Small farmers can sell “ungraded” eggs at the farmers’ markets in Texas, but regulations prevent restaurants and retailers from buying those exact same eggs to serve or sell to their customers.
“Grading” eggs involves weighing each egg, looking at them with a special flashlight for visible defects, getting licensed by the Texas Department of Agriculture, and paying fees. Grading is entirely a marketing issue and provides no health or food safety benefits — but it takes time and money that small farmers don’t have.
SB 1805 would allow farmers to sell eggs clearly labeled as “ungraded” to restaurants and retailers who in turn sell directly to consumers. The eggs would be labeled to ensure that the consumers know who produced the eggs.
The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate.
But the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Representative Drew Springer, isn’t allowing a vote on the bill. And if it doesn’t get a vote within the next two weeks, this bill dies.
This one legislator is blocking a bill that could help small farmers all across the state. Can you take two minutes to call his office?
Please be polite – rudeness or anger will backfire.
Call or email Chairman Springer and tell him to allow a committee vote on SB1805, the ungraded eggs bill.
Office phone: 512-463-0526
Email: Drew.Springer@House.texas.gov (use a subject line like “Vote Yes on SB 1805”)
A phone call has the greatest impact, but a personalized email also works. Remember to keep the conversation polite and short.
Sample message: “Hi, my name is ___. I urge Chairman Springer to allow SB 1805, the ungraded eggs bill, to be voted on by his committee. This bill helps both small farmers and the consumers who want greater access to locally raised foods.” Add just one or two sentences about why this is important to you, whether you are a farmer or like eating at local-sourcing restaurants or as a consumer who buys local, you want farmers to have more options.
Call your own State Representative and urge him or her to co-sponsor SB1805 and urge Chairman Springer to move the bill forward.
You can find out who your State Representative and Senator are by going to www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us or calling the Texas Capitol Switchboard at 512-463-4630.
You can read the bill here: https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/html/SB01805E.htm
It can be confusing seeing an action alert aimed at Representatives but dealing with an “SB.” That simply means that the bill started in the Senate. The Senate has already approved it – but unless we can get it approved by the House Agriculture Committee and then the full House, it will die. So please make the call today!