[May 30, 2014]SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate
unanimously approved legislation (HB 5657) last week that will
result in smarter, streamlined and statewide rules for food
sanitation at farmers markets. HB 5657 was unanimously approved by
the Illinois House of Representatives earlier this year. Following
the Senate’s approval the legislation will be sent to the Governor’s
desk for his signature.
“This is a really important step when it comes to supporting
farmers markets and community development. Regional planning
commissions, communities and economic development organizations
are consistently including local food and farmers markets in
their long term plans. As a state, we should be doing everything
we can to support the growing local food and sustainable
agriculture sector, and that is exactly what this legislation
does.” said Wes King Executive Director of Illinois Stewardship
Illinois Stewardship Alliance has been working along side the
Illinois Environmental Council, local health departments, the
Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Illinois Public
Health Association to develop HB5657.
The legislation, sponsored by Representative Mike Tryon
(R-Crystal Lake) and State Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria),
includes a number of provisions aimed at supporting and
sustaining farmers markets and the farmers and vendors that call
Product Origin and Transparency Provisions - requires
farmers market vendors that sell unprocessed produce and/or raw
agricultural commodities to have a small sign, label, or packing
slip that states the address where their products were
physically grown. If they can’t disclose that, they must list
where it was purchased from.
Consistent Statewide Farmers Market Rules - creates a
timeline for Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH)
Farmers’ Market Task Force to complete recommendations for
statewide rules and regulations for farmers markets and
strengthens that task force’s authority and process for
developing and finalizing said rules and regulations. The task
force was originally created in statute by the general assembly
in 2011. The bill gives the task force until December 15, 2014
to create their recommendations.
Statewide Sampling Program - Sampling of products is critical
to any food business including those at farmers markets. HB 5657
authorizes and instructs IDPH and the farmers market task force to
develop a statewide sampling certificate program that would allow a
farmer or entrepreneur to offer product samples at any farmers
market in the state under one certificate, and just as importantly,
under one consistent statewide set of rules.
Cottage Food Operations - Caps the fee that local health
departments can charge cottage food operations for registering at
$25 per year.
Illinois Stewardship Alliance is a nonprofit organization
that promotes environmentally sustainable, economically viable,
socially just, local food systems through policy development,
advocacy, and education.
To keep up to date on various Illinois Stewardship Alliance policy
and legislative work, visit