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Selling Homemade Food in Arkansas

People love fresh-baked cookies and cake right out of the oven. Yet selling many types of homemade food was illegal in Arkansas until 2011. That’s when the state adopted rules to allow direct, in-person sales of nonperishable homemade foods that do not require refrigeration. The law was amended in 2017 and again in 2019 to allow even greater freedom. In 2021 the state passed Act 306 (formerly House Bill 1118), which allows many types of online food sales.

Arkansas cottage food laws

Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Cottage food producers in Arkansas may sell directly to customers in their homes and at special events such as farmers’ markets and fairs. Allowable products include homemade breads, cookies, candies, honey and syrups. People also may sell whole eggs. Cottage producers in Arkansas may not sell their products in retail establishments such as grocery stores. Read Arkansas cottage food rules…

Arkansas cottage food facts

Myths about cottage food abound. Here are the facts: 

  • Cottage food is safe. Critics who talk about the risk of food-borne illness give hypothetical examples of what could go wrong because real-world cases are rare or nonexistent. 
  • Cottage food is local. When neighbors trade with neighbors, money stays in the local economy. 
  • Cottage food is transparent. People who buy from a cottage food producer know what they get. If they have questions about ingredients, sourcing or safety, they can ask.
  • Cottage food creates jobs. Many homemade food producers use their income to provide for their families. Others seek a secondary or supplemental income. 
  • Cottage food empowers women. IJ cottage food research shows that most cottage food producers are women, and many live in rural areas with limited economic opportunity.
  • Cottage food expands consumer choice. Some stores simply don’t sell what you want. This is especially true if you have a gluten-free, peanut-free, halal, kosher or vegan diet. Cottage food fills market gaps, giving consumers more options.

Arkansas cottage food resources 

As part of its Food Freedom Initiative, the Institute for Justice provides a variety of resources for home bakers and other food entrepreneurs. These include: 

Tell your Arkansas story

Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Arkansas? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here… 

Support Arkansas legislation

Help expand cottage food laws in Arkansas by teaming with the Institute for Justice. Send an email with your name, background information and availability to get started… 

Defending homemade food freedom nationwide 

People have a right to earn an honest living without arbitrary and excessive government interference. Since 2013, the Institute for Justice has defended home bakers and chefs as part of its Food Freedom Initiative. Read about IJ’s nationwide food freedom advocacy…

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All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Statutes, regulations, and processes are subject to change at any time, and specific facts and circumstances could alter how they are applied. If you have questions about the regulation of cottage foods in your jurisdiction, we recommend consulting a lawyer who can help you navigate the process. 

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