Pasting the press release verbatim with great kudos to Christina Oatfield , The Sustainable Economies Law Center, and the California Health Committee. The day I can start a food business at home is the day the Nutless Professor rises again! Please spread the word and if you’re new to this development, check out a video of aspiring food producers.
April 17, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“California Homemade Food Act” Passes Assembly Health Committee
Contacts: Christina Oatfield, SELC Food Policy Director, (415) 828-5627; Mark Stambler, Los Angeles Bread Bakers, (323) 913-1667; Irene Pena, Executive Director, Proyecto Jardin, (323) 774-7824; Taylor
Giroux, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, (916) 319-2043
The California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616, passed the Assembly Committee on Health this afternoon.Supporters of the bill are rejoicing about the strong support the bill received in this first committee vote.vAll 14 votes cast were in support of the bill.* Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D—Los Angeles) introduced the bill in February and has been joined by the following co-authors: Assemblymembers Jared Huffman, Bob Wieckowski, V. Manuel Pérez, Brian Nestande and Senator Mark DeSaulnier.
The following 60 organizations and businesses have written to the California Legislature to express their support for the bill, with many more expected to follow suit as momentum for the bill continues to
Ecology Center of San
Episcopal Diocese of California
Feel the Earth
Friends of Alemany Farm
From the Ground Up
Future Action Reclamation Mob
Garden for the Environment
Green Earth Gardens
Hayes Valley Farm
How to Homestead
Itty Bitty Farm in the City
Little City Gardens
Los Angeles Bread Bakers
Mission Community Market
Mission Vertical Farming
Oakland Food Policy Council
People Organized to Win
Produce to the People
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
San Francisco Bee-Cause
San Francisco Green
San Francisco Landscapes
San Francisco Urban
San Francisco Permaculture Guild
Slow Food Santa Cruz
Sustainable Economies Law Center
Tenderloin People’s Garden
The Free Farm
The Garden Community
Whole Foods Northern
An online petition that Sustainable Economies Law Center set up at change.org called “California State Legislature: Enact a Cottage Food Law in California” has gathered over 4,300 signatures.
Mark Stambler, who identifies himself as a serious home bread baker and co-founder of the Los Angeles Bread Bakers, one of the leading organizations supporting the bill, testified at the Assembly Health Committee meeting this afternoon. “In Southern California, we’re surprised at just how widespread support for the bill is. We look forward to working with all the groups, including the health departments and the legislature, to make sure that California has the best possible cottage food law, one that will serve as a model for such laws across the country” he said.
Buzz Chernoff, a member of the California State Grange, another supporting organization of the bill, which has over 10,000 members and 206 chapters around the state—mostly in rural areas—also spoke at the Health Committee meeting. Chernoff explained his support this way
At our last Annual Meeting, the Grange adopted a Resolution that called for local food sovereignty, in which local farmers could directly sell their products off the farm for home consumption, a concept embraced by AB 1616.
Like thousands of small farmers throughout the state, my wife and I have gardens, orchards and berry patches. At the height of the season we give some of the excess away, sell some at the local farmers markets and food exchanges, and we preserve some for longer-term storage. Since these preserved products are prepared in our home kitchens rather than a certified kitchen, we cannot sell them to our friends, neighbors, and community members. AB1616 would allow us to do that, thereby providing our communities with healthy home-grown
food products, and the small farmer with a supplemental source of income to boost our local economies. It’s a win-win situation.
The bill is set to be voted on by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 2 before making its way to the full Assembly for a vote, and then onto a similar process in the Senate.