Since this page was last updated, Arkansas has passed a food freedom bill (SB 248).
As of July 29th, 2021, producers can now sell non-perishable foods almost anywhere within the state, without needing to get licensed by the health or ag department.
This law is somewhat limited, since it restricts allowed food to non-PHF foods in five categories (baked goods, candy, jams/jellies, fruit butters, and chocolate-covered fruit), and only allows direct sales from home, online, and at farmers markets, fairs, and events. Indirect sales (retail stores & wholesale) are not allowed.
However, it is very easy for producers to get started, since the health department does not register or inspect these businesses. There is no sales limit, so producers can sell as much as they want.
2017’s amendment added chocolate-covered fruit to the list of allowed foods, and enabled sales through online farmers markets. 2019’s amendment enabled producers to setup a temporary “pop-up shop” at retail stores and other businesses, but only if sales are made in person. 2021’s amendment allowed online sales.
“Events” only refers to county fairs and special events.
You can also sell in a “pop-up shop” in another business, like a grocery or retail store. This means that you can setup a table or stand in a store (on a temporary basis) to sell your products. However, you must personally be present for each sale, and the health department may inspect your kitchen. Indirect sales, such as placing your items on a grocery store shelf, are not allowed.
You can sell online to people in other states, as long as you comply with “all federal regulations regarding food safety”. It’s not entirely clear what that means, or if mail orders (in-state or interstate) would be allowed.
You can only sell honey, maple syrup, and sorghum syrup at farmers markets, farm markets, and temporary festivals or celebrations, and you must produce them yourself.
You can sell a limited amount of whole eggs at farmers markets, but you must follow additional rules.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
"This Product is Home-Produced" (10-point type)
Forrager Cookie Company
123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, AR 73531
Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), butter (cream, salt), semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extract, alcohol, sugar), baking soda, salt (salt, calcium silicate)