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2021 Cottage Food Bills

2021 is a fresh start in so many ways, but as always, a new year means a new round of cottage food bills!

And what a big round it is! At least one-third of states are actively working on improving their cottage food law this year.

I actually can’t remember a year when there were this many cottage food amendments on the table. It reminds me of nearly a decade ago, when states were busy creating their initial cottage food laws.

In all likelihood, the pandemic, and the resulting surge of interest in cottage foods, is part of the push to improve the laws in many states.

How The Coronavirus Pandemic Impacted The Cottage Food Industry in 2020

Recently I was asked to briefly describe how COVID-19 has impacted the cottage food industry this year. Here’s what I wrote:

“The pandemic has impacted everyone differently, but it has impacted everyone. Some cottage food businesses have shut down temporarily or permanently, while just as many others have seen their sales skyrocket. More cottage food businesses started this year than any other by far, and overall, the pandemic has caused a huge surge of interest in this industry.”

That’s a very simplified view of what has been a crazy and complex year.

In this post, I’ll dig into some of the major trends and story lines that impacted the cottage food industry in 2020.

How To Live On What You Make with Lisa Kivirist

Lisa Kivirist talks about living off the land, moving away from the corporate life-style, creatively packaging products, diversifying income streams, advocating for laws, and everything in between.

Researching Your State’s Cottage Food Law

If you want to learn more about your state’s cottage food law, or better understand how this site was made, this post will give you ideas for how to research and update a law on Forrager.

Launch your home bakery business in Wisconsin, legally!

Is the aroma of sweet victory coming from the ovens of Wisconsin wafting your way? Here in our state we can finally – legally – sell homemade, non-hazardous baked goods. Or more specifically, it took over five years, three cottage food bills that never passed and a successful lawsuit so that here in Wisconsin we… [read more]

Starting A Cottage Food Operation – First Steps

For most of us, starting a business isn’t easy. Let’s say you want to start your home food business — what do you do? Depending on where you live, there could be any number of barriers between you and your first sale. Learn about a couple of the first steps to take when starting a cottage food operation.

Why Health Departments Hate Cottage Food Laws

Cottage food operations often get frustrated by health departments, who can be slow, uncommunicative, and sometimes downright unfriendly. Do health departments really dislike the cottage food industry as much as people think they do?

Food Freedom Is No Longer A Myth

Yes, food freedom is real. The term has become increasingly popular: you may have heard it around the dinner table, at farmers markets, or even at a food freedom fest. This catchphrase of locavore culture has become so common that, until recently, you may have thought it to be a real thing. Proponents of food… [read more]

Cottage food lawsuit filed in Minnesota, but will it work?

A couple bakers in Minnesota, along with the Institute of Justice, have just taken the state’s Department of Agriculture by surprise. As part of IJ’s Food Freedom Initiative, they are filing a lawsuit that is designed to question the very premise of the cottage food law in Minnesota. But in the bigger picture, they are… [read more]