The first part of this book is a set of guidelines that follow the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Sugaring Operations Inspection Checklist. The checklist is what is on the clipboard of the state compliance officer should you ever get or need a WVDA review certificate. The second part of this book presents a Decision Tree and Regulatory Matrix that you can follow to help you comply with state and federal regulation that apply to your production and sale of maple syrup.
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Cottage food laws vary considerably from state to state, and are generally intended to be a way for small farmers and food processors to establish small businesses offering value-added food products. Some states require food producers to pay a fee, obtain a permit or license, or register with the town, county or state. Periodic health inspections of home kitchens and even product testing may also be required depending on location.
Some maple operations will have compliance requirements under the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act or FSMA. Determining where or if your operation falls under this rule is complicated, so our UNH Extension FSMA team has created an online tool that asks you a series of questions and based on your answers tells you where you most likely fall under the rule.
Cornell University’s Maple Specialist, Steve Childs, offers this video series for beginning sugarmakers.
The final rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) have been issued, after several years of drafts and revisions, and concern about what the new regulations would mean for maple producers. Based on a read of the rules, and a discussion with Jenny Scott, Senior Advisor at the Office of Food Safety of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, for most sugarmakers the impact will be minimal.