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Farmerís Market bill signed by Gov. Rell

By Governor Rell's Office

  SEPTEMBER 6, 2010 --

Governor M. Jodi Rell recently celebrated legislation that allows farms in Connecticut to expand the range of locally produced foods they can sell to include pickles, salsas and hot sauces. The bill also expands the definition of "farmer's markets" so more people can take advantage of opportunities to buy Connecticut-grown products.

"Agriculture in Connecticut is a $2 billion-a-year part of our state's economic fabric - not to mention a vital part of our heritage," Governor Rell said. "This bill will allow farms greater flexibility in the locally grown and produced products they can sell, offering yet another avenue for our farmers - large and small - to bring in additional revenue. By broadening the definition of a farmer's market, it not only expands opportunities for growers and producers but brings new opportunities for residents and visitors to taste and enjoy the bounty of our state."

The legislation - House Bill 5419, An Act Concerning Farms, Food and Jobs - expands current law allowing the sale of jams, jellies and preserves made from fruit grown on a residential farm to include "acidified foods" such as pickles and salsa. It imposes a number of safety restrictions - including requiring water quality tests and a requirement that the food preparer pass a food-handling safety course - and mandates that the products carry a label stating "Not prepared in a government inspected kitchen."

The bill also redefines a farmer's market as any cooperative or non-profit enterprise which operates on a given site for any given day or event and includes at least two farmers selling Connecticut-grown produce. Under previous law, a farmer's market was required to operate throughout a season.

In addition to the above, State Legislative Director Gordon Gibson would like members to be aware that this bill also designates the Commissioner of Agriculture as the state official in charge of inspecting any poultry producer that also operates as a poultry processing facility. This is something the poultry producers very much wanted as it will allow them to be designated as, "Approved food sources for household consumers, restaurants, hotels and boarding houses."

Note: The photo and text of this article were contributed by the Governor's Office.


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