By SHERRI RUGGIERI
The Economic Growth Committee of New Jersey’s Senate has passed legislation to remove regulatory restrictions imposed on farmers who sell baked goods at local markets around the state. Under the current law, the farmers’ baked items must be individually weighed before placed for sale at farm markets. This puts the locally produced cakes, cookies, desserts, muffins, parties, pies, or other treats at a disadvantage. According to Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), this change to the law will enable Jersey Fresh producers to “sell baked goods by the dozen and pies individually, not by weight. Farm markets should be placed on the same playing field as bakeries and other retail shops, allowing entrepreneurship to flourish.”
The intent of this law is to help local farmers to redefine their business activities. In this way, farmers will not be as dependent on the success of the harvest, which can fluctuate because of weather or other forces. As explained by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25), “By making it easier for farmers to diversify their products and sell baked goods, we can continue to enhance our local economies and give communities the ability to have farm-fresh experiences.”
The legislation, S-410, now faces the hurdle of the full Senate for a vote.
Sherri Ruggieri is the managing editor of Empire State News. A practicing attorney for over 20 years, Ms. Ruggieri is also chairperson of Edison Township’s Planning Board. Additionally, she has served as a college professor, with nearly a decade of experience in teaching law and political science courses.
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