Happy New Year 2017!

Hello everyone! It’s a new year with new opportunities and a whole lot of hope that it’s a great one for us all!

2016 ended with a total of 1,973 registered cottage food producers in Minnesota. As of a few days ago less than half that number have re-registered. Please remember that all registrations expired on Dec. 31st, 2016. All of the re-registration forms have been sent out. If you did not receive one you can re-register online following the instructions below. If anyone needs their PIN they can call or email the MDA and the kind folks there will quickly find it for you. 

Step-by-Step instructions to renew on-line $0 – 5,000:

1.    Go to our website which is www.mda.state.mn.us

2.    Click on “Apply / Renew a License”

3.    Click on “RENEW my license”

4.    Enter your License Number (xxxxxxxx)

5.    Enter your PIN (xxxx)

6.    Click Renew License

7.    Enter the following information:

a.    Amount of food sales (gross sales amount, not net sales)

b.    Checklist of items you produce – then click “Next”

c.    Training date, if it is not shown please enter your most recent training date – then click “Next”

d.    Contact name, title, telephone, fax if applicable, and email address – then click “Agree, Continue” (If you sold less than $5000, this will be your last screen. When you click on “Yes, I agree”, your registration will be renewed)

Step-by-Step instructions to renew on-line $5,000 – $18,000:

Complete steps 1-7 as shown above

8.    Verify purchase and write down PAYMENT ID (this number is required if you are paying with an e-check), then click on “Enter Payment Information”. You will then leave the MDA website and enter US Bank’s website. Follow the prompts and enter information when required.
Note: US Bank charges a 2.5% handling fee for each renewal transaction.

9.    Print copies of the receipts for your records. 
**PLEASE NOTE: If you are paying with an e-check, you will not be able to renew your license online without the payment ID.  If you forget to either print the page or write down your Payment ID and are unable to renew your license, try closing completely out of your browser and then restart the renewal process.  If this doesn’t work you will need to call us at the number below or mail in your renewal with payment.

On December 17th, 2016 Suzanne Driessen held the last food safety class of the year. We were really happy that 18 people attended this class and we want to give Suzanne a big thank you for traveling all over the state last year to teach these classes for us. Suzanne has already scheduled several food safety classes for this year. You can find them on the University of Minnesota Extension website and I have added them to the events part of our MN Cottage Food Law Facebook page. These classes are very interesting and informative. All Tier 2 Cottage Food Producers, meaning that you plan to gross between $5,000.00 to $18,000.00 this year, must attend a Tier 2 level food safety class.  These food safety courses only need to be retaken every 3 years.

We continue to have a few new people joining our page every week. We welcome you and we wish you all the best in your endeavors to become a Minnesota cottage food producer. You can find most of the answers to any questions you may have on the Minnesota Farmer’s Market Association website, as well as links to other helpful resources. By the way, if you are planning to sell any of your foods at the many farmer’s markets the MFMA is a great thing to become a member of.

For those of you who may not know, we also have a Twitter account @MNCottageLaw and a Facebook group page for MN Cottage Food Producers to share ideas and other information.

Some of you have been following the progress of the New Jersey Cottage Food folks on Facebook. At this time their bill has once again passed the Assembly unanimously and  they are waiting to hear back from the Red Tape Review and getting their Bill posted for a Senate Hearing. The CT Cottage Food Movement looks to be doing pretty good. They report that there is only one more hurdle to pass which is the Regulation Review Committee in their legislature. So fingers crossed they could have their bill passed within a month or two. I’m afraid there isn’t much new news from the Wisconsin cottage food page. They are all happy for any new supporters so please continue to show them some love and encouragement.

Have a great day and best wishes to you all for a wonderfully successful new year!

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