Farmers’ Market Food Sampling Bill Passes Texas House
AUSTIN, Texas – May 10, 2013 – House Bill 1382 by Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) passed third reading in the Texas House today with unanimous support. Dubbed the “Farmers’ Market Sampling Bill,” it is part of a series of bills by members of the Texas House Farm-to-Table Caucus supporting local foods.
Currently, regulations for sampling at farmers’ markets across the state lack consistency and vary in complexity. Regulations meant for commercial establishments are enforced on and pose unnecessary hurdles for farmers and producers at farmers’ markets.
“Today the House took a positive step toward a more common sense approach to farmers’ markets that increases freedom for our citizens and small businesses,” said Representative Simpson. “By lifting unnecessary burdens off the backs of our farmers, I am hopeful that this bill will encourage a robust local foods movement and increase access to healthy food sources.”
HB 1382 simplifies and standardizes these procedures, making them practical in an outdoor venue. This bill provides consistency and simplicity to cooking demonstrations at farmers’ markets and eliminates some fees to encourage participation from both the producer and consumer.
“Representative Simpson is a passionate advocate and an important voice for food freedom in our state,” said Representative Rodriguez, Chair of the Caucus. “Like the other Caucus bills moving forward, HB 1382 is exemplary of the bipartisan work the Caucus is undertaking.”
About Texas House Farm-to-Table Caucus
The Caucus is the first state legislative caucus of its kind in the nation. It is a bipartisan organization of the Texas House of Representatives interested in public policy relating to the production, distribution and consumption of Texas foods. The Caucus officers include Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), Chair; Representative Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), Vice-Chair; Representative John Kuempel (R-Seguin), Secretary; and Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston), Treasurer.