STAND. COM. REP. NO. 579

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 756

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 756 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish the Access to Local Food Act to authorize cottage food operations to sell cottage food products, under certain conditions, upon receiving a permit from the Department of Health.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Food+ Policy Internship 2023, Hawaii Farmers Union United, Big Island Box, Hawaii Master Food Preservers, Institute for Justice, Hawaii Farm Bureau, and ten individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture and Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

 

Your Committee finds that local food production is integral to the State's economic development and food security. Homemade food that is sold directly to consumers, or "cottage food", is a small but growing industry, and cottage food is preferred among many consumers who are mindful of responsible sourcing and healthy eating options, and want to support local communities and individuals. However, the existing regulatory framework creates several challenges for entrepreneurs, especially individuals in rural areas who are unable to access commercial or certified kitchens. Additionally, the Department of Health does not provide certain exemptions for cottage foods. This measure establishes the Access to Local Food Act to authorize cottage food operations in the State, under certain conditions and upon receipt of a permit from the Department of Health, to support the State's economy and increase tax revenues.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 756 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,

 

 

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair