The number of newly registered home processors in New York state has increased by nearly 56% over the previous year, according to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
In 2020, the state registered 1,538 new home processors compared to 986 in 2019. Home processors are exempt from obtaining the state’s Article 20-C food processing license and Article 28 retail food store license but, to protect public health, are required to register with the state.
“Ensuring the safety of our food supply is a critical function of the department and that includes overseeing the home processors in our state,” said Ag Comissioner Richard Ball. “There has been a significant increase of New Yorkers starting a home-based food business this past year, and we urge anyone who is interested to reach out to the department to get properly registered and to understand the program’s guidelines to produce food safely. We want to see these small businesses succeed and the registration helps to ensure these homemade products are being made and sold safely.”
As of Dec. 17, New York has a total of 7,086 registered home processors that are making and selling items ranging from cookies to cupcakes, as well as repackaging products, from spices to trail mix.
In 2018, the department added several food items to the list that home processors were permitted to sell to consumers, such as repackaged dried soup mixes, dehydrated/dried fruits and vegetables, trail mix and toffee/caramel apples. It also expanded business opportunities for home processors by allowing them to sell their products online within New York state and sell direct from their home or at a farmers market. These changes allowed small home businesses to increase their customer base and reach new markets.
The list of approved and prohibited foods, and additional information on how to register to become a home food processor is on the department’s website at bit.ly/NYHomeProcessing