If you are interested in creating a “cottage food law” in your state, review the how to build a social networking “buzz” and set up an online petition. use our sample letters and review “cottage food law” house bills written by other states.
If your state does not have a cottage food law, you can begin building a “buzz” or interest around this issue by setting up free social networking sites to educate the people in your state. However first consider reviewing Writing a Cottage Food Bill.
How to Build a Buzz
Creating a Facebook Fan Page that can be used to educate community members about “cottage food laws” and communicate directly with state residents who want to support the cottage law food bill. On your Facebook Fan Page, post house bill updates, a copy of the house bill once drafted, dates, time and location of committee meetings, committee meeting minutes (if available), solicit volunteers, create support groups to attend committee meetings when scheduled; and post updates on the progress of the bill until it is passed by both houses and signed into law.
Create a Twitter Account that can be used to tweet updates about drafting the new cottage food bill; share information about who the sponsors are from both the House and the Senate, committee meetings dates and all other updates until the law is passed by both houses and signed into law.
Create an online petition Create an online petition for your state cottage food law bill.
Now with that said, before you sign a petition, beware, in the past some organizations captured the email address to re-use for alternative purposes, don’t do it. It is your responsibility to share how you will use the signatures that you gather.
Alternatives to signing an online petition include asking supporters of your cottage food law bill to contact their representative directly, via email/ snail mail or phone, instead of signing a petition. All three methods are effective.
Sample petition below:
To: [Insert the name of your state] State Legislators
I, petition my [Insert the name of your state] state legislators to enact a Cottage Foods bill authorizing the [Insert the name of the agency or agencies responsible for regulating the cottage food law] to issue customized “Home Bakery” licenses/permissions to residential kitchens for the purpose of selling non-potentially-hazardous bakery products, such as, but not limited to: breads, cakes, doughnuts, pastries, buns, rolls, cookies, biscuits, and pies (except meat or cream pies).
This law will help create employment opportunities for state residents currently out of work. It is acknowledged that the cottage food laws may require food processors to pay a license and/or permit fee. It is this licensing requirement that could bring in money for the entire state or partially pay for any cost incurred for additional regulatory program operations. This law will also allow small commercial bakery owners to operate from a home-based location should their business revenues start to decline due to changes in the economy.
Now that you have your social media sites in place you are ready to take the idea of a “cottage food law” to your representative and senator. Starting this “cottage food law” is a clear indication that you see a need and you want this idea to become a law. Sample Petition
FYI – What you need to know
Only members of Congress can propose resolutions that are considered by the entire body. Your task comes down to convincing a member to actually want to introduce a “cottage food law” in your state.
Anyone can draft a bill, but only a member of Congress can introduce it.
Remember, the more work you do for members of Congress, the easier it is for them to work on your behalf. When you have a bill for Congress to consider, writing it up in legal language and presenting it to your representative and/or senator as a draft is helpful. Normally Lobbyists draft legislative proposals.
A number of sample bills from other states are provided in this section. It is recommended that you follow the format when composing your proposal. It is possible that your representative may make a few changes, however is well researched and written the Congressman and his staff won’t have to do as much editing.
Once the house bill is written and you have made an appointment to meet with your Congressman, it is now time to turn up the heat and get folks calling, writing letters, sending email, Tweeting and building a major buzz around your cottage food law cause.
1. Meet with your house representative and Senator
2. Plead your case and provide a clean, neat professionally typed and edited proposal
3. Ask about next steps
4. Inform the Congressman you will be following up with a phone call for updates
5. Inform the Congressman you are willing to do additional research or provide more information if necessary
6. Request an honest opinion about whether the proposal has a chance of being adopted and if not why not? What else can you do?
7. Don’t take no for an answer!
If at first you are not successful, dig your heels in and start over!
* Currently there is no evidence from other states with cottage food laws that home baked goods are a health hazard.
If you live in a rural community and you are interested in having local food processing ordinances changed to allow home food processing in an attempt to promote food crafting in your community take a look at this sample ordinance template. Read More>>