House eases laws on farmers’ markets

House eases laws on farmers’ markets
By Oregon House Democrat Caucus

HB 2336 eases regulations of farmers who sell their own products.   The Oregon House passed HB 2336, which supports farmers’ markets by modernizing state laws regulating farmers markets and direct sales by farmers to the public.

“Farmers’ markets have become an increasingly popular source for farmers to market their goods and for consumers to purchase fresh and healthy produce,” said Representative Brian Clem (D-Salem) a key supporter of the bill. “From my perspective, we should do all we can to help family farmers continue to sell their safe and healthy produce to the Oregonians that support them.”

Current law does not require farmers who market and sell their own fresh produce to obtain a license from the Oregon Department of Agriculture to sell at farmers’ markets. The department also doesn’t require that a farmers’ market be licensed as a food establishment. However, uncertainty about how to classify farmers’ markets led to a need for clarity.

In response to this needed clarification, the 2010 Interim House Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Communities Committee established a work group to develop policy recommendations that, if enacted, would guide the Department on how farmers’ markets should be regulated. The result was HB 2336.

“I voted in favor of this bill in committee and on the House Floor because I support Oregon farmers and want to preserve consumers’ ability to make smart choices. It’s that simple.” said Representative Deborah Boone (D-Cannon Beach), who sits on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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