The Austin Chronicle

Taste Test

By Anna Toon, May 13, 2013, 9:30am, On the Range

Consumers can now use all their senses when making purchases at local farmers markets. House Bill 1382 by Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, part of a series of bills by members of the Texas House Farm-to-Table Caucus, has passed the Texas House.

The unanimously supported bill, also known as the farmers market sampling bill, makes it easier to provide samples as well as perform cooking demonstrations at farmers markets and farm stands. “Representative Simpson is a passionate advocate and an important voice for food freedom in our state,” said Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, and Chair of the Caucus. "Like the other Caucus bills moving forward, HB 1382 is exemplary of the bipartisan work the Caucus is undertaking."

HB 1382 simplifies and streamlines, providing more reasonable procedures for farmers market vendors. The bill also eliminates certain fees. According to Rep. Simpson: "Today the House took a positive step toward a more common sense approach to farmers markets that increases freedom for our citizens and small businesses.” He adds, "By lifting unnecessary burdens off the backs of our farmers, I am hopeful that this bill will encourage a robust local foods movement and increase access to healthy food sources.” The bill will now go to the Senate.

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