2011 BEST :

The Farmers‟ Market: Best Practices Guide & Toolkit offers a
number of considerations, practical advice, and templates to help
local groups efficiently and effectively launch a successful farmers‟
market and to help ensure that the market will grow in a sustainable
University of Alaska
Center for Economic Development
Phone: 907.786.5444 Fax: 907.786.5446
Farmers’ Market:
Best Practices Guide & Toolkit
Table of Contents
Best Practices
Farmers’ Market: Industry Overview
Benefits of Farmer‟s Markets to a Community
Farmers‟ Market Farm Vendors Overview
Farmers‟ Market Customers Overview
Defining a Farmers’ Market
A Snapshot of the Planning Process
Timetable in Establishing a Farmers‟ Market
Mission & Goals
Organizational Structure
Partners and Community Involvement
The Governing Board
Location, Location, Location
Indoor vs. Outdoors
Physical Set-Up
Funding and Revenue
Products and Product Mix
Staffing the Market: Paid Staff and Volunteers
Descriptions of Market Management Duties
Financial Feasibility
Resources for Starting a Market
Bylaws and Guidelines
Market Guidelines
Standard Topics for Market Guidelines
Resolving Disputes
Marketing and Promotions
Free Marketing
Low Cost Marketing
Higher Cost Marketing
Partnership Based Marketing
How to Pay for Marketing and Promotions
Government Programs Affecting Farmers’ Markets
Summary: Best Practices at a Glance
Best Practices for Starting a New Market
Best Practices for Farmers‟ Market Operations
Next Steps
Starting a Farmers Market
Business Planning
Other Periodicals and Online Farmers Market Resources
Print Resources
Benefits of Farmer‟s Markets-Economic, Social, Environmental
Farmers‟ Market Bylaws-XYZ Valley HomeGrown Markets Association
Farmers Market Bylaws-Downtown Farmers‟ Market of Big Lake, Inc.
Articles of Incorporation-Oklahoma Food Cooperative
Guidelines and Rules-Renton Farmers‟ Market
Guidelines and Rules-Downtown Farmers‟ Market of Big Lake
Guidelines and Rules-ABC Farmers‟ Market
Market Manager Job Description
A Sponsorship Opportunities & Benefits (Renton Example)
Farmers – Increase Your Profitability
Farmers’ Market:
Best Practices Guide & Toolkit
Strengthening agriculture is synonymous with strengthening communities in many regions.
Following that principle leaders in Alaska and Wrangell, in particular, have been working to develop
sustainable, agricultural businesses and farmers‟ markets as a method of marketing the products
In Wrangell, the concepts of healthy eating, alternative energy, local agriculture and creation of a
farmers‟ market have been circulating for some time. In response the City of Wrangell along with
the local hospital and the ACHIEVE Committee have taken steps to build capacity in Wrangell and
to begin moving towards an increasingly agricultural economy. The intention is to follow principles
where efforts are participatory, appreciative and capacity building.
The purpose of Farmers‟ Market: Best Practices Guide & Toolkit (Toolkit) is to offer a number of
considerations, practical advice, and templates to help local groups and agencies in Wrangell to
efficiently and effectively launch a successful farmers‟ market and to help ensure that the market will
grow in a sustainable way.
The recommendations have been “road tested” by other markets by many small existing and startup markets in operation in Alaska, the U.S. and Western Canada and offer practical insights into
what works - and what doesn‟t - when setting up a new farmers‟ market. The Toolkit aims to
coordinate and present information a clear, logical way and to provide advice, which will be of
practical value.
Best Practices
Best practices by definition are the most efficient and effective way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable
procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people (Wikipedia). These best practices
are courses of action that a market should strive to achieve and may not be fully attainable
The purpose of this Toolkit is to share best practices as identified by existing farmers' market
organizers, managers, vendors and customers. A number of farmers‟ markets large and small, urban
and rural throughout the US (including Alaska) and Western Canada were identified, compared and
the information compiled. The objective was to identify commonalities of successful and sustainable
markets and to provide a summary useful to the organization of a farmers‟ market in Wrangell,
The Toolkit made up of four components: 1) research overview, 2) practical how to guide with
insight and guidelines for creating and managing a successful farmers‟ market, 3) resources list for
additional information and 4) appendices and templates of sample documents from which a board,
committee or manager can developed customized incorporation bylaws, market rules, job
descriptions and other necessary and/or useful items.
Farmers‟ Market: Industry Overview
The U.S. food system is in constant change with retail competition continually driving changes that
affect the nation‟s farmers, positive or not. Retail grocery mergers have sped the trend toward direct
contracting of produce supplies with the largest farms, leaving a diminished role for wholesale
markets and, consequently, negatively impacting small and medium-sized farmers. Faced with fewer
markets to buy their products, thousands of farmers have turned to direct marketing. The
resurgence of farmers‟ markets has provided a new opportunity for small farmers.
The number of farmers markets across the country continues to increase, rising from 4,093 markets
in the 2005 season, to approximately 5,274 in 2009, representing a 28.9 percent increase. Product
mix and offerings at farmers markets have adapted to consumer demands and new government
programs have emerged that have exerted influence on farmers market sales.
The great majority of farmers‟ markets operate “open air” on parking lots, city streets, parks, church
lots, hospital property, private plazas, mall lots and elsewhere.
Benefits of Farmer’s Markets to a Community
Communities have documented numerous benefits from farmers‟ markets: local food system
strengthening, downtown and neighborhood renewal and revitalization, economic opportunities for
vendors, local economy building, public health promotion, growth reduced, sprawl minimized,
public space enlivened and people diversity celebrated (Appendix A).
Markets serve as anchors for local businesses, encourage spin-off development, enhance real estate
values, increase the tax base and keep money in the local area. They are started and operated by local
food advocates, have a high degree of sustainability and address local food security issues including
affordability, hunger prevention, cultural responsiveness, social integration and access to fresh
Traditional economic impact analysis does not account for the expanded consumption, tourism,
quality of life, social interaction and cohesion, and entrepreneurship that are so often part of the
living fabric of farmers‟ markets. One recent study showed that 95% of food consumed in Portland
is imported from outside of Oregon. Nearly three-quarters of the direct impact of grocery stores
leaks outside the region. Thus, while spending at farmers‟ markets in Portland is estimated at $11.2
million, equivalent spending at grocery stores has only $3.4 million in local economic impact (Bonnie
Gee Yosick, 2008).
By comparison, the three components of economic activity of the 14 Portland farmers‟ markets –
the sale of fresh product at the markets, the sale of prepared food for consumption at the markets,
and the management fees and operations – yields an estimated total economic impact of over $17
million in output, more than 150 jobs, and nearly $3.2 million in employee compensation.
