- Are there labeling requirements under the Farm Direct Rules?Yes, all state and federal labeling requirements apply: list of ingredients, net weight, name and address of the agricultural producer. Additionally, products must be labeled with “THIS PRODUCT IS HOMEMADE AND IS NOT PREPARED IN AN INSPECTED FOOD ESTABLISHMENT” and “NOT FOR RESALE”. Some products have additional labeling requirements.
- Can I direct-market grains and legumes that I have grown under the Farm Direct Rules?Agricultural producers can grow and process for farm direct sale whole, hulled, crushed or ground grains, legumes and seeds, plus parched or roasted grains—if of a type customarily cooked before eating. These products must be labeled.
- Can I dry what I grow if I want to sell it without a license?Yes. Farm Direct Marketing Rules allow agricultural producers to sell fruits, vegetables and herbs they have grown, harvested and dried, without a license. A license is not required to sell nuts grown, harvested, cured or dried, and cracked by agricultural producers.
- Can I make preserves in jars and sell them without a license?If you grow the principal ingredients yourself, the Farm Direct Marketing Rules exempt shelf-stable products, including syrups, jams, preserves, jellies, and canned fruit, from ODA licensing. In some cases pickles, chutneys, relishes, sauerkraut, and some salsas may be sold under this exemption.
- Can I purchase and use garlic, onion, or celery in my Farm Direct product?No. Garlic, onion and celery do not meet the definition of a "spice." You must grow it yourself.
- Can I sell canned foods other than acidic foods under the Farm Direct Rules?No. Canned goods must have a pH below 4.6. Canned foods with a pH higher than 4.6 (such as peppers, green beans and corn) pose a substantial risk of botulism and other food safety concerns, and must be processed by a licensed and inspected processor.
- Can I sell items under consignment under the Farm Direct Rules?Consignment means selling products for another agricultural producer from the same county, or an adjoining county. Products must be represented as being from the original producer and must be properly labeled. Consignment is limited to fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, unshelled nuts, honey, and dried products such as garlic or potatoes, where drying or curing is routine post-harvest processing. Eggs have additional rules.
- Do I need to maintain production records for products produced under the Farm Direct Marketing Bill?Records for acidified foods must use a recognized process and include finished product batch testing for pH, and pH meter calibration records. Farm Direct marketers must keep processing, production, deviation and sales records. Records must be maintained three years and be made available to the ODA upon request.
- How do the Farm Direct Rules affect the organizations that run farmers markets?Organizations that manage a group of farm direct marketers and their spaces are not required to be licensed, unless they are selling food not included in the Farm Direct Rule exemption.
- How do the Farm Direct Rules affect the sale of eggs?Producers selling only to retail customers do not need a Food Safety Program license, regardless of the number of eggs sold. Labeling requirements apply regardless of number of eggs sold. If you sell eggs under consignment there are additional rules.
- Under the Farm Direct Bill, how will I know if my canned products are safe?Agricultural producers must ensure all canned products have a finished pH at or below 4.6. If the pH is below 4.6 and the product has been heat-treated it is generally considered to be safe. Producers must monitor and record the pH of each batch. Acidified foods must be processed using a recognized process and product formulation.
- What do the Farm Direct Rules mean by acidic food?An acidic food is a bottled, packaged, or canned food that either has a natural equilibrium pH of 4.6 or less, has been lacto-fermented to decrease the equilibrium pH to 4.6 or below, or has a water activity greater than 0.85 and has been acidified to decrease the equilibrium pH to 4.6 or below.
- What ingredients can I purchase (not grow) in producing products under the Farm Direct Marketing Bill?You must grow the principal ingredients, such as strawberries for strawberry jam, and you must make the product (such as jam) yourself. No commingling of principle ingredients is allowed. Only the following ingredients may be purchased to add to your products: herbs, spices, salt, vinegar, pectin, lemon or lime juice, honey and sugar.
- What is the gross annual sales limitation under the Farm Direct Bill?There is a $20,000 sales limit on producer processed acidic products under the Farm Direct Bill. If you exceed this you must either get licensed or transfer production to a licensed co-processor. The $20,000 is calculated by adding together all the gross sales of all acidic products for the calendar year.
- What non-meat farm products can an agricultural producer (farmer) sell without being licensed?Fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes and seeds, eggs and honey. Under certain conditions pickles, sauerkraut, preserves, jams, jellies and syrups may be included.
- What types of products can be processed at the market under the Farm Direct Rules?If you grow it, you can roast your own peppers, nuts, and corn on the cob and pop your own corn at the farmers' markets, as long as these items are not sold for immediate consumption. If you want to sell for immediate consumption, you must contact your county health department.
- When did the Farm Direct law go into effect?Jan. 1, 2012. Oregon Department of Agriculture has developed the Farm Direct Marketing Rules under OAR 603-025-0215 though 0275.