New law expands egg sale opportunities for small-scale producers

Special to The Freeman

April 16, 2014

MADISON – A new egg sales law, Act 245, will reduce the licensing burden on small-scale producers, making it easier for them to sell eggs in the marketplace.

The new law, signed by Gov. Scott Walker last week, is effective immediately,  according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Act 245 exempts small-scale egg producers who sell eggs directly from the farm to consumers, either at farmers markets or on egg sales routes, from having to acquire a food processing plant license for egg collection and packing activities, according to the statement. Small-scale producers are those with 150 birds or fewer.

“Even though the new law allows small-scale producers to sell their eggs without a food processing plant license, they still are required to have a retail food establishment license to sell their eggs at farmers markets and on egg sales routes,” said Steve Ingham, administrator of DATCPs division of food safety. “They still have to meet some basic food safety requirements.”

Egg producer rules, which implement the new law, are currently being revised, according to the statement. The rule-revision process will not only address implementation of the new law, but will also make several other changes to help egg producers easily understand regulatory agency expectations. 

The rule-revision process involves a series of public hearings to get input from those that are directly affected. The hearings are likely to take place this summer, according to the statement