Farmers’ Market Farm Vendors Overview
In 2000 there were 19,000 farmers in farmers‟ markets across the country. Four-fifths
(79%) of farmers have sales under $10,000 per year and 31% exclusively use farmers‟ markets
(2006). Farmers‟ interviewed stated that the reason they sell through farmers‟ markets include: they
make more money, have more control over price, test the market for new varieties, sell less perfectly
shaped fruit and vegetables, and build relationships with customers as they get cash for their
products. Market vendors generally have multiple outlets for their products.
Farmers’ Market Customers Overview
Farmers‟ markets are rated less convenient by shoppers than grocery stores, based on distance,
parking, hours and selection. However, customers favor the markets because of fresher products,
less bland taste, the pleasant atmosphere, knowing the producer personally, learning about
agriculture and nutrition, and supporting the local economy.
The leaders of city market systems were nearly unanimous in their perception of the benefits as
prioritized by customers: quality, variety, support and personal connection with local farmers and a
community experience.
One study has shown the following impacts of farmers‟ markets on consumers:
55.7% Eat more fruits and vegetables
30.4% Eat more organic produce
42.9% Provide enough food for the family
48.9% Eat more food from their cultural background
Farmers‟ markets have the potential to positively affect the number of economically viable and
environmentally sustainable farms in a region. Indeed, the existence of well-run markets has caused
many people to start farms and numerous other businesses, including bakeries, chocolate shops,
goat operations and other value-added food businesses. When markets are open to expansion, they
can significantly strengthen the local and regional food economy.
Defining a Farmers‟ Market
The term farmers‟ market is often used to apply to a variety of different structures. For instance, it is
common to find a sign bearing the words “farmers‟ market” at a roadside stand, the produce section
at a supermarket or a flea market. For the purpose of this Toolkit, however, a farmers’ market is defined
as a building, structure or place used by two or more vendors assembled together on select days of the week to sell
products directly to consumers. The use of the term also implies a communal effort, in which vendors
have some measure of democratic control. Typically, vendors must have grown, bred, caught,
pickled, brewed or baked the goods themselves.
A Snapshot of the Planning Process
The effort to organize a farmers‟ market can be initiated by a number of different individuals,
including a producer, a community member or an agricultural professional from the private or
public sector. The following timetable proposes a calendar of actions and activities to establish a
community farmers‟ market. For planning purposes, it can be considered a general “things to do”
list or checklist.
Timetable in Establishing a Farmers’ Market
Gather a group of interested people
Determine specific goals and tasks of the market
Explore the mechanics of direct marketing
Look for and settle on a location for the market
Gain community support and fund raising
Hold a community meeting about the possibility
of a market
Check into legalities
Begin publicity to farmers (continue through
Promote the farmers' market concept
Market management and organization
Begin publicity to consumers (continue through
Open the farmers' market
Market hosts a special event at market (example:
Consumer Appreciation Day)
Promote the farmers' market (peak season)
Sponsor a special activity
Organize and solidify farmer-vendor-consumer
Solicit and evaluate suggestions from farmers
and consumers
Close market and hold market association
This next section covers issues that need to be considered when starting the market.
Mission & Goals
Farmers‟ markets are mission-driven entities that seek to fulfill social and economic goals. Markets
can be started for a variety of reasons.
Here is just a brief list of reasons to organize a market:
 to support the viability of local farms
 to support the viability of local businesses
 to provide food access to those in need
 to create a community event
 to revitalize a community space
The following is an example of a mission and corresponding goals that could be used to drive the
planning, development, operation and evaluation of the proposed Wrangell market.
Mission Statement: The Wrangell farmers‟ market is a place where community members will
obtain a wide range of fresh and prepared foods while supporting local farmers, local small
entrepreneurial businesses and the local economy. The market is seen as an important public space
within the community, where residents of the city, the region and tourists all mingle. It is envisioned
that the market will contribute efforts to enhance the community food system by expanding access
to high quality, fresh foods and supporting growers in the region.
Goals contribute specifics to what might be a lofty mission statement, thus helping to make it
operable. They help the board and the manager objectively evaluate how the market is performing
and plan for the future. The overall mission and will help to determine whether or not the market is
achieving its mission. The goals should be the basis for creating metrics to evaluate the performance
of the market. Goals are outcomes that will be pursued as part of achieving the future. Having clear
goals that support the market‟s mission will help the board and the manager stay focused on
In order for goals to help in the management of a farmers market, they should specify a time frame
during which they will be achieved, and it should be possible to objectively determine whether they
have been achieved or not during that time frame. Thus, goals should be objective and measurable.
Like the mission, goals should be referred to often and revised as needed.
Examples of specific goals are a target number of vendors, sales targets for a season, or a target
number of customers to be reached in a week of operations. If goals are not fulfilled within the
allotted period of time, it is important to assess why and to make changes either to the activities or
to the goals themselves if it is determined that they were unreasonable or inappropriate.
Often markets are started with one reason but quickly realize they want to incorporate more.
Sample Goals: The goals of the Wrangell farmers‟ market are to: 1) Create a dynamic and inclusive
place in downtown Wrangell, 2) Support farmers and food producers and provide opportunities to
independent entrepreneurs, 3) Expand access to locally grown and produced foods and encourage
consumption of nutritious, fresh foods, and 4) Provide educational opportunities, particularly about
the nutrition and consumerism
Organizational Structure
The extent of the organizational structure required for a market depends largely on the size of the
farmers‟ market being developed. Every market requires performance of basic administrative and
group decision-making tasks.
Several forms of market administration and organization are used in farmers‟ markets, each with
advantages and disadvantages. As a farmers market grows, the required management becomes more
involved and formalized. More markets are beginning to adopt formal business models or to seek
sponsorship through larger administrative organizations such as business associations and municipal
Here are several organizational models presented as examples of alternative frameworks. These
options should be weighed in terms of their advantages and disadvantages taking into consideration
the market‟s immediate needs and its potential for growth.
Three Common Models for Farmers Market Organizations:
 An unofficial agreement among producers.
 A private for-profit or nonprofit business runs the market, such as a cooperative.
 A public sponsorship wherein the market is run by a public authority such as a city
Although a simple collaborative of vendors and volunteers may be successful in the beginning stage
of the market, typically a more formalized organizational structure is developed. Because a majority
of farmers‟ markets are organized as cooperatives or operate on cooperative principles, additional
information is included here as well as Alaska‟s resource for additional information.
A cooperative business is owned and operated by the members who use it. It is run democratically:
“one member, one vote.” Becoming a legal cooperative would entail writing bylaws (Template 1a,
1b) and articles of incorporation (Template 2). Corporate and organizational bylaws regulate only
the organization to which they apply and are generally concerned with the operation of the
organization, setting out the form, manner or procedure in which a company or organization should
be run. Corporate bylaws are drafted by a corporation's founders or directors under the authority of
its Charter or Articles of Incorporation.
Bylaws widely vary from organization to organization, but generally cover topics such as how
directors are elected, how meetings of directors (and in the case of a business, shareholders) are
conducted, and what officers the organization will have and a description of their duties.
