A bill introduced by Sen. Mike Padden to help get fresh food to consumers with a minimum of governmental interference is on its way to receiving full approval from the Legislature. The House of Representatives easily approved Senate Bill 6388 last Friday; Padden said the Senate will agree to minor changes made by the House, completing the Legislature’s work on the measure.
The Senate had approved SB 6388 in mid-February.
“It’s becoming more popular to order pre-packaged fresh food online and pick it up from a truck in a parking lot. However, a fresh-food direct retailer in Spokane Valley told me that because government views his trucks as ‘food service establishments’, he’s had to deal with red tape that could affect both prices and availability,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “State law needs to change to keep pace with the new business models for purchasing and delivering fresh foods.”
SB 6388 would put the state Department of Agriculture in charge of overseeing such fresh-food distributors, rather than the state Department of Licensing, and create a “direct retailer” license to be issued by the agriculture department.
To qualify for the license a business would have to sell and collect payment only through a web site; pre-packaged foods would have to be obtained from a food processor that is either licensed or inspected, or both, by a state or federal regulatory agency; and the food would have to be delivered directly to consumers without any interim storage.