Letter to the Editor

Bill helps food-preparing startups

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. – A wide range of homemade foods can be sold at farmers markets in Nebraska. But under current state law, if you want to turn your recipes into a small business outside the market, you’ll need a commercial kitchen to do it.

A bill in the Nebraska Legislature would help these homemade food entrepreneurs, known as cottage food operations, get their start at home and do more business in Nebraska.

Platte Institute Director of Government Relations Nicole Fox will testify today in support of Sen. Sue Crawford’s Legislative Bill 764.

It will be heard in the Agriculture Committee at 1:30 pm CT in State Capitol room 2102, and is currently first on the agenda.

LB764 would allow cottage food operations with receipts of $25,000 a year or less to prepare and sell foods made from their own kitchen at home.

Cottage food operations would have to properly label their food items as not being produced in a commercially regulated kitchen, and while they could advertise and take orders and payments online, they could only distribute their products through person-to-person exchanges within Nebraska.

Nicole Fox’s complete legislative testimony for LB764 is now available on the Platte Institute website.

“With the increased focus on supporting and growing local economies, cottage food laws need to be broad enough to allow producers to make their operations viable local businesses,” said Fox.

“Except for Kansas, all of Nebraska’s neighbors allow for cottage foods to be sold, and 19 of the 42 states with cottage laws do not impose a limit on the annual sales amount, including our neighbors Missouri, South Dakota and Wyoming,” said Fox.

— The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. Learn more at PlatteInstitute.org.

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