New state laws providing more freedom for farmers market vendors

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Farmers markets in Illinois will be able to offer customers a greater variety of goods starting next year, courtesy of two bills signed into state law.

Governor Rauner recently signed the Local Food Business Opportunities Act and the Illinois Food Freedom Act into law.  Under the Local Food Business Opportunities Act, certain sanitation rules at farmers markets in Illinois will have a greater consistency statewide.  Additionally, vendors will now be allowed to use refrigeration equipment.  As a result, food must be kept properly chilled.

One of the bill's sponsors, State Representative Steven Andersson (R-Geneva), says, "Farmer’s markets are an essential part of communities throughout the state. This new law will help solve some of the challenges that vendors face, to help keep these markets successful and vibrant for both vendors and residents in the state."

Under the Illinois Food Freedom Act, farmers markets will be able to sell a wider variety of homemade foods, providing more processing and selling options, and encouraging more small food business entrepreneurs.

Both laws will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

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