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Articles of Incorporation (sometimes also referred to as the Certificate of Incorporation or the
Corporate Charter) are the primary rules governing the management of a corporation in the United
States and Canada, and are filed with a state or other regulatory agency.
Filing Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation allow the cooperative to become a registered business in
Alaska, receive an EIN (employer identification number) from the Federal government, open a
business bank account, obtain credit and purchase insurance. The cooperative business structure
would provide several benefits to the farmers:
Enables increased sales and profits with greater supply and consistency to meet demands of
larger establishments
Increases purchasing power and lowers production costs with possible savings on supplies
like seed, fertilizer, packaging, etc
Provides tax benefits
Sharing equity requirements and sharing the risks inherent in business
Sharing in future profits via patronage refunds.
For more information and assistance on forming cooperatives in the State of Alaska contact:
Andrew Crow, Director
Cooperative Development Progarm
UA Center for Economic Development
Phone: 907.786.5447
Email: [email protected]
Partners and Community Involvement
Great markets take great care in making sure they have consensus in the community and organizers
engage a diversity of partners. Farmers‟ markets impact many sectors of the community. It is
important that as many groups as possible are involved in the process of a market‟s development
and growth.
These may include the following:
 Local authorities (zoning and economic development)
 Other public sector agencies (health)
 Local retailers
 Local community groups and residents‟ representatives
 Food related businesses (restaurants, hospital food service) and producers
 other interested groups such as PTA‟s
The Governing Board
Markets typically have an informal committee that exists to organize the market, often made up of
those enthusiastic people whose idea it was to establish a market in the beginning. If such a group
exists, its membership should be reviewed and formalized into a governing board. If no such
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committee exists, one should be created. The board will be critical in making policy decisions, as
well as guiding the market manager in day-to-day decisions that might arise.
The board should have a combination of “ideas people” and “details people,” and it should have
representation from all major groups that will be affected by the market; including vendors,
consumers, city government, and local businesses. In general, the board should not be dominated by
any specific group, although some experts recommend that vendors be given a slight majority
because they are directly affected by the policies adopted.
Though broad representation is important, it is more important that people brought onto the board
are enthusiastic about and supportive of the market and bring needed skills and resources to it,
rather than simply filling vacancies. Thus, if the right representative of a particular group is not
available at the outset, it is worthwhile to keep searching for someone who can fill that role. If an
extended period of time passes without finding the right person, this can be an indication of deeper
issues that might affect the market, such as a lack of support for the market from that stakeholder
The development of the board will likely be an ongoing activity during the first months of the
farmers market‟s startup and will likely evolve hand-in-hand with other activities, including the
development of the market‟s mission and goals. It is crucial that all members of the board subscribe
to the mission of the farmers market because different stakeholders can have different interests in
the market. The core philosophy regarding the purpose and potential of the market must be shared
by different stakeholder representatives if larger and day-to-day policy issues are to be resolved
Best practices from farmers' market managers and organizers:
 Gather stakeholders in the community to meet about the potential market
 Have documentation ready about the benefits (economic and health related) of farmers'
 Survey the community (Templates 3a, 3b, 3c)
 Connect and leverage resources within the community (restaurants that want to buy local
can gain easier access with a market nearby, hospitals that want to promote healthy eating,
the high school's Vo-Ag department may be interested).
Location, Location, Location
Where will the market be? And more importantly, why? Is the desire to revitalize an under-used
space or capitalize on an already busy one? Parking, accessibility, terrain, visibility and capacity are all
items that should be considered in looking at market locations.
Indoor vs. Outdoors
One of the key decisions in setting up the farmers market will be whether to locate indoors
(provided a choice of sites is available) or outdoors. The rationale for this decision is explored
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Indoor advantages:
Shelter from the elements.
Ready supply of electric/water.
Tables may be available
Can be cheap/free.
No stalls to set-up/down/store.
Less reliance on market staff.
Outdoor: advantages:
Open to the elements!
Usually easier to access and usually plenty of
space to expand.
Easier for stallholders.
Indoor disadvantages:
Can be awkward for stallholders and
customers to access.
ables to put up unless producers bring own
Space can be severely limited.
Can be difficult to generate a „market‟
atmosphere and sense of identity.
Can be more difficult to get people to attend
Outdoor disadvantages:
Open to the elements.
Can be difficult to arrange electric/water.
Need to supply market stalls and/or tables and
cabling. Storage.
Time required to set-up/down.
Storage space & transport required.
Staff/volunteers required to set-up etc.
More risk involved (health & safety).
and a sense of identity.
This list is not exhaustive. Organizers will need to take a wide variety of factors into account before
making a decision. Ideally carry out a survey of where local people would like to have a farmers‟
market providing a list of the options available.
Physical Set-Up
Key considerations which need to be addressed in running the farmers‟ market include the
o Canopies and tables or table tops (unless producers bring their own)
o Electricity supply (could be a generator)
o Water supply and hand-washing equipment (stallholders may bring their own)
o Nearby toilets
o Unloading access
o Parking for producers
o Parking for customers
o Storage facilities (if market has own equipment)
o Waste disposal (may involve paying local authority commercial rate)
Best practices:
 Good parking is key to a successful market
 If your market is not visible from the road, then you should have great signage
 Think creatively about space. An empty parking lot can be transformed with tents, colorful
tables and music.
 Keep in mind the seasonality of your location and your start and end dates. Markets close to
bodies of water in early spring and late fall get very chilly and often have draining problems
making it difficult for vendors and customers.
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Consider the culture around you. Will people in the community break their habits and
include the farmers' market in their shopping pattern?
Funding and Revenue
Markets have to be viable enough for vendors to be compensated for their time and products. It
also has to be viable enough for the market management to pay for permits, marketing, supplies, and
in some cases, staffing.
If a market is to be financially sustainable in the longer term, stall fees must reflect the cost of
running your market even if you have funding to subsidize costs in the initial stages. Some one- time
costs, including canopy and table rental, storage area, set-up staff and electricity can be significant
cost items. For each of these, a purchasing strategy is needed which takes a long term view of
investment needs, depreciation costs, and the costs and benefits of ownership versus rental to work
out whether it is better to rent or to buy certain items of equipment. Although all of the possible
costs described above need to be considered, they are not all necessary expenses for each market.
Depending on the choices you make about how you will run the market, some items may not be
applicable. For instance if you decide not to provide market stalls for producers (who would
therefore have to) have their own stalls, there will be no purchase or hire costs nor any associated
labor cost. However you will have to weigh that decision against not being able to guarantee a smart
appearance for the market and concerns about whether stalls will present Health and Safety issues
since they will not be under your control. If producers are required to provide their own stalls, there
is the possibility that you may exclude small producers who are not yet established at farmers‟
markets and who could not yet justify purchasing a stall.
Best practices:
 Selling items at the market managers table
 Charging a stall rental or weekly fees based on gross sales of vendors
 Sponsorships from local businesses can help fund your market
 Community foundations and other funding sources can help.
