Cottage Food Industry on Growth Trend in California

A little more than a year ago, a California law went into effect that gave small farmers and even home gardeners a new opportunity to sell value-added products.

Shermain Hardesty_Page_1
Shermain Hardesty

The California Homemade Food Act permits individuals to produce certain types of cottage food in home kitchens to sell in limited quantities to the public.

That sounds simple, but like most laws, there are plenty of caveats. The legislation has stipulations about the types of foods allowable, registration, permits and labeling requirements.

UC Cooperative Extension has been helping farmers and home gardeners who produce fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, and honey take advantage of the new opportunity at workshops around the state, reported the Stockton Record.

Shermain Hardesty, UC Small Farm Program extension economist, is coordinating the project. Hardesty thinks that marketing may be the hardest part of creating a successful cottage food businesses for many farmers and other entrepreneurs.

At the workshops, Hardesty teaches the basic “Four P’s” of marketing: product, place, price and promotion.