Many of you have been waiting for a list of talking points that can be used as a guideline when speaking to your representatives or anyone else who happens to be interested in what we are trying to accomplish. I apologize for the delay!
In regards to the Cap:
1. It has been suggested that raising the cap from $5,000.00 a year to $25,000.00 in gross sales would cause home bakers to create more product, which would in turn cause less focus on the quality and safety of the food.
Our Response: Cakes, cookies or pies are either done or not. Larger stacked cakes that not fully cooked are less stable, so can’t be worked with. In short it would not be in the baker’s best interest to sell a lesser quality item.
2. Another concern mentioned was that allowing home bakers was not fair to the commercial bakers.
Our Response: Surveys have shown that competition is good for the economy. Besides the fact that home bakers wouldn’t sell enough products to impact larger businesses. $25,000 gross income, less the cost of supplies, is not a very large amount. It should also be mentioned that all of the home baker’s supplies will come from the grocery stores thus generating more business for the local economy.
In regards to Food poisoning:
1. It was suggested that home bakers would put the public at a greater risk for food poisoning because of the lack of supervision and health inspections.
Our Response: Most cases of food poisoning are caused by raw foods purchased in grocery stores or restaurants, such as spinach and peanut butter, not baked goods. The cottage food law would allow for the sale of non-hazardous baked goods, so the risk of food poisoning is minimal.
All items will have detailed labels including the ingredients of the product, as well as name and phone number of the baker, to safe guard against allergy risk.
The law could require home bakers to take and pass a food safety course prior to starting a business and anyone purchasing from a home baker would have the opportunity to know the baker and visit the home where the goods are being made.
There are a few things that we require in order to run successful home based bakeries:
1. We need to be able to advertise our business to the public.
2. We need the cap increased at least to $25,000.00.
3. We need the law to be clarified as to what specific guidelines are in place, outlining what can and cannot be made or sold from a home kitchen.
A few facts:
Currently 34 other states have passed or amended a Cottage Food Law to allow home-based businesses to prosper. Why should Minnesota be left out?
Economic benefits to the baker and the community:
With the increased focus on supporting and growing local economies enabling home bakers will increase the sales of supplies provided by the local groceries.
Amending the cottage food laws to be broad enough to allow producers to make their operations viable businesses will allow for supplemented incomes and will benefit the local economy.
If you can think of any points that we may have left out just let us know!