finally passes? I am already selling microgreens at the Westside Farmers Market, as readers may know, and when my flowers start coming in, I will be selling cut sunflowers. When HB 5837 goes passes, the plan is to bake and sell hand pies, at the market too, and an all natural version of power bars. Let keep the pressure going with this to push it happening ASAP. Click here to find your Michigan State Senator, and send them an email saying you support HB 5837, or better still call your senator directly, and speak with a staffer, and tell them you support the bill. Thanks to Pam Byrnes for introducing it, and the many local food activists who spoke up and are still speaking up to support this Bill

CB

HB 5837: My interview with Rep Pam Byrnes

UpdateThe House Agriculture Committee will be taking up this legislation at noon on May 5, 2010. If you want to show up to testify in support, please bring 30 copies of your testimony. The hearing will be held in room 307 of the House Office Building, 124 North Capitol, Lansing, MI. Hope to see you there!

Email: mikehuckleberry@house.mi.gov

When I heard about HB 5837, the cottage food operations bill (or amendment?), I was excited. If this passed 100-1000s of Michiganers would be able to produce certain food items in their homes without having to find/rent a commercially certified kitchen. That would mean if wanted to bake a few cookies in my home to sell at the Farmers Market next to my microgreens, I could.

So what is happening with this bill? When will I and the 100/1000 of would be home bakers, jam makers, and a other food producers be able to get baking?

I talked with Rep. Pam Byrnes, my representative for Washtenaw County who just o happened to proposed HB 5837. She said that the bill needs to first go to the Agriculture Committee, which is Chaired by Rep. Mike Huckleberry. When I ask what the buzz was around the bill, she said that there were some concerns about food safety.

I personally hope these concerns can be addressed so the bill can pass.

If the Agriculture Committee passes the bill then it will go to the House followed by the Senate, and then it will be signed into law by the Governor. Rep. Byrnes said that she is hoping that there will be a Agriculture Committee hearing on the bill in late April. Hopefully is will pass the committee. If not, that will be that for now.

If all goes well and this bill is fast tracked (insert extreme optimism, and naive look at politics here), I can be making cookies for sale when the Westside Farmer’s Market starts up in June.

Where can I sell my food products if this bill gets passed?

Rep. Byrnes said that the bill will allow items to be sold out of the home, at a roadside stand, at farmers markets and at non-profit events. Cottage Food Operation foods will not be able to be sold online, out of state, at craft fairs, flea markets, or at for profit events/venues.

So, what if anything can advocates of HB 5837 do to help make this happen?

I, for one, plan to contact Rep. Huckleberry and express my interest and enthusiasm for the bill, and that I have an economic interest for having it passed.

Mike Huckleberry’s Email

I see a big potential for grass roots economic growth, food product innovation, increased community building through local food, and a boon for food tourism in Michigan. I see a food tourist boom of driving vacation just to visit Michigan’s newly created Roadside Stands that feature homemade food items.

http://lastoneeating.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/house-bill-no-5837/

HOUSE BILL No. 5837

HOUSE BILL No. 5837

HB 5837 is a newly proposed bill by Rep. Pam Byrnes in Michigan which amends 2000 PA 92, entitled “Food law of 2000,”

If passed the amendments listed below will exempt a “cottage food operation,” defined as a person who annually produces or packages less than $15,000 worth of “non-potentially hazardous food” in a kitchen of that person’s primary domestic residence, from the licensure and regulation mandates that apply to regular commercial food producers.

(H) “COTTAGE FOOD OPERATION” MEANS A PERSON WHO PRODUCES OR
PACKAGES NON-POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOOD IN A KITCHEN OF THAT
PERSON’S PRIMARY DOMESTIC RESIDENCE.

(N) “NON-POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOOD” MEANS A FOOD THAT IS NOT
POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOOD AS THAT TERM AS DEFINED IN THE FOOD
CODE, WHICH INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO:

BAKED GOODS, JAMS, JELLIES, CANDY, SNACK FOOD, CEREAL, GRANOLA, DRY MIXES, VINEGAR, AND DRIED HERBS.

NON-POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOOD DOES NOT INCLUDE
HOME-CANNED LOW-ACID OR ACIDIFIED VEGETABLES, HOME-CANNED SALSA, OR
HOME-CANNED FOOD; FOOD SERVICE ITEMS; READY-TO-EAT MEALS, MEAT,
SANDWICHES, CHEESE, OR CUSTARD PIES; GARLIC IN OIL; FOOD THAT
REQUIRES TEMPERATURE CONTROL FOR SAFETY; AND BOTTLED WATER, HOME-
PRODUCED ICE PRODUCTS, AND OTHER BEVERAGES AND PRODUCTS.

