During the 2011 Legislative Session, the
Florida Legislature enacted House Bill 7209 allowing individuals to
manufacture, sell and store honey in an unlicensed home kitchen. The
Cottage Food law became effective on July 1, 2011.
In addition to the name and address of your honey
operation, the name of your product (Wildflower Honey, etc.),
and the net weight, you must also have
the following statement printed in at least 10-point type in a color that
provides a clear contrast to the background label: “Made in
a cottage food operation that is not subject to Florida’s food
The following are some samples offered by
fellow beekeepers as their interpretation of this requirement.
These samples may be viewed, downloaded, printed, and used at
your own risk. Those submitting, nor the FSBA, are legal
experts and make no guarantees that these labels will meet the
new cottage food requirements, especially considering
differences in printers, fonts, etc. which may result in font
Note: 1 pt = 1/72"... therefore 10
pt = 10/72 (or 5/38") = .13158" or a tad over 1/8".
Therefore, you must assure that your printout of labels results
in the capital letters being over 1/8" tall.
Pre-Printed, Peel-and-Stick Labels (no
cutting required) Since these require no cutting, then exact sizes may
not be the best to fit your smaller containers.
Thanks to friend and fellow Florida
beekeeper, Robert Jackson, for creating the above labels
which you can print using Avery labels 8167 (peel and stick
return address labels). Bob notes that these are 11 point
font. 1 point larger than required by the cottage food bill.
National Honey Board (Honey.com) sells
colorful hang tags for about 13 cents each (quantity of 500).
They can be hung on your smaller containers. However, it
is questionable whether you could affix your own cottage food labels
to one of the panels of the
hang tab, since it is required that the separate cottage food
hang tag should be conspicuous and not be part of other
statements. Regardless they are nice hang tags, but
probably not much help regarding complying with the cottage
food law labeling. See page 3 of their catalog at the following
No room on container... don't want the label
on the back panel? A lid label may be the way you wish to
consider. 1 1/2" diameter round labels
Avery 8293 fit nicely on 43mm or larger honey jar screw on,
standard lids. They don't fit on flip top lids.
Other Avery product labels can be found at the
Avery Design and Print Center online. Easy to design
your own and print on your home computer. They even have
nice demo tutorial on using their online software.
Your labels don't have to be plain (black and white),
they just need to be logically clear with text of 10-pt or
larger on a sharp contrast background. Common sense and
You can BEE creative. If you print your own labels you
have the expense of the printer ink, the peel-and-stick
labels, and your time. You often end up with smudges,
paper jams, and labels that can smear or blur if they come in
contact with water or moisture. A better solution may be
to order professionally printed matt finish or gloss finish
labels, that don't smear or run.
Click here for
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The following is not intended to be legal advice
from the Florida State Beekeepers Association, but a
collection/compilation of information from resources found and
paraphrased/summarized from limited information found on the
internet (see "Resources" at the end of
these FAQs). Please consult with your legal advisor, local
(county and city) agencies, and contact the
Division of Food Safety to verify any information contained on
this web page:
Question: As a small-scale honey sales operation, how do I
know whether the new Cottage Food Law applies to me?
Answer: The law applies to those honey sales operations which
only sell their honey directly to the consumer and which have gross
sales receipts of $15,000.00 or less. Written documentation of
sales may be required upon request.
Question: How am I allowed to sell my
Answer: You may sell your honey from your primary residence (in
which you live) directly to the consumer. You may also sell
your honey at farmer's markets, flea markets, and roadside stands
provided you are selling directly to the consumer.
Question: Do I need a special, approved,
or inspected kitchen in which to prepare, bottle, and store the honey
Answer: No, you only need your home's single standard kitchen with
common, standard residential design appliances. You are exempt
from state statute permitting requirements.
Question: Can I sell my honey to others
who intend to resell my honey at produce markets, roadside stands,
flea markets, farmer's markets, or other market places?
Answer: No, you cannot sell through a reseller (no middle
person), you must sell your honey directly to the consumer.
