Good news for Florida’s beekeepers. The Florida Department of Agriculture has deregulated the sale of honey and deemed honey one of the state’s “cottage foods.” This means that smale-scale honey operations (under $15,000 a year in sales) no longer require a permit to sell and can prepare their honey in a kitchen not inspected by the Department of Agriculture.
Other “cottage foods” in Florida include rolls, biscuits, fruit pies and trail mix.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that honey was added to this list of “cottage foods” because honey does not support the growth of bacteria and fungus.
While being a “cottage food” provides some freedom to the beekeepers, it also forces some restrictions. Beekeepers can sell their items directly to consumers, with labels indicating the product hasn’t been inspected by any health department. This means that they can’t sell their honey over the internet or to restaurants and grocery stores. They’re restricted to places like road-side stands and markets.