Michigan Governor, Jennifer Granholm, seen here with Growing Hope executive director Amanda Edmonds and Representative Pam Byrnes, was in Ypsi today, celebrating the passage of two new laws having to do with food-related entrepreneurship. Here’s a clip from AnnArbor.com on what these new laws will allow:
…Previously, residents were required to make their foods in a Michigan Department of Agriculture-certified commercial kitchen – which can be expensive and hard to find – and pay a licensing fee. Granholm said the intent of the new law is to free Michigan’s cottage food industry from unnecessary regulation.
“This is a great way of eluding some bureaucracy and fostering some great, great entrepreneurs in the agricultural field,” Granholm said of the bills, one of which were introduced by Byrnes, D-Lyndon Township.
The law covers businesses that gross less than $15,000 annually. Among the foods included are those classified as “non-potentially hazardous foods,” meaning they aren’t temperature controlled for safety. The list includes certain baked goods, pies, cereal, candy, dry mixes, popcorn, coffee and other items….
The foods’ labels must make clear that the food was prepared in a home kitchen, not an MDA-certified commercial kitchen. The label must also list the ingredients in descending order by weight, allergen information, net weight and display the company’s name and address.
Once a business is making more than $15,000, it will be required to operate out of a commercial kitchen and seek proper licensing.
The bills passed the House and Senate unanimously, while a third covering syrups passed the Michigan House and is in the Senate…
This is good legislation, and all those involved deserve credit… And how cool is it that Granholm sought to speak about it at our beloved little farming-friendly non-profit Growing Hope? Speaking of which, if it’s not already on your calendar, Growing Hope will be holding their 4th annual biking tour of urban gardens, and sustainable food system features next Tuesday, July 20. This year’s event, called the Tour de Fresh, is co-sponsored by Bike Ypsi, Transition Town Ypsilanti, and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. (And you don’t have to go by bike if you don’t want to. Some folks will be going by car.)