A new law that makes it easier for people to sell homemade foods directly to consumers in South Dakota could expand business opportunities for small producers and increase product offerings at homes, farmers markets, fairs and roadside stands.
House Bill 1322 was passed unanimously by the state Legislature in 2022, an d was signed into law by Gov. Kristi Noem. It took effect July 1, 2022.
The law aims to eliminate logistical and testing hurdles for people who want to sell certain homemade or home-produced foods, known as cottage foods. Proponents say it opens the way for more people to make a living or enhance their incomes by selling products they made at home. The measure is also seen by supporters as a way to create new jobs, especially in rural parts of the state.
The measure removes some expensive and time-consuming requirements that were arbitrary in many cases and which made selling homemade products more difficult than in many neighboring states, said Rep. Marli Wiese, R-Madison, a farmer who introduced the bill earlier this year.
“As South Dakotans recover from the pandemic, home-based food businesses can create jobs and expand access to local food, especially in rural areas if they are not limited by unnecessary regulation,” Wiese said in support of the measure.
The law specifically covers non-temperature controlled foods prepared at a residence, like home-processed canned goods and baked goods, though it extends to other products, too. Meat-based products and honey will still be subject to testing and regulatory approval prior to sale.
Under the old language, only homemade, shelf-stable baked and canned goods could be sold. The new law allows more homemade products like soup mixes, candy, kimchee, frozen-cut fruits and vegetables, salsas, kuchen, quiche and other items to be sold. Weise said the law is needed even more in the post-pandemic era as supply chain problems and rising prices have reduced availability of foods at some grocery stores.
“Our cottage food laws are more restrictive than laws in our neighing states,” Weise said. “Across the country, states are expanding their cottage food laws to safely create economic opportunities for food entrepreneurs and to help increase access to local foods.”
You can read the full article at SD News Watch.