 Find a fiscal agent or create a "Friends of the Market" group
Products and Product Mix
The creation of market guidelines can help you define what percentages of market space are devoted
to certain sectors such as produce, value added products, dairy and crafts, etc.
Best practices:
 Establish rules and regulations from the get-go and abide by them (Template 4)
 If products other than food are to be sold at the market, it is recommended that the food to
items other than food not exceed 40%.
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"Guest" vendors (craft or specialty products) can help create diversity without a season long
Some internal competition among vendors is good, but too much hurts everyone
Staffing the Market: Paid Staff and Volunteers
Often market management and staffing start with volunteers and not paid staff. While there are
benefits of having professional market management with paid staff, the same professional market
management can be accomplished by unpaid, volunteer staff as well. Look at both options carefully
and decide what is a more feasible and viable option for market size.
Paid Staff and Volunteers
Volunteer and staff are necessary for a functioning farmers' market. Finding the right ones, retaining
them and having them succeed are all things to think about. For more information, check out the
volunteer and staffing section under "So You Want To Start a Market?" Nearly all the best practices
for finding and retaining volunteers apply to paid staff as well.
Best practices:
 Recruit volunteers from local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce or Rotary.
Ask friends and family to participate
 Create an online group or mailing list and keep members informed on opportunities to help
out - such as on Facebook - and click on "create page" at top right hand of screen. You can
also create a Listserv and keep people informed.
 If you have a website or blog, make sure it has a volunteer page, with information on needed
services, a place to sign up, and contact information
 Keep a list of past volunteers. They are the most likely to help again, so having their contact
information is incredibly beneficial. Also, you can ask them to spread the word about your
organization and their experience volunteering, encouraging more people in a similar
network to participate
 Keep volunteers informed and active, but make their amount of work voluntary. Be flexible
in hours and let them choose the activity they feel is most important. Give rewards for their
work like praise, discounts, or paraphernalia
 Have volunteer positions and duties written up, interview if necessary
 Survey volunteers to measure their satisfaction
Descriptions of Market Management Duties
Though many farmers‟ markets start off with purely voluntary labor, most find that if and when the
market expands it is necessary to employ someone at least a part-time basis to oversee operational
aspects. In any case, someone needs to take on responsibility for making sure all aspects of the
market run smoothly. Managing a farmers‟ market takes time and can be at unsociable hours.
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A sample manager‟s job description is included in the Templates section of this guide (Template 5).
Whether staff are volunteers or are hired, standard tasks will include:
Coordinating stallholders and managing the market the day of the event
Creating and managing a budget and identifying funding, sponsorship and other resources
Managing staff
Identifying vendor interest and availability
Measuring potential customer interest
Identifying and securing a suitable site
Defining the management structure for the market, facilitating meetings and agreeing to
Commissioning publicity materials, such as leaflets and banners. Agreeing to designs and
specifications, arranging printing, etc.
Creating and following up the local media
Networking and liaising with local community organizations
Additional best practices include:
 Find a core group of volunteers. Think about church groups, Rotary, Girl Scouts, and other
civic organizations
 Train and support your volunteers. Value their service with incentives, be it verbal praise or
material goods.
 Consider volunteers from area schools and colleges, senior centers and retirement
 Write down your market systems! When a staff member or volunteer is out for the day,
others can turn to the "market systems" binder and run the market!
 Rotate market volunteers and staff to avoid burnout, especially on weekend markets.
Sizing the Market
As long as your location allows it, the rule of thumb is that it is always easier to expand rather than
contract your market. A diversity of offerings at a small market can be just as effective in drawing in
customers as the same diversity at a large market. Markets can evolve over years and become very
different than how they started.
Best practices from farmers' market managers and organizers:
 Consider guest vendors at the market if you can't consistently host some vendors all season
 Look carefully at your location - can it grow with your market?
 Be sure to communicate with your vendors as you consider growing the size of the market.
Existing vendors can be sensitive to new vendors and while healthy competition is welcome,
you don't want to inundate your market with too much of any one kind of vendor.
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Financial Feasibility
There are very few costs to establishing a farmers‟ market, although if the market is a success it
should aim to become financially self-sufficient and to generate a small operating surplus in time.
Some costs can be reduced if you are able to involve volunteers, as staff time is one of the major
resources required. Even so, you probably need to budget a minimum $3000-$5000 to launch the
new farmers‟ market, and more if there is a cost for paid employees.
Items to include in budgeting include:
o Staff costs for manager and/or for casual workers setting up and breaking down the market
o Phone calls, stationery, postage and utilities
o Printing and distribution of customer leaflets
o Printing and distribution of producer surveys
o Advertising banner(s)
o Insurance – Liability, Employers Liability
o Membership (Chamber, SE Alaska Tourism)
o Purchase or rent of market stalls (can be passed on to the vendor)
o Site costs including: site rental, electricity supply, cleaning costs if any
o Market attractions such musicians or a children‟s entertainer
Resources for Starting a Market
 Farmers Market Coalition Resource Library
 Understanding the Link Between Farmers' Market Size and Management Organization from
Oregon State University Publication, December 2007
Bylaws and Guidelines
Market bylaws formally define the identity of the market, its administrative structure, and the
processes by which changes to this administrative structure will take place. The timing and
establishment of bylaws will be affected by the organizational structure that the market takes (LLC,
cooperative, etc.). Bylaw templates are included in the Template section of this Toolkit and can be
easily edited (Template 1a, 1b).
Bylaws will typically specify:
 The name of the market.
 Its purpose and objectives.
 How the governing board and officers will be chosen and their responsibilities.
 Processes for changing the bylaws, rules, and other formal documents pertaining to the
 Election procedures and amendment process for these items.
Market Guidelines
Guidelines are necessary to protect three different constituents: market management, vendors and
the consumers. It may be possible to operate without written guidelines or policies, but it certainly
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leaves open the door to problems ranging from legal issues to miscommunication between vendors
and market management.
Market guidelines are often used interchangeable with “rules” and direct the day-to-day administration
of the market. Too often, committees jump right to the creation of rules when they start a market.
Instead, it is essential that market rules be established after the other foundational elements of the
market – in particular, the mission and goals – are established. The standard topics to include in the
market rules are outlined below and a template is included in the Template section of this Toolkit
Template 4a, 4b).
Standard Topics for Market Guidelines
I. Product and producer eligibility and requirements
A. Target product/vendor mix
B. Product and producer eligibility
1. Geographic origin
2. Product types (agricultural, foods, crafts, etc.)
3. Resale of products
4. Specific products allowed/not allowed and rules pertaining to them (e.g., compliance with
inspection, etc.)
