Tag Archives: Cottage Food Operations Bill

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


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.