South Dakota is taking a major step forward for food entrepreneurs. Friday afternoon, Gov. Kristi Noem signed HB 1322 into law, greatly expanding the homemade or “cottage” foods that producers can sell to include all shelf-stable foods and some foods requiring refrigeration, provided that producers complete a short food safety training. The law will also lift a burdensome third-party testing requirement for canned goods such as canned fruits and vegetables. Together, these changes will strengthen South Dakota’s position as one of the better states in the country for food freedom.
Last month, cottage food producers from throughout the state testified about what the bill would mean for their families and local economies. Three nonprofit organizations, the Institute for Justice (IJ) Dakota Rural Action, and Americans for Prosperity’s South Dakota Chapter worked with cottage food producers to help pass the bill.
“There has been a pent-up demand throughout South Dakota for people to buy more fresh foods directly from their neighbors, and this bill will let them do exactly that,” said IJ Legislative Counsel Meagan Forbes. “The state’s old requirements for selling canned goods made doing so unfeasible for many. This law dramatically expands what goods South Dakotans can buy locally.”
Barb Cromwell, a farmers’ market manager in Rapid City, praised how the law will expand business opportunities for South Dakota farmers and food options for consumers.
“Small, home-based businesses can now offer additional foods such as kuchens, pumpkin pies, or kimchi to local consumers. And the canning vendors at South Dakota’s farmers markets can now pass the businesses they have worked hard to build down to the next generation or sell it when they wish to retire,” Barb said. “I am excited for the increased access to local foods for South Dakotans!”
Cottage food producers must label their products with the name of the product, the producer, and a disclaimer that the product was not produced in a commercial kitchen.
In 2017, IJ released a research report, Flour Power, that showed that expanding cottage food laws have allowed the creation of many new home businesses, especially among rural women.
The law will take effect July 1.