5. Insurance requirements
C. Vendor application and selection process
D. Required/allowed signage
E. Other requirements (donation of surplus, collecting, etc.)
F. Commitment to season and schedule.
G. Cancellation/notification period
II. Operations
A. Days and times of operation
B. Setup, opening and closing times, responsibilities
C. Signs, displays, merchandising
D. Stall/booth/exhibit space assignments
III. Fees, insurance, and tax requirements
IV. Market services and responsibilities
A. Services provided by market
1. Booths (numbers and types available)
2. Trash collection
3. Water, electricity
4. Insurance
5. Etc.
Best practices:
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If you can't enforce the guideline, don't write it down
Look toward guidelines from already established markets, but remember that a "one size fits
all" won't work. Design guidelines that are specific for your market (Template 4a, 4b).
Ask your vendors for their input. Rules made with them will be more easily enforced.
Guidelines and policies can also explain why management needs to charge for stall, season or
weekly fees for participating in the market.
Guidelines can spell out why collecting gross sales data, as well as number of WIC coupons
and/or SNAP redeemed helps markets measure their economic impact. Guidelines are
necessary to protect three different constituents: market management, vendors and the
consumers. It may be possible to operate without written guidelines or policies, but it
certainly leaves open the door to problems ranging from legal issues to miscommunication
between vendors and market management.
Resolving Disputes
Guidelines that include rules should also include the process for dealing with violations and disputes
as well as the appeals process.
Best practices:
 Try and meet with vendors before inviting them to the market. A lot can be determined with
a face-to-face meeting than with a phone or email. This also goes for handling conflicts.
 Include vendors in the guidelines process from the beginning.
 Create an advisory group of vendors, who are voted in by their peers, that can participate in
deciding guidelines, rules and policies with market management
 Nurture relationships with your vendors through off season vendor meetings
 Understand that a diversity of personalities will always exist, but how you manage each
different vendor should be consistent, equal and fair.
Marketing and Promotions
Markets often find that they have to spend money to make money. With t-shirts and bags, there is a
high up-front cost and then inventory that could potentially be sitting for more than one season
whereas signage can be used over and over again. Just as a diversity of revenue streams is safer and
more lucrative than focusing on just one way to make money, so it goes with marketing. The more
diverse the marketing streams are, the more successful markets will be at getting customers.
Free Marketing
There are hundreds of ways to promote a market to consumers for free. Every market uses some
similar and some very unique ways of getting customers to come and participate in the market.
Best practices existing Farmers’ Markets:
 Check for free ads in local paper
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Place market information in church bulletins
Put your market on Facebook or on a free blog
Talk! Tell the story of the market on community access TV
Add the market to the town notices
Email a newsletter to databases of Chamber, Rotary and other groups
Mention the market in your voicemail
Press releases
Cooking demonstrations
Tours of the market
Don't just invite the press to your market, put market produce in their hands and mouths to
really entice them!
Have a "Vendor of the Week" press release with photos
Measure the market's success for gross sales, economic impact, food assistance redeemed,
number of customers and more for compelling data to share
Pay attention to the newspapers, especially when there is an article regarding childhood
obesity, the absence of family meals, lack of food security and the like. Write Op-Eds or
invite journalists to write stories about how the market is helping to remedy the challenges
shown in the article.
Keep a media list of all the people in the state that you would want to contact when there is
an event, story or an article angle you want to present.
Low Cost Marketing
 Develop a market logo so that your market is easily recognizable in print materials
 Paying for local ads, brochures, postcards and printed fliers and distributing them can be
very beneficial for market
 Print out "Shopping Lists" with your market logo on it and pass them out to customers
High Cost Marketing
There are many high cost marketing ideas out there. But before an airplane is rented that will write
the market‟s name and times it‟s open in the sky, check out the list below.
Best practices from farmers' market managers and organizers:
 Banners that stretch across and above a main street appeal to the folks driving and walking
on the main street. Some towns and cities have rules and regulations for them, and some
may be able to pay for the cost of putting them up.
 Signage that is two-sided and heavy duty enough to withstand wind, rain and more.
 Refrigerator magnets with your market's logo, schedule and locations can be given out to
customers and given away at special events
 Large magnets advertising your market can be placed on staff cars and trucks
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T-Shirts with your market logo
Partnership Based Marketing
Using existing networks to help the market attract customers is an underutilized tool. Write a list of
everyone the market connects with and how they can help get the word out.
Best practices from farmers' market managers and organizers:
 Make your vendors part of the marketing machine. Share your marketing materials with
them and encourage them to have materials at their table if appropriate.
 Print up business cards for each vendor at your market with your market logo, name and
days of operation
 Put everyone in a t-shirt! Vendors and customers that wear your t-shirts are walking
 Market tote bags. Everyone is using them now at grocery stores and for everyday activities.
Sell the tote bags and give them away at special events and they, like the t-shirts, will be
advertising for your market.
How to Pay for Marketing and Promotions
Best practices from farmers' market managers and organizers:
 Use proceeds from any sales at your market table
 Use the collection of vendor/stall/season fees to pay for marketing
 Use a "friends of the market" technique where customers pay a fee for the season to get
weekly small discounts and freebies at participating vendor's tables. While this requires the
buy-in from your vendors, it can help them unload a product they have too much of/or that
isn't selling well. You use the fee as a market manager to pay for marketing materials and
 If you are not set up as a non-profit, you may be able to secure the help of a fiscal agent
(typically another non-profit) and be able to receive donations to use for marketing.
 The USDA's Farmers Market Promotion Program is available to agricultural cooperatives,
producer networks, producer associations, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public
benefit corporations, economic development corporations and Tribal governments.
 USDA Rural Development's Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG), available for rural
projects that facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses. Eligible
applicants: rural towns, communities, State agencies, and rural non-profits.
Tents may blow away on a windy day. Vendor trucks can back into other cars, trees or worse. Aside
from the physical damage of these events, monetary damages occur when customers and vendors
sue. In general, insurance is needed which covers liability for accidents on the farmers' market site
and liability for injury caused by customers using products sold at the market.
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The place where you hold the market will typically have rules about what sorts of insurance the
market should hold and what insurance each vendor should hold. On average, it is common for
markets to require proof of insurance from each vendor for $300,000 in property liability coverage
and $300,000 in personal liability coverage with the market named as an additional insured. Many
farms add the market onto their homeowner's or farm's insurance policy.
Below are some links to help both market managers and vendors navigate insurance.
Suggested Insurance Coverage (Chap. 28) from the CT Dept of Agriculture's Farmers' Market
Reference Guide
The Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing by Neil Hamilton, available for $24.00 at the Growing
for Market site.
The Farmers Market Coalition Resource Library for Insurance, Liability and Licensing
Government Programs Affecting Farmers‟ Markets
Government programs affecting farmers markets include the creation of the Senior Farmers Market
Nutrition Program in March 2003 and the modernization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP), formerly titled the Food Stamp Program, delivery system to Electronic Benefits Transfer
(EBT) in 2002. The vast majority of supplemental nutrition assistance benefits are currently being issued
electronically. The Women, Infants, and Children Farmers Market program has increased in funding since
2000 and continues to influence farmers market sales. The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program
was expanded on October 1, 2009 to allow recipients to make purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables at
farmers markets. Every farmers' market has different needs, clients, and vendors. Improving the access to
healthy food for lower-income customers and increasing revenue for farmers is one of the many benefits of
these programs.
