Democratizing The Homemade Food Economy
In 2012 the Sustainable Economies Law Center worked closely with the Los Angeles Bread Bakers, the California State Grange, and the Office of Assemblymember Mike Gatto to pass the California Homemade Food Act, which now allows certain kinds of small food enterprises to operate out of home kitchens, called "Cottage Food Operations." Dozens of other organizations and businesses and countless individuals also supported the bill by writing letters, making phone calls and showing up at their legislators' offices and committee meetings to express their support. The bill would not have passed without the efforts of all these groups and individuals!
Past Policy Effort: California Homemade Food Law 2.0
We are passionate about legalizing homemade food sales and providing increased opportunities for local food production and sales, especially for low-income entrepreneurs who don’t have the resources to access expensive commercial kitchens. In 2017, a bill was introduced in the California Legislature (AB 626) to expand the types of homemade foods allowed to be sold in California, especially hot meals. It was a crossroads moment for the food movement -- Would homemade food be taken over by massive tech platforms, or would it build on the success of community-driven institutions like farmers’ markets and worker cooperatives?