Alabama is taking a big step forward for food entrepreneurs and consumers with Governor Kay Ivey’s signing of SB160, which will raise Alabama’s $ 20,000 cap on gross sales, will allow the sale of all stable food on the platform and allow the online sale and shipping of homemade food products.
This will allow Alabamians who want to make a living by selling homemade “homemade food” to eventually do so. The Institute for Justice, the national advocate for food freedom that helped draft the bill, celebrated what this change in law would mean for Alabama families.
“Alabama’s sales cap and shipping restrictions made it unviable for most Alabamans to start a home-made food business,” IJ legislative counsel Meagan Forbes said in a press release. “This law will allow thousands of Alabama people to support their families through a homemade food business.”
An Alabama baker, Melissa Humble of Headland, told the Alabama Senate Health Committee that she supported the bill because it will “help my family and other families in Alabama recover from the pandemic.”
Humble sells French macaroni and other bakery products, which has been helpful to his family during the pandemic. As a teacher and photographer with an immunocompromised couple, Melissa decided it would be best if her family did not work their traditional job during the pandemic. Running a food business in rural homes has allowed him to support his family while staying at home, but he faced unnecessary barriers that reduced his business’s earning potential.
“In December alone, more than 20 people applied to buy my bakery products and ship them, but I had to divert them by the way the law is written. I lost $ 400 in sales, ”he said.
Now, starting August 1, Alabamans will have the ability to have a thriving food business in cottages.
In 2017, IJ wrote the country’s first comprehensive study of cottage food companies, which showed that cottage food companies serve as an important path to entrepreneurship for their owners, who are often lower-income women. Even a small amount of additional income from a rural food business can be useful for lower-income households struggling during the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic led many Alabamians to want to start a home-made food business, but many realized the difficulty of opening stores due to heavy state rules and regulations,” said Andrew Meleta, an associate of IJ Activism . “This law will be especially useful as Alabamans recover from the economic damage of the pandemic. Rural house feeding laws create flexible job opportunities, especially for women, and support local economies. ”
IJ has won constitutional challenges to Wisconsin’s ban on selling home-cooked products and Minnesota’s restrictions on the right to sell home-cooked and canned products. IJ has also helped pass laws that expand the sale of homemade foods to several states across the country, including Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, West Virginia, Wyoming and DC.