Who doesn’t know this – you have grown your own fruits and vegetables for your own use. What is too much is passed on to acquaintances. At some point, one then considers whether selling the food might not make sense. The same applies, of course, to juice, jam, etc. But what is allowed and what do you have to pay attention to??
Food is not equal to food
When considering whether you can simply sell food that you have grown yourself, or whether you need a permit for it, there are several different cases. Because depending on the state of processing and the type of product, different requirements can arise from the respective peculiarities. The following cases can be distinguished quite well:
- Selling home-grown, unmodified products (vegetables and fruits)
- The sale of products whose basic ingredients are mainly homegrown and then processed
- The sale of food with high proportions of foreign ingredients
- The sale of perishable products with special requirements (cold chain)
The basic requirements
No matter what kind of products you want to sell and by what means, there are always a few things to keep in mind. They concern the general "safety" of products and serve to protect the end consumer from adverse effects on physical health:
- Fruits and vegetables must be clean
- Place of storage and sale must be "safe", i.e. clean, free of potential for contamination, etc. (z.B. No storage in garages together with gasoline, oil, contaminated tools, etc. (e.g. in a garage).)
- Products must not be spoiled
Responsible for this are the food hygiene departments of the district offices. In case of questions or uncertainties, it is worth contacting us even without the required permit.
Homegrown and unaltered
The easiest situation is when you want to sell products that you have produced yourself but have not processed or altered in any way. In the vast majority of cases, this includes fruit and vegetables from one’s own garden, from one’s own field or from one’s own meadow orchard. In principle, products belonging to this category may be sold directly and without the necessary authorization, etc., in a garage. are sold. This can take the following forms, for example:
- Self-service sales through display
- Garage sale
- Direct sale from the field
It is important that the sale takes place on the own property. It is irrelevant whether it is the original plot of the product, or, for example, your residential property.
Although the products may not be altered or processed in this type of sale, some operations are still allowed:
- Packing or. Compilation of clear delivery quantities
ATTENTION: A special case is the sale of the unaltered original products in a so-called farm store or on a weekly market. As a rule, a farm store is a trade that must be registered in different forms according to the respective state law. For weekly markets, on the other hand, the permission of the respective municipality is necessary. The regulations for this can differ greatly from municipality to municipality.
Products from products with predominantly own origin
The requirements are somewhat higher if one uses predominantly one’s own original products but processes them into modified products before selling them. Classic examples of this are jams, juices, liqueurs, etc. Since the products are still made from your own products, even if only predominantly, there is still no need for a business registration or other permit when selling on your own property. However, the products themselves must meet some further requirements:
- Clear designation of the contents
- List all ingredients used
- Indication of a best before date
In addition, the health department in most states requires food handlers to attend a food hygiene class. These instructions are also suitable, for example, for employees in large kitchens, the food industry, etc. prescribed and usually take about one to a maximum of two hours. They are offered on a recurring basis by the district offices, but also by other providers.
Products with a high proportion of foreign ingredients
If, on the other hand, you use for your products mainly, i.e. more than half, products that you have not grown yourself, you must meet further requirements for the sale in addition to those already mentioned in the last section:
- documentation on the type and quantity of products purchased
- Registration of a trade according to state-specific requirements, usually through the municipal regulatory office or. City
NOTE: As soon as more than half of your finished products consist of raw materials produced by third parties, you will not be able to avoid a business registration anyway. Therefore, from this "stage" of the requirements, it is also irrelevant whether you sell the end products on your own property, or, for example, at a market or a store.
The sale of perishable products
Fruits and vegetables, as well as numerous products made from them, are generally comparatively uncritical as far as the production process and also storage are concerned. However, there are numerous other products that can still be produced well under one’s own management, but which are subject to special requirements due to their particular characteristics. These are not more stringent requirements than the last category described, but rather individual requirements for individual product groups. The combination with externally produced original products, as well as the form of sale, do not play any role here at first:
- Perishable products, z.B. Dairy products: Requirements for processing hygiene, as well as compliance with a closed cold chain
- Animal products, e.B. Meat and sausage: veterinary requirements, as well as specifications of the health authorities on the cold chain, hygiene requirements and disease prevention (ex. BSE crisis of the 1990s), special requirements for production facilities (black / white area)
- Alcoholic products (liqueur, schnapps): in some cases special permit required for production, restricted sales (protection of minors)
Since the individual additional requirements for these special product categories can be very individual, it is advisable to contact the responsible offices before you sell your surplus food. This allows you to identify and deal with any problems at an early stage.