EBT/SNAP at Markets Across the Country
Illinios Farmers' Market Forum - EBT at Farmers' Markets http://farmersmarketcoalition.org/resources/resourcelibrary/article/resource-library/2-vouchers-ebt-credit-cards/349-ebt-acceptance-at-farmers-markets
 A powerpoint about how to use EBT. It's a walkthrough of how to register, what machine
to choose, the various types of machines, scrips vs tokens, etc. It also discusses SNAP
numbers in other states. This was uploaded March 31, 2010. Guide for EBT at California
Farmers' Markets
 How the California markets go about registering/using EBT; published in 2008
Accepting Food Stamp Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Cards at Farmers' Markets and Farm Stands: A Primer
for Farmers and Market Managers
 From the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, published May 2008
SUMMARY: Best Practices at a Glance
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Best Practices for Starting a New Market
Best Practice
Governance and
Market Structure
Record Keeping
New markets that take the time to bring together all the community stakeholders
to determine the vision of the market in the community are viewed more
positively as adding to the community and are more sustainable in the long term.
Bring together a team of advisors/partners. Assess the need and potential
support for the market in the community through surveys and review potential
o Assess potential revenue and costs for the market; sources of funding
o Assess potential vendor profitability
o Determine optimum organizational structure considering all options –
non-profit, sponsored, new generation cooperative, for-profit, etc.
Initial Board of Directors is formed to develop many of the following items and
to oversee the operations of the market and ensure it is operating in such a way
as to achieve the vision of the market
o Define market goals that will act as guideposts, keeping the market on
the right path and which help to assess your progress
o Market mission statement formed reflecting the market‟s goals
o Develop a business plan that includes budgets and human resource needs
which is reviewed and updated annually (sample business plan available)
o By-laws written to govern how the organization will operate (sample bylaws available)
o Develop a manager‟s job description (sample job description available),
determine remuneration and recruit a manager
Develop record keeping systems so activities can be tracked and evaluated
o Develop annual financial budgeting process and financial record keeping
o Develop vendor record keeping system for current, past and potential
o Develop vendor application form (sample application form available)
o Develop a record keeping system for important correspondence, forms
and conversations
Actively recruit vendors to round out the market mix and to keep up with
changing customer demands. Need to have a core of dedicated producers who
have products that will develop a loyal customer following. Agricultural and food
products are the primary reason consumers shop at farmers‟ markets.
Best Practices for Farmers’ Market Operations
Best Practice
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Business Planning Markets that develop strategic business plans including budgets and human
resource requirements, and review them on an annual basis are more successful
at achieving their goals. (sample business plan available)
Successful markets are actively involved in educating their customers on product
availability and seasonality.
Education: Food Successful market managers understand and are able to enforce food safety
requirements and best practices at the market as well as coach vendors on food
safety protocols.
o Successful market managers continuously update their food safety
o Vendors successfully complete industry-specific food safety training.
o Sponsors and boards/advisory committees receive annual food safety
o A Public Health Inspector is invited to at least one meeting per year to
update and discuss public health, food safety and legislation issues.
Market managers who participate in training to improve their skills are better
able to meet the demands of the position and further the aims of the market.
o An annual market manager training plan should be developed with the
market manager and the Board/Committee President.
o Training is encouraged and financially supported by the market board or
market advisory committee, if the market is sponsored.
Vendors who are encouraged to upgrade their skills and gain new skills in
production, marketing and business techniques are more business-focused and
Food Production Markets strive to have all food vendors:
o successfully complete all required food safety training required for
commercial food establishments and,
Greening the
Governance and
Market Structure
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produce their food products in commercial, permitted facilities.
There is a growing demand for environmentally sustainable practices. Markets
that incorporate some of these best practices into their everyday operations are
viewed as better corporate citizens.
o Encourage customers to bring their own shopping bags
o Encourage the use of cloth bags or develop your own market cloth bag
Encourage customers to car pool to the market
o Recycle whenever possible and have readily accessible recycle bins clearly
labeled throughout the market
Successful markets are managed by a dedicated manager. (sample job description
o A sponsored market is a sub-committee of the sponsoring organization
and is governed by an advisory committee. A liaison from the sponsoring
board of directors sits on the market advisory committee to maintain the
link between the entities.
o Non-profit markets are governed by a board of directors that is elected
by the vendors at the annual general meeting.
o By-laws are reviewed at least bi-annually and updated as needed.
Market boards take advantage of board training in order to work more
effectively together to improve the market.
Markets secure market liability insurance.
o $300,000 liability recommended
o Individual vendors secure sufficient liability insurance.
Markets in a similar geographic area are more successful when they work
collaboratively to resolve common issues and to provide a more complete
shopping experience for their customers.
Market Finances Markets establish a bank account requiring two signatures for all transactions.
Sponsored markets may use the sponsor‟s bank account.
o All market expenses require an invoice/receipt and are paid by check..
o All market income is acknowledged with a formal receipt to the payee.
o A market budget is developed and reviewed annually.
o Financial records are maintained for all market revenue and expenses.
o Financial records are audited annually.
Market Rules
Concrete, enforceable market rules address common issues and controversies
that arise in the day-to-day activities of farmers‟ markets. (sample market rules
o Using these guidelines as a framework, market rules are developed by the
market board or advisory committee, approved by the vendors and
enforced by the market manager.
o Market rules are reviewed annually and updated as needed.
o Market rules are distributed to all returning vendors prior to the market
season and to all new vendors prior to selling at the market.
Market rules do not violate any portion of these guidelines.
Meetings: Annual An annual general meeting is held within a specified time following the fiscal
year end. The timeframe is laid out in the bylaws. (sample bylaws available)
Robert‟s Rules of Order are used to guide the meeting. They provide common
rules and procedures for deliberation and debate in order to place the whole
membership on the same footing and speaking the same language.
The market board or advisory committee should meet periodically throughout
Board/Committee the year to resolve any issues and to set future direction for the market.
Robert‟s Rules of Order are used to guide the meeting.
Meetings: Vendor At least one vendor meeting should be held per year.
Robert‟s Rules of Order are used to guide the meeting.
Promotion &
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A Public Health Inspector is invited to one meeting per year to update and
discuss public health, food safety and legislation issues.
Successful markets develop and implement an annual promotion and advertising
Advertising Plan
plan that details the target market, how consumer awareness will be built, and the
mechanisms used to achieve this.
Signage: Market Markets clearly display signage identifying market hours and location.
Signage: Product All vendors display all product names and prices, ensuring that all products meet
minimum labeling requirements as laid out in legislation.
