House Republicans Encourage Growing And Selling Of Tennessee-Based Agricultural Products
House Republicans moved forward with legislation to help encourage the growing and selling of Tennessee-based agricultural products across the state.
As filed, House Bill 299 is a pro-small business bill that removes governmental regulations and red tape that have placed undue burdens on the distribution of homegrown, locally produced food products.
Currently, all food manufacturers, regardless of size, are required to be licensed and inspected by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, incurring fees and other payments due to the state. House Bill 299 removes these licensing costs, allowing home-kitchens and small start-up companies the ability to thrive without being burdened by unnecessary fees and expenses.
Over the last several years, many rural communities across Tennessee have newly established farmers markets and local kitchens that continue to grow in size and offerings to the public. Because of current regulations, however, these groups have had difficulty expanding because of the high fees associated with providing these services.
If passed, House Bill 299 would stop the licensing and inspections required by the Department of Agriculture at over 150 existing domestic kitchens. This will allow for growth in our rural communities and at small business start-ups and farmers markets in all parts of the state.
The full text of House Bill 299 can be accessed by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/110/Bill/HB0299.pdf.