Denver, Colo. —
On Jan. 26, Local Foods, Local Jobs act, sponsored by Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass), passed through the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee. The Local Foods, Local Jobs act supports local, small-scale growers and producers by creating alternative methods for them to sell homemade, value added goods. Senate Bill 48 will allow small growers to sell their products directly to consumers, jump starting local economies and increasing the availability of healthy foods.
Senator Schwartz offered the following comment on Senate Bill 48:
“I am pleased to see that this jobs bill passed with bipartisan support as it will directly benefit many hard-working Coloradans. By empowering Colorado’s small farms and small-business entrepreneurs, this bill will create jobs, strengthen the economy, and promote tourism
The Local Foods, Local Jobs Act will ease impediments to local markets by exempting home kitchens from certain health inspections that are generally applied to large retailers. Home kitchens will be trained on safe food handling and processing procedures, as well as labeling requirements to ensure healthy products. Small businesses that promote locally sourced foods can get a strong start due to these streamlined regulations.
Sixty-five year-old Monica Wiitanen is the owner of The Small Potatoes Farm in Paonia, Colorado, and will directly benefit from the passage of Senate Bill 48:
“This bill would make a big difference to our farm operation as we could use excess or injured produce to make garlic and chile powder, dried tomatoes, kale chips, potato bread, and lots more. I work with a young professional baker and this will create income for him as well. It really has a spiral effect, and I think it will bring some life and prosperity into our community.”
Nearly 30 other states have passed similar laws to promote local products. Senate Bill 48 is sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representative Don Coram (R-Montrose).