Signage: Vendor All vendors display signs or banners identifying their farm/business name and
Vendor Mix &
Consumers visit markets primarily to purchase food products. A suggested
Vendor Numbers vendor mix is:
30% - Agricultural products
25% - Non-agricultural food products/value-added products
25% - Craft and artisan products & other non-food homemade and
handcrafted products
20% - Other
Markets should have an 80/20 vendor mix or better (where 80% of the vendors
sell Wrangell and/or Alaska products which they, a family member or a staff
member have made, baked or grown)
Successful markets make vendor mix decisions based on their value statement.
Vendor Selection Selection decisions are made by a committee made up of vendors and the
Prospective and returning vendors complete an application form. (sample
application form available)
Application forms collect:
Contact information
Description of products being offered for sale
Proof of liability insurance
Documentation accompanying the application explains the decision making
process and authority for accepting new vendors, decision making criteria and
contact information
Successful markets develop a system of vendor inspection and certification.
Next Steps
This Toolkit can be used to create a successful market in Wrangell and to maintain the integrity
of the market once it has begun operation. The next steps are intended for the Steering Committee.
These should include sharing this business plan with current and prospective community
stakeholders for comment and input. At the same time, the Committee will engage others to assist
with coordination of:
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Making key decisions about the market, including what products will be allowed (will we
allow crafters and artists and if so we will put any stipulations on their participation?) and
what types of products will be allowed (all organic, all local or no restrictions?).
Developing a vendor application and market manager job description.
Determine exactly what kind of insurance will be required and obtaining the necessary
Attracting seed funding.
Campaigning to gain support from officials and the community.
Assembling of a job description, identifying and hiring a manager.
Securing a market site and deciding on a market day and time.
Recruiting the necessary volunteers.
Publicizing the future launch of the market and attracting the necessary amount of vendors
to make the market viable.
Resources: Farmers Markets on the Web
USDA Farmers' Markets – http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/ - This website is designed
by the USDA to give you a list of farmers' markets in your state, a Farmers' Market Fact Sheet and
information about starting a farmers' market. The site also includes a kids section, and a resource
and information section.
Florida State Farmers' Market – http://www.florida-agriculture.com/farmmkt/ - This is the
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website about farmers' markets. It
includes links to locations and contacts, a produce availability chart, a cookbook and a nutrition
program. The State Farmers' Market mission and overview are also on this site.
Farmers' Market Online – www.farmersmarketonline.com - This farmers' market is entirely online
providing a place for sellers, growers and consumers from around the world to meet, buy and sell.
The market sells specialty foods, pet supplies and crafts in addition to traditional farmers' market
Pike Place Market – www.pikeplacemarket.org - Pike Place Market, also known as Americas
Favorite Farmers' Market, is located in Seattle, Washington. The website offers plenty of shopping
ideas as well as a list of which foods are in season and which are not. The site includes an online
store and information about getting involved in the market.
The Original Los Angeles Farmers' Market – www.farmersmarketla.com - The website for this
farmers' market offers links to information about the history of the market, a market directory,
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market facts, and news and events. The site was awarded a Time Pick by the Los Angeles Times in
The Olympia Farmers' Market – www.farmers-market.org - The Olympia Farmers' Market,
located in Olympia, Washington, offers a place for local residents to sell their produce, foods and
crafts. The site includes a calendar, an online Market News section and a list of market vendors with
a description of each vendor.
Dane County Farmers' Market – www.madfarmmkt.org. - The Dane County Farmers' Market is
located in Madison, Wisconsin. The website offers a tour of the market, a kid's corner, a vendor
directory, a calendar and recipes. The vendor directory includes a feature vendor and the kid's corner
offers a printable page designed to teach kids about agriculture.
Dallas Farmers' Market – www.dallasfarmersmarket.org - The website lists farmers including a
featured farmer of the month. There are cooking classes offered at the farmers' market with
information about the various chefs and classes listed online. The website also includes a calendar,
the history of the market and a list of community partnerships.
The Ithaca Farmers' Market – www.ithacamarket.com - This farmers' market is located in upstate
New York. The website includes a question and answer section, a vendor and membership
application, a calendar and a picture gallery. Information about the history of the market and
directions are also provided.
The Bellingham Farmers' Market – www.bellinghamfarmers.org - This farmers' market, located
in Bellingham, Washington, runs from April to October of every year. The site lists events during
the season, a list of vendors and their email addresses, a vendor application and links to other
farmers' markets.
The Beaverton Farmers' Market – www.beavertonfarmersmarket.com - Located in Beaverton,
Oregon, this farmers' market has been recognized by the Sunset and Country Gardens magazines as
an outstanding farmers' market. The website lists the markets' vendors as well as contact
information, an online newsletter and a vendor application.
Other Selected Farmers’ Market Web sites:
Resources for Additional Information
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Starting a Farmers Market
Hofmann, Christa, and Jennifer Dennis. 2007. Starting a Farmers Market. Purdue University
Extension publication EC-739. Available online at: www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/EC/EC-739.pdf.
This publication from Purdue University Extension provides a timeline for starting a farmers
market, including establishing interest, size, location, market operations, money, rules, and
Jolly, Desmond, ed. 2005. Starting a New Farmers Market. University of California-Davis Farmers
Market Management Series. Davis, Calif.: U.C. Small Farm Program publications. Available online
at: www.sfc.ucdavis.edu/farmers_market/management1/.
A comprehensive guide to starting a farmers market.
Swisher, M. E., James Sterns, and Jennifer Gove. Revised 2006.Starting a Farmers’ Market. Florida
Cooperative Extension Service publication FCS5257-Eng. Available online at:
This publication from Florida Cooperative Extension lists eight important steps needed to start a
farmers market. It also includes useful facts about farmers markets and government programs, legal
information, examples of bylaws and rules for a farmers market, and links to websites of farmers
Business Planning
Nelson, Beth, Caitrin Mullan, Jill O‟Neill, and Debra Elias Morse. 2004. Business Planning,
Marketing and Management. In Resources for Beginning Farmers: Building a Sustainable Future, 13-24.
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Research. St. Paul, Minn.: University of Minnesota. Available
online at: www.misa.umn.edu/vd/bfarmers.html.
Other Periodicals and Online Farmers Market Resources
Direct Marketing Resource Guides: Farmers Markets – Resources available through the Western
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education website. It provides access to a collection of
publications on farmers markets. Print subscriptions available at:
Growing for Market – Print and online subscriptions available at: www.growingformarket.com.
Farmers Market Coalition Resource Library – Provides a database of information on farmers
markets. Available at: www.farmersmarketcoalition.org/resources/resource-library/?cat_id=4.
Farmers Markets Today – A bimonthly publication for direct-to-consumer farmers offered in
both electronic and print form. Available at: www.farmersmarketstoday.com.
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National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – Provides resources for market
organizers and sellers. It contains publications on organizing a farmers market and federal assistance
programs, and links to other resources. Available at http://attar.ncat.org/attar-pub/.html .
