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Cottage food bills advance out of Senate agriculture committee

Nadya Spetnitskaya

Farmer’s market vendors may be able to make more money and ship products online soon after the Senate agriculture committee passed three bills this week to expand Michigan’s cottage food industry.

Under the current law, people who sell products like bread, jam and jellies at a local farmer’s markets are capped from making more than $25,000 a year in revenue.

The bills allow the vendors to make $40,000 a year and enable online sales within state lines, a demand that increased during the pandemic.

"I think you'll see a transition as well how it impacts farmers markets," said Lauren Amellal, member of the Michigan Farmer’s Market Association board based in Caro. "More of them will be using that as a touch point to face to face with people and have a community relationship." 

One of the bills also creates a voluntary registration system through the state so vendors aren’t required to list their home address on product labels.

"And I think this will allow those vendors to look at potentially new product lines that they've not been creating, because that would increase their sales," said Joseph Lesausky, food access director for the Michigan Farmer’s Market Association.

The bills now move to the full Senate.

Rick Brewer is a general assignment reporter covering central and northern Michigan for WCMU Public Radio.