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New Interpretation of Old Regulation to Impede Greenmarket Cheese Sales?

January 12, 2011

I made a trip to the Union Square Farmer’s Market this past weekend in order to pick up some supplies.  I am making my first blue cheese so I made a trip out there in order to pick up my milk.  While I was there, I started to meet and talk with some of the cheesemakers as I do every time that I make my way there.  All the talk centered around some changes that were put in place as result from a phone call from Ag & Market.  Vendors are no longer allowed to cut cheese on the premise at the market unless they have a valid 20c license.  As I continued to talk with the cheesemakers, the impact that it would have upon their operation became more and more apparent.

As I made my rounds to the various vendors and cheesemakers this past Saturday, all of the talk concerned a new interpretation of an existing regulation that would seriously jeopardize cheesemakers and their place in the Greenmarket. One of the cheesemakers at the market received a phone call from Ag & Market, stating that cheesemakers would no longer be able to hand cut cheese or cut samples for customers onsite unless they had an Article 20c license.

An Article 20c license (at a high level) is granted to businesses to assure that foods purchased for consumption in New York State are manufactured and processed under proper sanitary conditions. No problem, right? Any Cheesemaker who would like to bring their cheese to market and cut to order need only apply for license. The problem is that (according to the vendors I spoke with) a 20c license won’t be granted unless the business owner has certain measures in place in order to ensure compliance.

Given the affect that this will have on vendors in the city and elsewhere across the state, I decided to submit this to the NYCR as well.  You can read my full post here.

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