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House Bill 759
HB759, that would remove the $3000 gross annual revenue cap for sales of pickles made from a private home without government inspection to be sold only to the end user and was referred out of the Agricultural Subcommittee yesterday with a 9 to 1 vote. A substitute to the original bill was offered and accepted.
Delegate Nick Freitas championed the bill with skill and eloquence. steering the committee to a referral of the bill by outlining the need for an increase in the sales cap and pointing out the lack of complaints regarding home processed pickles in the market. Please reach out to Delegate Freitas and thank him for his support of small farmers and home producers in Virginia!
Update HB759 passes the Senate AG Committee and full Senate!
Following Delegate Nick Freitas presentation on the bill on Tuesday the 20th of February, HB759, the “Pickle Bill”, made it through the Senate Agricultural Committee with a 15-0 vote. The bill has continued to make it through all three readings uncontested in the Senate and passed out of the Senate today with a 39-0 vote.
The bill will then pass on to Governor Youngkin to sign into law when all is said and done.
VICFA lobbied this past Monday, visiting the members of the Senate Ag Committee and requesting they support the bill.
In addition, many of you responded to the action alert and emailed and called your Senator. Constituent input is crucial when passing a “peoples bill” and we were grateful for your participation.
VICFA members Suzi Croes, Dan Lafever, and Garrett Brockwell, owner of Orchard Hill Farm and pickle producer, came to testify in support of the bill. Plum Pickings owner Karoline Gillespie came to support Montpelier’s local baked goods producers, Laura Sylvester of Pie Safe Baking Co. and Cathy Hummel the daughter of the “Pound Cake Lady” a retiree with a following. Also present was the Cake Pop baker whose run-in with the Virginia government led to the substitutions in the bill.
At the Senate Ag meeting, so many folks showed up ready to speak in support of the bill that Senator Marsden, the acting committee chair, would only allow a few to speak. Dan Lafever and Garrett Brockwell both gave great testimonies highlighting the opportunities the bill would offer Virginians who are producing under the cottage bill exemptions. In addition, the committee got to hear from two bakers who also were in favor of the bill saying how much it will allow them to sell more goods and thus supplement their retirement income.
Thank you All! for contacting the Senate Ag members and getting HB759 through the committee “uncontested”.Please give a big Thank You to Delegate Nick Freitas the patron of the bill, who early on fought for direct farm to consumer sales and a steady supporter of food freedom.
We also want to thank Weston A Price Foundation for sharing our Action Alerts!