People are rediscovering the benefits of buying food locally. It is fresher than most produce in the supermarket and that means taste and nutrition are readily available to consumers. It is also good for local economies--buying directly from family farmers helps them stay in business.
The information linked at right is provided by the AgMRC program as a tool to provide guidance in the development of a local/regional food business. A food business has specific issues and factors that are directly affected by state, federal and local regulations; laws; and food safety guidelines that should always be completely understood and examined by an entrepreneur. Additionally, it is equally important that the entrepreneur understand where they can get assistance in answering their questions regarding the laws surrounding the preparation and sale of food products.
For instance, will you be selling your food product at a farmers’ market, direct to consumers or will you sell the product online? Each of the various marketing channels has various regulations. You must be familiar with the labeling and handling requirements as well what items can or cannot be sold in those channels. Thorough research should be undertaken before you begin a food business, so that you completely understand the regulations and have the tools to make your business successful.
Business issues, such as labeling, marketing and handling, are unique within the food business sector, so it is vital to thoroughly research all facets of the food business prior to doing business. This guide was developed to help you understand the laws and regulations and to also provide contact information and leads to the technical and resource service providers who can further assist in the development of a food business.
This information should be used as a beginning resource, and proper consultation and advice should always be obtained from the organization or agency that has jurisdiction over the specific topic that is applicable.
It is suggested that you read through the information linked at right to locate areas that you feel you might need additional information or training. As you begin to understand those areas, you will develop questions and may need assistance.
National Local/Regional Food Programs