New Jersey's 24th Legislative District

Senator Steven Oroho

Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho

Pennacchio/Oroho Bill Closes the Lid on Unfair Treatment of Farmers Selling Baked Goods at Roadside Markets

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Farmers selling their own baked goods, pies by the slice, or other edible treats at farm markets will be able to wrap the food for sanitation purposes without weighing the goods and labeling it under legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Steve Oroho and advanced by the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Farmers selling their own baked goods at farm markets will be able to wrap the food for sanitation purposes without weighing the goods and labeling it under legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Steve Oroho. (Pixabay)

Under the law, S-283, bona fide farmers at a farm market are exempt from requirements to weigh and label articles of food provided the items are sold in open or uncovered containers.

“It is an unusual rule that makes even less sense during this pandemic, when people are super sensitive about preventing the spread of COVID and other viruses and pathogens,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “It doesn’t make sense that you can walk into any pizza shop and order a slice to go and nobody has to weigh it and stamp it with a label. It’s even more puzzling to have a rule that encourages anybody to sell open-air food during an airborne virus emergency.”

This current requirement applies to producers of baked goods who sell at farm markets and requires them to weigh their hand-made products, unlike their counterparts in retail shops and local bakeries.

“A farmer is allowed to sell a slice of homemade apple pie on a plate without a label, but if he wraps it in Saran Wrap or puts it in a closed box, it must be weighed and labeled,” said Oroho (R-24). “Why can’t the farmer/baker wrap it up and hand it to the customer without wasting the time and effort to weigh and label it? By eliminating that nonsensical regulation, the farm market transaction would be treated the same as any similar exchange in a store-front bakery or eatery.”

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