Illinois General Assembly Approves Smarter Rules for Farmers Markets
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[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 Alliance.
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 them home:
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.
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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.
[Text received; WES KING, ILLINOIS
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