ARLINGTON, Va.—Last night, Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek signed a bipartisan bill into law that will expand the state’s homemade food industry. The Institute for Justice (IJ), the nation’s leading advocate for homemade food producers, applauds Gov. Kotek and state lawmakers for passing these needed reforms.
“Today is a great day for people throughout the Beaver State who want to use their passion for cooking and baking to earn an honest living,” said IJ Assistant Director of Activism Special Projects Jennifer McDonald. “We applaud Gov. Kotek and supporters of this bill in the legislature for working together to improve the state’s cottage food laws.”
The new law will expand Oregon’s cottage food industry in four main ways:
- It raises the annual gross revenue cap for cottage food producers from $20,000 to $50,000.
- It allows cottage food producers to conduct online sales, mail delivery and retail sales.
- It protects the safety of cottage food producers by no longer requiring them to list their home addresses on their food labels.
- It ensures the state cannot ban pet owners from selling homemade foods, as long as the pet stays out of the kitchen during production.
Jenny Berg of Bend, Oregon, began baking sourdough bread during the pandemic. She loves selling her breads to people in her community, and her neighbors value the ability to buy hyper-local homemade goods. But Jenny’s dreams of expanding her business were hampered by Oregon’s incredibly low annual sales cap.
“This law is a major win for cottage food producers. It’s the beginning of the removal of over-reaching government restrictions on the home bakers without compromising food safety,” said Jenny Berg. “For me, starting my porch pickup bread business during the pandemic meant that I didn’t have to rely on government subsidies and could contribute economic and psychological value to my family and community during a dark time. With the passage of SB643, Oregon cottage food producers have the ability to earn a higher wage, expand revenue channels, and even transition to the less restrictive licensed domestic kitchen baker.”
All 50 states and Washington, D.C., allow the sale of homemade shelf-stable goods or “cottage foods” such as cookies, cakes, jams, and more. Prior to the enactment of SB 643, Oregon had one of the lowest gross annual sales caps in the country. Research shows that expanding cottage food laws will provide greater access to entrepreneurship for women, people of modest means, and those living in rural communities.
IJ has defended the rights of homemade food producers throughout the country. In 2015, following an IJ lawsuit, Minnesota expanded its cottage food laws to allow the sale of baked and canned goods. In 2021, New Jersey ended its ban on the sale of home-baked goods, following a lawsuit brought by IJ and cottage food producers. Last year, IJ won a case on behalf of home bakers in Wisconsin, which the state is currently appealing.