Harry Vanderpool (From: The Bee Line, January–February 2012)
The 2011 Oregon Legislature passed a bill related to farm-direct sales of certain foods including honey. The Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Farmers Market Association, and many other good people, both for and against, worked very hard to craft the bill, which was signed by Governor Kitzhaber. HB2336 allows for the processing and farm- direct sales of certain low pH foods, nuts, grains, eggs, and honey without a food safety license.
Specifically, this bill gives unlicensed honey producers, who sell farm direct, relief from ORS 585.010 – 585.220 and 616.695 – 616-755. In a nutshell, no fees or inspections as well as relief from specifications for processing facilities and sales facilities. The remaining bulk of food-safety rules still apply, however. All current labeling rules still apply with two additional required notices: “This product is homemade and is not prepared in an inspected food establishment” and “Not For Resale”—with one exception, honey!
Honey must bear the notices: “This product is not prepared in an inspected food establishment” and “Not For Resale.”
What constitutes a farm-direct marketer? “Farm-direct marketer” means an agricultural producer who sells directly to the retail purchaser the agricultural products grown, raised, and harvested by that producer.
Commingling honey with other producers is not covered under this bill.
Although selling to stores is not allowed (this would be resale), consignment is. Honey sold under consignment must bear the required labeling with the name and business address of the consigning honey producer.
Farm-direct marketers who do not ensure the condition and safety of the food that they provide to retail purchasers may be required to obtain a food-safety license to continue operations.
Beekeepers with fewer than 20 hives would be well advised to consider Oregon’s “under 20 hive exemption” rather than take the “farm direct exemption.” The <20 hives exemption does not require the additional labeling. In addition, under this exemption, you can sell to stores and also sell wholesale.
For more information, go to: http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2011/HB2336.