Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The products must be labeled and the vendor would be required to register with a regional board of health after training in food-handling safety. Additionally, Schwarz says part of the intent of SB 258 is to highlight locally grown produce and locally produced food products through the use of the “Colorado Proud” label affixed to the products, as well as through greater promotion of farmers markets by the Department of Agriculture.
Schwartz said that the smaller growers add “variety and experience” and can contribute significantly to agri-tourism in the state.
“We need to find ways to support local farmers and local markets and promote Colorado,” said Schwartz.
Allowing small growers to turn their harvest into consumable products that can be sold could serve as a shot in the arm to those in rural communities struggling to make ends meet, says Schwartz.
“This is a jobs bill for rural areas,” said Schwartz.
Yet, Sen. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge, says it’s not just about rural areas but also about urban and suburban areas, and SB 258 will allow part-time urban farmers to sell their products without being in violation of the law. Jahn says more and more folks in non-rural areas are embracing what’s been called “agriburbia”—a blend of agriculture and suburban living. Farmers markets are a natural outgrowth of the trend.
“Agriculture has become urban,” said Jahn. “Agriburbia trends have grown and will continue to do so even if it’s just a couple of chickens in the backyard. Let’s let people do what they want and let’s quit making things hard for people in this state—the little guy.”
Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, says the state shouldn’t have a say in whether or not someone can sell what they produce, regardless of their size of operation, as long as they are not selling anything harmful.
“If someone wants to sell jams or jellies at a farmer’s market—we shouldn’t be regulating that,” said Harvey.
Via - Colorado News Agency
Posted by Politics Colorado at 1:03 PM