Subject: URGENT Action in Virginia: SUPPORT HB 1785 to Increase Legal Cottage Foods – Contact Your Lawmaker Before Monday's Vote!

View this email online if it doesn't display correctly
Hi Friend,

Under current law, Virginians may not sell homemade yogurt, baked goods that require time/temperature control, or more than $3,000 in pickles unless they make them in a commercial kitchen and get the required permits. House Bill 1785 (HB 1785), introduced by Delegate Matt Fariss, would change that. HB 1785, also known as the “Campaign for Real Food,” would expand the cottage food law to allow food producers to generate more income out of their home kitchens.

If passed, HB 1785 would increase local food options, consumer choice, and possible revenue streams for Virginians by legalizing the sale of homemade yogurt and homemade baked goods that need refrigeration, as well as increasing the amount of homemade pickles that can be sold.

The House Agricultural Subcommittee #1 is going to hear HB 1785 this Monday January 14, 2019 at 4:30pm, so please take action now! And please share this alert with your friends and family in Virginia!

Thanks to Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (VICFA) for publicizing and pushing this bill forward.

HB 1785 Virginia Pickles

Ask your Assembly Delegate to sign as a co-patron for HB 1785 and help the bill move forward. If you don’t know who represents you, go to

Remember, calls are far more effective than emails, and they can take just a couple of minutes! Keep your call or email short, polite, and clear—you can simply give your name, identify yourself as a constituent, and ask the Delegate to support the bill. If you have time, add a sentence or two about why this issue is important to you. See More Information, below, for some talking points that you can use.

If you’re a constituent of any of the members listed below who sit on the House Agriculture Subcommittee #1, please let him/her know that you support this bill. If you're not a constituent, please skip this action item—committee members want to hear from their constituents, not people from all over the state. 

And please share this alert with anyone you know in these cities, via email, on your Facebook page, etc. You can find the URL for this alert at

House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Subcommittee #1:

3rd District: Bland, Buchanan, and Tazewell; Part of Russell.
James W. “Will” Morefield
804 698 1003

9th District: Patrick; Part of Franklin County and Henry.
Charles Poindexter
804 698 1009

14th District: Danville; Part of Henry and Pittsylvania
Danny Marshall, III
804 698 1014

35th District: Part of Fairfax County
Mark Keam
804 698 1035

54th District: Part of Caroline and Spotsylvania
Robert “Bobby” Orrock, Sr.
804 698 1054

73rd District: Part of Henrico
Debra H. Rodman
804 698 1073

80th District: Part of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk and Portsmouth
Matthew James
804 698 1080

81st District: Part of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake
Barry D. Knight
804 698 1081

100th District: Accomack,and Northampton; Part of Norfolk and Virginia Beach
Robert S. Bloxom
804 698 1000

The Subcommittee hearing on HB 1785 will be this Monday, January 14, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. in:

Committee Room 400-B
Pocahontas Building
900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219 [directions]

VICFA is gathering people together at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the Pocahontas building to coordinate meetings. Please call Anne Buteau from VICFA at (434) 260-4701 for more details about the meeting.


The bill summary as introduced: 

Food establishment inspections; exemptions. Exempts from inspections by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services private homes where the resident processes and prepares any yogurt that has an equilibrium pH value of 4.6 or lower or baked good, subject to certain conditions. Current law exempts only those baked goods that do not require time or temperature control after preparation. The bill removes the requirement that private homes where the resident processes pickles or other acidified vegetables sell less than $3,000 in gross sales in a calendar year in order to qualify for such exemption. This bill contains technical amendments.

You can read the original House Bill 1785 HERE. There will be a committee substitute, meaning a slightly different version of the bill will be heard by the committee, but we do not have that language yet.

Talking Points:
  • HB 1785 would increase the sales limit on pickles from $3000 to $4000. Since home-made pickle sales were made legal in 2013, there have been no issues. Since the cost of living and of ingredients has increased, the sales limit should be raised.
  • The bill also allows baked goods such as meringue pies, quiches, and pumpkin pies to be available for sale, (not just those baked goods that do not require “time and temperature control after preparation”). These are foods that many consumers are seeking out from cottage food producers, because they want to buy them from local producers. 
  • Last, the bill allows homemade yogurt to be sold to the end consumer. Yogurt is a nutritionally dense food that enhances the variety of beneficial bacteria in the gut and thus supports the immune system.
As Joel Salatin, famous Virginia farmer and long-time member of FTCLDF and VICFA, points out: “Refusing to appreciate the difference between a 500-employees 24/7/365 export-oriented processing facility and a neighbor’s homemade food craft is unnecessarily prohibitive to choice, innovation, and opportunity. Farmers and food shoppers need relief from these onerous and limiting regulations.” | 703-208-FARM (3276) |
8116 Arlington Blvd Suite #263, Falls Church, VA 22042, United States
You may unsubscribe or change your contact details at any time.