The law prohibits sale at wholesale level, nor can it be sold on
Question: Can I sell my honey to
Restaurants or Grocery Stores?
Answer: No, these type of sales are considered "wholesale" and
are not allowed under the law.
Question: Can I sell my honey
on the internet?
Answer: No, the law prohibits sale over the internet or by
Question: Can I sell my honey to
consumers by mail order?
Answer: No, the law prohibits sale by mail order.
Question: Can I deliver my
Answer: Yes, you can deliver your honey directly to the
consumer or to a specific event venue (convention, fair, meeting, wedding,
birthday party, etc.)
Question: Do I need a state
permit or state license for my honey sales operation?
Answer: No, you do not need a state permit or state license for
your honey operation. However, you should check with your city
or county for any requirements they may have. Besides the
state requirements, you must comply with all applicable county and
municipal laws and ordinances regulating cottage food products such
Question: Is there any limit to
how much I can earn from my honey sales operation?
Answer: Yes, honey sales operators are limited to $15,000.00
in gross sales per year.
Question: Are there cottage food
labeling requirements for my honey?
Answer: Yes, using English language and in clear 10-point
type text, on high contrasting background, you must have the
following statement, "Made in a
cottage food operation that is not subject to Florida's food safety
regulations." Labeling on your honey container must also
contain: The name and full physical street address (including
zip code, Post Office Boxes are not allowed) of your honey operation
(real name of honey producer, fictitious names are not allowed); the
name of your product ingredient (HONEY) in bold type; and the net weight
in bold type. Note: net weight may be abbreviated NET
WT. and must be located within the bottom 30% of the label.
Net weight may be pounds and/or ounces, but metric equivalent is not
necessary. Phone numbers are not required and are not a
substitute for street address or any other requirements.
Question: If I use a single, main front
panel label, does the new, additional cottage food statement have to
be in a certain location of the main label? Answer: While the FDACS brochure provides a suggested
sample label on which the statement happens to appear at the top of
the label, this is just an example. Unlike the location of net
weight which must be specifically located in the bottom 30% of the
main front label, the cottage food law does not require that the
statement be at the top or in any certain area of the main label.
Again, common sense, it must be easily found, seen, and displayed
when combined with your other required information on the front
Question: Does the new, additional
cottage food statement have to be part of a single front panel
label? Answer: No, it can be a separate affixed label or hang tag
containing the statement "Made in a cottage food operation that is
not subject to Florida's food safety regulations." using English
language and in clear 10-point type text, on high contrasting
background. It can be placed on back panel, on top (lid), or
other visible location. Common sense would dictate that it
must be conspicuous... prominently displayed not hidden, mixed along
with, or obscured.
Question: If I use a separate label
containing the new, additional cottage food statement, does it have
to be on the front of the honey container? Answer: No, you may affix a separate label (top lid, back panel,
etc.) or use a hang tag. If you choose to use a separate label
or hang tag it must contain no wording or statements other than the
required, "Made in a cottage food operation that is not subject to
Florida's food safety regulations." in English and in clear 10-point
type text, on high contrasting background. Again, applying
common sense, the bottom of the container would be off limits, or
the statement combined with other text or sandwiched in a hang tag
along with advertisements, recipes, etc. would not be prominent
display. The separate label or hang tag should only contain
the required statement and no other statements or text. You
may NOT combine the separate label with nutritional information,
crystallization statements, benefits, recipes, or infant consumption
warnings. Nor should you have to open, view the back, or
unfold the tag to read the statement.
Question: Do I need to also have the FDA
Nutritional label on the bottles?
Answer: No, you are exempt from FDA Nutritional label requirements, since you
sales do not exceed $50,000.00.
Question: What happens if somebody
complains about my honey operation?
Answer: If your honey operation becomes the subject of a
complaint, you must allow a FDACS employee or officer to inspect
your operation. If you refuse to allow the inspection, FDACS
may take disciplinary actions which may include a $5,000.00 fine.