Legislative Session 2019
Help VICFA increase food choices in Virginia!
Homemade yogurt is illegal to sell.
Many home-baked goods are illegal to sell.
Pickle sales are restricted.
We need to reclaim food freedom one bite at a time!
VICFA has made progress over the years to increase the range of foods people are allowed to make in their homes and sell directly to their neighbors without having to open their homes to state inspections.
However, there are still too many restrictions on direct sales, so VICFA this year is seeking to get Section 3.2-5130 of the Code of Virginia amended by a bill that would:
1) Remove the $3000 sales limit on pickle sales. Since home-made pickle sales were made legal in 2013 there have been no issues, though opponents labelled pickles as “potentially hazardous”, so we feel this limit should be removed.
2) Allow the sale of all baked goods (not just those that do not require “time and temperature control after preparation”). This is another unnecessary concession that had to be made for the original “kitchen bill” to pass. If you sell at home from home refrigeration is not a problem. At a farmers market, baked goods can be kept cold in coolers with icepacks if necessary. This is already done with raw frozen meats and eggs.
3) Add homemade yogurt to the list of products exempt from state inspection. Yogurt is a nutritionally dense food that enhances the variety of beneficial bacteria in the gut and hence, the immune system. There is not one case of sickness from homemade yogurt in the USA on the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/outbreaks/multistate-outbreaks/outbreaks-list.html
A bill containing these amendments would increase entrepreneurial opportunities in Virginia, and widen the range of locally made foods available to consumers who wish to buy directly from the producer.
We are currently looking for a sponsor for this bill, so please consider asking your Delegate or Senator at the General Assembly in Richmond to sponsor such a bill that would increase food freedom. More information will be coming to this page soon!
To find your elected officials go to the Elections page at www.lwv.org
Questions?? Call or text 434 260 4701
10/2/18 HR2657 ( The Prime Act) : we are waiting for news from Senator Massies office on the current status of this bill.
History and Information:
5/18/18 The Massie Amendment No. 29 ( which would give states the freedom to permit the intra-state distribution of custom-slaughtered meat) has not been included in the Farm Bill this year. It was not even brought forward for a vote. The HR2657 (the “Prime Act”) is still “alive” as a free standing bill which still needs more Co Sponsors, so you can still ask your Representative to do that.
Why do we need the “Prime”Act?
Would you like more availability of locally produced meats.
Would you like to help increase local meat processing options for small farmers and help grow a more prosperous local food system?
The scarcity of small-scale slaughterhouses is one of the biggest barriers to farmers’ ability to produce, and consumers’ ability to buy, locally raised meat. Many farmers have to haul their animals several hours to get to a processor, increasing costs and creating stress for the animals – and for some, it’s just not feasible. Some farmers have to make reservations with slaughterhouses up to a year or more in advance, making accurate business planning nearly impossible.
VICFA, as well as Weston A. Price Foundation and Farm to Consumer Legal Defence Fund, is supporting a federal bill, H.R. 2657. The “Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption” (PRIME) Act, is sponsored by Rep Thomas Massie KY04.
This bill would tackle the scarcity of small-scale slaughterhouses by allowing the sale of meat by the individual cut from “custom” slaughterhouses. Currently, meat can only be sold by the individual cut if it is from an animal slaughtered and processed at a federal or state inspected facility.The best chance for passing H.R. 2657 is to include it in the Farm Bill — and the House Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture members will be among the first to have a say in what gets into the Farm Bill and what is left out on livestock-related issues.
Problems with the current system:
Many farmers have a custom slaughterhouse much closer than a federal or state-inspected facility. But under the current law, if the animal is processed at a custom facility, the meat can only go to the individual or individuals who owned the animal at the time the slaughter took place. This means that the customer(s) must buy the whole animal while it is still alive, effectively purchasing hundreds of pounds of meat without knowing the final weight or price per pound. Not many people can or want to do this! The current law makes it difficult for farmers to meet the demand for locally produced meat.
The following Representatives are on the House Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee ( by state):
Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) (202) 225-3341
Rep. Jim Coster (CA-16) – Ranking Member (202) 225-3341
Rep. Scott Desjarlais (TN-4) (202) 225-6831
Rep. Dwight Evans (PA-2); (202) 225-4001
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-6); (202) 225-5431
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-4); (202) 225-2876
Rep. Trent Kelly (MS-01); (202) 225-4306
Rep. Steve King (IA-4); (202) 225-4426
Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-1); (202) 225-2715
Rep. Stacey Plaskett (VI-At Large); (202) 225-1790
Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7) – Chair; (202) 225-2731
Rep. Filemon Vela (TX-34); (202) 225-9901
Rep. Ted Yoho (FL-3), (202) 225-5744
Please share this information with friends in other states to help get as much support as possible for H.R. 2657
As a constituent, I urge Representative ____ to co-sponsor H.R. 2657, the PRIME Act.
This important bill will make it easier for small farms and ranches to succeed financially and provide consumers with greater access to locally raised meats. The bill simply removes the federal ban on the sale of meat from custom slaughterhouses directly to consumers and venues serving consumers within a state, subject to state law. This returns power to the states to establish a regulatory scheme that makes sense for their citizens.
The PRIME Act is the first step to rebuilding local processing infrastructure, which can revive rural economies and enable communities to become more self-sufficient in meat production.
Please support our local farmers and consumer choice by co-sponsoring H.R. 2657.
VICFA would like to thank Weston A. Price for graciously sharing content that we have included on this page. Weston A. PrIce Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer based organisation that promotes and supports traditional nutrient dense foods and farming methods.