This act will make a huge impact at a smaller farmers’ market like ours, by opening up our product offerings to include even more variety and allowing farmers to expand their income by selling meat, dairy, and eggs without breaking the bank. Even small quantities will become feasible, and even those lower volumes can make a huge difference to a farmer’s income.
The second piece of legislation that will be a gamechanger at the farmers’ market this year is the Illinois Food Freedom Act (HB3063), sponsored by State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) and State Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria). This law is flipping the definition of what can be produced under the cottage food law, which will greatly expand the types of homemade foods that may be sold at the farmers market. Farmers will now have greater options for processing and selling extra produce, which will reduce food waste and offer even more variety to farmers’ market shoppers.
Both of these will help make it possible for shoppers to take care of an even bigger proportion of their grocery shopping at the farmers’ market–supporting the livelihood of our local farmers and pumping even more money directly into the local economy. Because we do so much work to increase access to fresh food for low-income shoppers in the nearby food desert neighborhoods of Champaign, we’re particularly excited to be able to offer even more products next year.