In plan English that means that if I (or you) say wanted to bake some cookies(or other food products listed above) and sell them on the corner, I would not need a licensed, inspected, and usually expensive commercial kitchen facility to do so. For example, the chocolate Matzoh recipe I provided in my last post could be used to create a home “cottage food operation” business.

On a personal level, I am excited about this potential amendment. As you might know from this blog, I am starting a microgreens business with the plan to grow and sell them at the farmers market. I thought that as long as I am sitting at the market, maybe I can make/grow something else to sell. Baked goods seemed to be a logical choice. The problem with my baked goods idea of say making a few dozen biscuits, cookies, pizza bread, and/or dinner rolls was that I would have to find a commercial kitchen to prepare them. For one, these are not easy to find, and for two the expense of renting a kitchen for the potential sale of say $10-$50 a week worth of biscuits would make the venture not viable.

But if this new amendment passes, my home baking business and 1000’s of other “cottage food operation” wannabes in Michigan can be off in running.

Why is this important? Because it will open the flood gates for a variety of locally prepared, and value added food producers to enter the market. This can be a huge boost to the local food movement and local economy. Most would be cottage food businesses already have use of a home kitchen with the equipment needed to bake, and with a little expense, can even produce canned (jarred) items.

For example, an apple tree in the backyard can be harvested and turned into a hundred jars of apple butter. An herb garden can be used to produce a line of flavorful vinegars. A big squash or pumpkin crop can be turned into a holiday pie business. And in my case, a few pounds of Michigan grown wheat/flour can be transformed into potential extra income for my business. The small cottage businesses can eventually grow beyond a one person home kitchen enterprise into larger businesses.

This amendment (if it passes) does not solve for all value added food product that can be produced from locally sourced ingredients, but it is a start. What I do feel is needed along with these new potential amendments is a state government programs of say regional commercial kitchen facilities run through an agricultural extension service. These facilities will provide a certified commercial kitchen with equipment, training, packaging, refrigeration, and freezing resources.  If established, these facilities can provide an economic catalyst of turning inexpensive Michigan food commodities into a value added products. As a result, more value added regional food specialty will be produced.

And what could happen if Michigan supports an economy of value added, local food, regional specialties?

(Note: Here comes one foodies Hyped Out Passionate Rant:)

Michigan can become the “Nappa Valley of the Midwest.

Here me out. This sounds a little crazy right? But I feel there is a huge food tourist potential here for our economically depressed state. Michigan is nicknamed, The Wolverine State, yet there are no wolverines here (beside the U of M Mascot). We are The Automotive and/or The Auto State, but that future seems uncertain at best. We are also nicknamed The Lady of Lake. I am not sure how Michigan was nicknamed after a medieval Arthurian Legion, but I do not see how even the magical sword Excalibur will save us from our financial woes. Our last nickname, Water-Winter Wonderland, does have a little ring to it, and some truth. We are a great state for tourism and water recreation, and part of that tourism is food tourism.

Put simply, Michigan needs a draw to get people to make the either left or right turn when driving on route 80 to come to our state. My Mom came to visit me this weekend from NJ, and I never realized until now that Michigan is not on the way to anything. When driving across the country, from east or west, you could pass our state without as much as buying a soda and a bag of chips. This means that we need a reason for people to come here, and I feel that reason can be the food.

How does this little new amendment help turn Michigan into my unofficial Michigan tourism representative sloganeer with, “The Nappa Valley of the Midwest?” I feel that these new cottage businesses will help provide the creativity, inventiveness and imagination to help make it happen. Put another way, we need a reason for Martha Stewart, Oprah, Ellen, Michelle Obama, the Food Network, The Splendid Table, the Travel Channel, and the dozens of Food magazine journalist, and foodie bloggers to come to Michigan. That reason can be to say meet me and the 100-1000’s of other cottage home foodies to taste our cookies, jams, jellies, spice rubs, candies, regional wine, cheeses, etc…which can/will transform Michigan to an international foodie destination. After all, we already have some of the best scenery in the world.

OK. The hype portion of this post is over, but on a personal level, I would love to offer some baked goods this summer for sale along with my microgreens. These new amendments could help to make this possible.

Please contact Rep. Pam Brynes to give your support.

http://lastoneeating.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/hb-5837-my-interview-with-rep-pam-byrnes/