ARLINGTON, Va.— Today, Judge Rhonda Lanford denied the government’s motion to stay enforcement of the court’s previous ruling allowing homemade food producers in Wisconsin to sell shelf-stable foods directly to consumers. In February 2023, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection filed an appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals asking it to review the trial court decision that Wisconsin’s ban on the sale of homemade foods was unconstitutional.
This was the second case for the Institute for Justice (IJ) in which the Lafayette County Circuit Court struck down such a ban. In 2017, a legal challenge from homemade or “cottage” food producers and IJ led a Wisconsin court to declare the state’s ban on home-baked food sales unconstitutional. But Wisconsin continued to ban the sale of most homemade foods, like chocolates, candies, granola, and roasted coffee beans. This current lawsuit, filed in February 2021, aimed to change that. In December 2022, the court again ruled for the homemade food sellers. Prior to these legal victories, Wisconsin had the most-restrictive cottage food laws in the nation.
“Every Wisconsinite should be disgusted that their government is continuing to waste tax dollars fighting against Rice Krispies Treats and homemade fudge,” said IJ Senior Attorney Justin Pearson. “Thankfully, Judge Lanford today ruled against the government yet again. As a result, homemade food producers across the Badger State are free to make ends meet by selling these perfectly safe, delicious foods.”