On Wednesday, May 13th the ODA held the public hearing on expanding the list of "Cottage" foods (see that article). A number of farmer's market managers and vendors spoke in support of the rule change. No one spoke in opposition. Several witnesses spoke of the economic benefits of new small businesses that can now start in the home kitchen with little capital and grow sustainably. The rule will expand opportunity for small farmers to produce the more profitable value-added products, previously reserved for those with access to a commercial kitchen.
Officials at the ODA are optimistic about the passage of the rule. Patti Haden, of Ohio Proud, in a memo shortly after the hearing, said "The new rule should be in place by mid-June, 2009."
We will be following this story and will post news as we learn about it.