Workshops: For a list of our upcoming workshops, click here to see the events page.
Legal Advice: We offer donation-based legal advice to small-scale food enterprises and other community-based enterprises through our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe. Locations rotate weekly to different San Francisco Bay Area locations. Click here to see the schedule and RSVP.
Creative Financing: Check out our Grassroots Finance page.
Bite-Sized Guides: We are constantly creating new easy-to-understand legal guides on a variety of topics, including food and farming! Click here to visit see all of our bite-sized guides.
By Jonathan Kauffman for the San Francisco Chronicle
Photo Credit: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle
Excerpt: This week, Assemblymen Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella (Riverside County), and Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, are introducing AB626, the Homemade Food Operations Act, a bill that would allow home cooks to sell hot, prepared foods directly to customers. Though it is backed by Josephine, a for-profit Oakland online startup that connects home cooks with nearby customers, the bill could have a much broader impact on low-income and immigrant communities across the state.Read more
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued proposed additions to the list of allowed foods under the CA Homemade Food Act yesterday. These are proposed additions to the list, so the changes to the list will not go into effect for another 30 days and are subject to change based on public comment.Read more
The following organizations and businesses voiced their support for AB 1616, the California Homemade Food Act. Thank you.
Click here for more information about the California homemade food laws.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
Anne Hamersky Photography
Aunt Ems Urban Inn + Farm
Berkeley Food Policy Council
Buried River Ranch
California Food and Justice Coalition
California State Grange
Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture
Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy
Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)
East Bay Urban Agriculture Alliance
Ecology Center of San Francisco
Episcopal Diocese of California
Feel the Earth
Friends of Alemany Farm
From the Ground Up
Future Action Reclamation Mob
Garden for the Environment
Green Earth Gardens
Hayes Valley Farm
How to Homestead
Institute of Domestic Technology
Itty Bitty Farm in the City
Little City Gardens
Los Angeles Bread Bakers
Mission Community Market
Mission Vertical Farming
Oakland Food Policy Council
People Organized to Win Employment Rights
Produce to the People
Roots of Change
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
San Diego Hunger Coalition
San Francisco Bee-Cause
San Francisco Food Security Task Force
San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance
San Francisco Landscapes
San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance
San Francisco Permaculture Guild
Slow Food Santa Cruz
Sustainable Economies Law Center
Tenderloin People’s Garden
The Free Farm
The Garden Community
Whole Foods Market Northern California
Democratizing The Homemade Food Economy
Past Policy Effort: California Homemade Food Law 1.0 (2011-2012)
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 (2016-2018)
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?
"If we are going to move from the current centralized food system to a local, diversified new food economy, sharing has to be part of the solution. Corporate control of our food system vests decision-making power with a very small group of people whose profit-maximizing goals often deplete resources from communities rather than strengthen them..."Read more
Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1616, the California Homemade Food Act, into law on September 21, 2012, and it went into effect on January 1, 2013. Now it is legal to produce some types of food for sale in a home kitchen. Next year, the California Neighborhood Food Act will likely become law, enabling citizens to legally sell produce grown on residential lots. The two laws will work together synergistically, such that tiny food artisans may source from tiny growers.Read more
Food biz proprietors and other local experts offer their top tips for new food entrepreneurs.Read more
Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) introduces SELC's The California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616) to create a pathway for the legal sale of safe homemade food products -- helping micro food businesses throughout the state prosper, and ultimately foster the healthy/local food movement.Read more