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March 17, 2015

 

To: House Committee on Economic Development & Business

Rep. Derek Kawakami, Chair

Rep. Sam Kong, Vice Chair

 

From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

President Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.

 

RE: SB 379 — RELATING TO FOOD

 

Dear Chair and Committee Members:

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its comments on SB 379, which sets forth a scheme under which it will be possible for small businesses that produce certain food products in a home or farm kitchen to obtain a cottage food operation permit from the Department of Health.

One of the most important ways that we can improve our state’s business climate is by adopting policies that will reduce regulation and red tape for small and home businesses. Though they are often overlooked in large-scale development plans, they are a bellwether for economic growth in the state. This bill takes a step in the right direction by recognizing the potential of cottage food operators and creating a scheme by which they can safely and legally sell their products.

However, we must also caution that such good intentions can be easily subverted if the regulations introduced here are expanded in such a way as to become an onerous burden rather than an encouragement for such businesses. Our responsibility should be to foster growth and industry rather than allow excessive oversight to hinder it.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit our comments.

Sincerely,

Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.

President, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii