House Bill 759

Action Alert, Legislation

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, Pickle bill takes the House!

Branded the “Pickle Bill” at the General Assembly from the original five year push to get unregulated pickle sales into the hands of local Virginians back in 2013! The bill was brought forward this year at our request by Delegate Nick J. Freitas. This year we had asked to have the sales cap on unregulated pickle sales, that could be sold directly to the end consumer with required labeling, removed entirely.

Before the bill had made its way to the Agricultural Subcommittee a substitute was offered by the VA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture’s office. The substitute did not offer a complete removal of the sales cap on pickles but did raise it from $3000 to $9000 and while it is not nearly enough to cover the current economic inflation it is a start. The substitute brought with it other perks like internet advertising, more flexibility when labeling smaller items, and the ability to sell at a fair or pop up market for up to 14 consecutive days. If the bill makes it all the way through the GA this year buyers will have more to choose from in Virginia not only at farmers markets but at local gatherings like a craft fairs and other temporary sales events.

The bill passed out of the Ag Subcommittee with the substitution and a 9-1 vote. The Ag Subcommittee Chair, Delegate Dan Helmer changed his “no” vote to a “yes” in the full Agricultural Committee which sent HB759 on its way to the House floor with uncontested support last Wednesday, January 31st. The bill went uncontested through the 1st and 2nd House readings, until the third reading this past Tuesday, which passed out of the

House 94-2 with Delegates Price and Simons being the holdouts.

 

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