Starting with January 1 2013, the Californian state has changed its regulations and now allows those who make food at home to sell it to grocery stores or to restaurants. Vinegar producers and granola makers are few of the many such vendors within this newly allowed type of business.
The California Homemade Food Act
With old regulations being left behind, the new food act represents the starting point of a new food production category, known as the “cottage food operation”. If you are an aspiring cottage food operator, then you have to absolve first a food safety class, then pass an exam created by the California Department of Public Health. Also, your products have to carry labels and you need to pay a small fee, also agreeing to submit to an annual kitchen inspection carried out by health officials. Concerning your kitchen, smoking or keeping pets in there is forbidden, as in any other commercial enterprise. All these will get you a state permit as an operator. All in all, this looks like a very good deal for the food sellers.
A New Chance to Become an Entrepreneur
Many wish to become entrepreneurs these days, but what usually cripples them is the high renting prices, especially in the big urban areas. Finally, one is allowed to start a business in the space provided by their own home. Moreover, they have the chance to start this in the food industry, which is a most promising sector. The revenue limit for 2013 is $35,000 and by 2015 it has been said to rise to $50,000. These numbers may not be spectacular, but represent a very good income supplement without having to get out of your home.
Allowed and Prohibited Foods
Based on the new act, cottage food operators do not have the freedom to supply every kind of food product. Hazardous ones like dairy products and sausages are forbidden. The law allows for granola, baked goods, dried pasta, jam, chocolate, candy, roasted coffee, nut butters, mustard, vinegar.
The Economical Benefits
A favorable job market seems to be taking shape. New business ventures can develop and individuals who were laid off can now have an income source. This also leads to less unemployment benefit being paid out. Furthermore, the law that went into effect this year leads creates farmers’ markets development. Enormous barriers were lifted up, barriers which previously wouldn’t allow for too many people to venture into such a business. Additionally, the producer-customer relationship becomes a closer one.
The Workers Issue in California
Many people have been brewing ideas of using this law to take a home food business to a higher level. However, immigration is at lower levels these days and farmers have been complaining of that aspect, because it has become harder for them to find workers to employ. However, there is the attempt to introduce more fairness into this business field through FEHA, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, designed to stop discrimination of all kind.
This article is penned by Samuel Martin, who is an online writer. He writes regularly on variety of topics including business and finance.