Measure Will Create Entrepreneurship at Local Farm Markets
The State Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) and Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) that would support the growth of local farm markets and enhance their offerings to customers by removing regulatory hurdles when vendors sell baked goods.
Legislation by Senators Pennacchio and Bucco would support the growth of local farm markets and inspire entrepreneurship. (WikiCommons)
“New Jersey’s current law requiring vendors at local farm markets to individually weigh and wrap items, such as cookies and muffins, puts our farmers at a disadvantage,” Pennacchio stated. “These requirements often cause our farmers to second guess whether to sell baked goods at their locations, possibly deterring local business. It is time to place our farm markets on the same playing field as bakeries which aren’t subject to this unreasonable restriction.”
Pennacchio noted the legislation inspires entrepreneurship by allowing farm markets to easily sell baked goods, possibly creating the next Cake Boss or Entenmann’s Bakery.
New Jersey’s farms depend heavily on healthy crops and can be devastated when harvests are affected by weather or other outside causes. Helping local farmers to diversify with baked goods offers income insurance against bad harvests and broadens the types of consumers that farm markets can attract.
Under current law, producers of Jersey Fresh products are put at a competitive disadvantage with the requirement that each baked item be individually weighed before being sold at farm markets, unlike products sold at shops and bakeries.
The legislation, S-410, will allow cakes, cookies, desserts, muffins, parties, pies, treats or other baked goods to be sold at farm markets wrapped but unweighted.
“During a dry season, farmers must find ways to offset the lost income from the fruits and vegetables they are unable to grow,” Bucco explained. “By making it easier for farmers to diversify their products and sell baked goods, we can continue to enhance our local economies and give communities the ability to have farm-fresh experiences.”
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