Rolfes’ bill to help small food operations gets resounding 'yes' vote in Senate

Sen. Christine Rolfes - Photo courtesy of the Washington State Legislature
Sen. Christine Rolfes
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Washington State Legislature

A bill to boost small food operations sponsored by Sen. Christine Rolfes has received a unanimous green light by the Washignton State Senate.

If enacted, the bill will make it easier for small food operations to sell their goods directly to consumers.

“These cottage food operations are small but extremely valuable, especially to farmers markets,” said Rolfes, a 23rd District lawmaker and Bainbridge Island Democrat. “I am so glad this bill passed the Senate and I look forward to it going over to the House.”

A "cottage food" is defined as foods that are not potentially hazardous and can be made in small quantities at home. This is typically baked goods, jams and jellies that can be purchased directly by a consumer in a setting such as a farmers market, a roadside stand or at a bazaar.

Rolfes’ bill would increase the threshold to $25,000 from $15,000 for annual gross sales for these operations, allowing sellers to increase their revenue.

“The increase to $25,000 annually encourages the success of our small cottage industry entrepreneurs,” said Julie Zander, manager of the Bremerton Farmers Market. “This bill will ultimately help them build more sustainable businesses.”



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