Texas Cottage Industry in Texas
Many local producers depend on not only growing the products that they bring to market, but also turning those products into marketable items such as pickles, jams, and other finished products. The Cottage Industry Regulations in Texas allow producers to create. Package and sell certain items in their own home without being subject to the many onerous regulations and licensing requirements of much larger commercial producers. There are restrictions on marketing, quantities and how much actual money an individual can gain by selling homemade products. (To read a summary of the regulation go here. For a summary of the proposed changes click this link. The full text of the legislation is here.)
State Representative Eddie Rodriguez wrote the legislation in 2013. The bill and the resulting rules have been a boon to many small operators across Texas who produce a wide variety of goods that they market locally many using ingredients that they grow themselves. However, over time, it has become apparent that the legislation has some restrictions that inhibit the growth of the Local Food Net and Representative Rodriguez has written and introduced an updating bill this legislature.
The new legislation expands the products that home entrepreneurs can package and sell. The changes proposed open whole new markets and opportunities for local growers and producers. Such changes would mean easier entry into markets, new markets which are currently unavailable and relaxes some of the restrictions imposed by the earlier legislation.
The producers in your area need your support. To help influence the outcome of this legislative update, please contact your State Representatives and encourage them to take a proactive approach to pass this legislative update this session and seeing that the Governor signs it.
If you aren’t sure how to contact your State Representatives, you can go to the Texas Cottage Food Law website and follow the instruction on their webpage. It will help you contact your State Representative and has suggestions for the wording of emails, letters or instructions on how to call your State Reps‘ office and make your wishes known.
This legislation is important to the growth of the Local Food Net across Texas and especially here in West Texas. Our local producers here will appreciate your support, and you will ultimately get to enjoy a wider range of quality products, available at more places, at reasonable prices.