Welcome to North Dakota Food Freedom. We're a group of people who believe food producers should be allowed to sell directly to consumers without government intervention or oversight.
In 2017, we were able to convince the State Legislature to pass our current Cottage Food law, which sets out the "rules" in Century Code. This opened the way for ND families to buy and sell many home-produced foods within the state. When added to existing laws for the sale of raw dairy products through shares, home processed poultry, eggs, and inspected red meat, this new law makes North Dakota's home processed food laws some of the best in the nation.
The basic tenets of our laws (with a few exceptions) are:
They apply only to sales directly from the person producing the food to the end consumer.
Consumers must be informed the product was created at home and is not inspected by the government.
The producer and the consumer are responsible for safe handling of the product.
Products are for home consumption and not for resale.
Product sales must take place within the state of North Dakota. They can NOT be shipped.
The "rules" for cottage food sales are contained within the law and agencies (or local health districts) can't make additional rules. (Unfortunately, red meat sales still have to comply with agency rules.)
Check out our FAQ for more specific answers to buying and selling questions.
To read our cottage food law, check here: https://www.ndlegis.gov/cencode/t23c09-5.pdf#nameddest=23-09p5-01
Food and drink products exempted from Food Freedom are:
Poultry - Producers may only sell 1,000 processed birds, which was the limit prior to the legislation.
Red meat - Producers must use the current inspection program just as they did prior to the bill.
Milk and milk products - Producers may only sell farm fresh (raw) milk and milk products via a cow or goat share program just as they did before.
Alcoholic beverages - Producers have to follow previous law.
Our cottage food laws have encouraged many North Dakota families to test market products, get feedback, and decide if they want to participate further in the food industry. Some people find baking cookies or canning excess vegetables is a good way to bring in a little extra income. Other families have plunged in and are using this system to build or expand a revenue stream that may allow them to grow into a commercial operation and make this a full-time job. Some farm families are using this to produce enough income to keep a son or daughter on the farm without purchasing additional land.
North Dakota consumers are benefiting from access to delicious, nutritious homemade foods without many (or any) of the preservatives they may find in commercial food items. They can find traditionally prepared sauerkraut, lefse, or other foods which reflect their cultural heritage. They know the person creating the food and can judge for themselves which producer is making a safe product.
We hope you find this site useful. Please join the Food Freedom movement.
Copyright North Dakota Food Freedom 2023
Raw Milk Bill remains in Senate Ag Committee.
Next chance for action is March 30th.
Learn more here.