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, Farmers Markets and Local Food Marketing – This
farmers market resource site is a good starting point – whether you are starting a market or have run
one for years. From this website, you can find information about farmers markets, market growth,
National Farmers Market Week, government funding, promotion programs, trends, a resource
guide, and more. Available at: www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets.
Print Resources
Bachmann, Janet. 2008. Farmers Markets: Marketing and Business Guide. ATTRA – National Sustainable
Agriculture Service publication IP146. Available at: http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/farmmarket.html.
Eckert, Jane, and Diane Kline. 2003. Fresh Grown Promotions: Easy Ideas to Make Money on Your Farm!
Eckert AgriMarketing. St. Louis, Mo.: F. E. Robbins & Sons Press.
Gibson, Eric. 1994. Sell What You Sow! The Grower’s Guide to Successful Produce Marketing. Auburn,
Calif.: New World Publishing.
Gibson, Eric, Marcie Rosenzweig, and Vance Corum. 2001. The New Farmers Market. Auburn, Calif.:
New World Publishing.
Hamilton, Neil D. 1999. The Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing. Des Moines, Iowa: Drake
University Agricultural Law Center.
Horowitz, Shel. Revised 2000. Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World. White River
Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green.
A resource for any kind of small business – including horticultural businesses – the book has ideas
for low-cost or free publicity. Topics include creating an image, writing ad copy and press releases,
tricks of the printing trade to save money on brochures and ads, direct mail, selling on the Internet,
working with the media, and much more.
Myers, Ginger S. 2005. Baler Twine and Duct Tape Marketing: A Primer to Increasing Sales for the BudgetMinded Entrepreneur. Howard County Economic Development Authority. Columbia, Md.: F. E.
Robbins & Sons Press.
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Appendix Section
A. Farmers‟ Market Benefits: Producers, Consumers, Environment, Community and Local Economy
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Farmers’ Market Benefits:
Producers, Consumers, Environment, Community and Local Economy
 They cut out the middleman allowing increased financial returns through direct selling, price
control, and provide a regular cash flow.
 They provide the producer with direct customer feedback on produce and prices.
 Transport and packaging requirements are much less thereby reducing the producers‟ costs.
 They provide a secure and regular market outlet. This is especially valuable for new
producers, producers in organic conversion and small scale producers who are unable to
produce the quantity required by supermarkets.
 They provide direct contact and feedback between customers and producers, so shoppers
can be sure how the vegetables are grown and meat produced and processed etc.
 They help to improve diet and nutrition by providing access to fresh wholesome food.
 They play an important role in educating the consumer as to the production and origin of
their food (builds connections with local food and farming).
 They can be a valuable source of information and inspiration on how to cook and prepare
fresh ingredients and stallholders can offer recipes etc.
The Environment
 They help reduce “food miles”, thus vehicle pollution, noise and fossil fuels use
 They help to reduce packaging and waste.
 They encourage more environmentally friendly production practices, such as organic or
pesticide free.
 They encourage farm diversification and hence bio-diversity.
The Community and Local Economy
 They help bring life and vibrancy into towns, aiding regeneration.
 They encourage social interaction, particularly between rural and urban communities.
 They stimulate local economic development by increasing employment, encouraging consumers
to support local business and thus keeping the retail spend within the local community.
 They attract new customers to retailers in the vicinity.
 They can encourage the unemployed and under-employed to develop new skills, self confidence
and income generating possibilities.
 They play an important role in Local Agenda 21 and other Council initiatives established to
increase the environmental sustainability of government policies, local communities and
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Included (in MS Word):
Farmers‟ Market Bylaws-XYZ Valley HomeGrown Markets Association
Farmers Market Bylawss-Downtown Farmers‟ Market of Big Lake, Inc.
Articles of Incorporation-Oklahoma Food Cooperative
Guidelines and Rules-Renton Farmers‟ Market
Guidelines and Rules-Downtown Farmers‟ Market of Big Lake
Guidelines and Rules-ABC Farmers‟ Market
Market Manager Job Description
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TEMPLATE 1a: Farmers’ Market Bylaws
Bylaws of the XYZ Valley
HomeGrown Markets Association
(As amended April 3, 2007)
Article I. NAME
The name of this Association shall be the XYZ Valley HomeGrown Markets Association.
This Association is a Virginia nonprofit organization under the provisions of Chapter 10 of Title
13.1 of the Code of Virginia, as amended.
The purposes for which the Association is organized are to engage in any activity in connection
with the marketing or selling of the agricultural products of its members. The Association intends
1. Provide an alternate marketing outlet for area produce growers and other agricultural
producers to feature their finest produce and other agricultural products and to encourage the
freshness of products at all XYZ Valley farmers markets.
2. Increase the availability and freshness of products available to the general community of
3. Improve market capability for area farmers and agricultural producers to promote their
products directly to consumers.
4. Establish, maintain, and enforce basic operating standards (Rules and Regulations) that will
inspire public confidence in the “producers-only” concept.
5. Publicize and provide other marketing materials and opportunities for promoting and fostering
the continual sale of locally grown produce and agriculturally produced products at the Market.
6. Encourage expansion of marketing opportunities and the introduce new products to the local
7. Enhance the community’s image and local agriculture’s image by providing a special
opportunity for direct dialogue between area consumers and producers who grow or produce
the products they sell.
8. Use any profits, above and beyond what is needed to ensure the ongoing existence of the
market, for grants or other types of assistance to nonprofit organizations engaged in the field
of agriculture. Such organizations may be working to solve the problems of the family farmer
and the rural community.
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1. 1. Admission – Any person, partnership, or corporation may become a member of the
Association by meeting the uniform membership requirements stipulated below. To be a
member of the XYZ Valley HomeGrown Markets Association, the applicant must:
A. Pay annual dues of $25.00 on or before Jan. 1 of each year.
B. Be a producer of agricultural, horticultural, or animal husbandry products and a vendor of
these products; or be a vendor who has sold any product at an XYZ Valley market prior to
Jan. 1, 2007; or become a sustaining member of the Association by simply paying annual
C. Submit one or more vendor applications for each market season.
D. Agree to comply with these bylaws.
2. Classification – A minimum of 80 percent of vendor members must be producers and vendors
(called farm-based members here) of agricultural, horticultural, or animal husbandry products
(called farm-based products here) and other products derived from them, while the balance of
a maximum of 20 percent of the vendor members (called nonfarm-based members here) may
be existing vendors as of Jan. 1, 2007, or other vendors who do not sell farm-based products
and who are accepted by the Board of Directors as nonfarm-based members after the
aforementioned date.
Furthermore, any person, partnership, firm, cooperative, or corporation not actively engaged
in marketing through the XYZ Valley HomeGrown Markets Association, but wishing to further
the aims of the Association, may apply for sustaining membership and shall be entitled to all
rights and privileges of active members with the exception of voting and holding office.
Sustaining members may be appointed to committees by the President with concurrence of the
Board of Directors.
3. Duties of members – Each member shall in good faith comply with these bylaws and any
amendments thereto duly adopted, and with Rules and Regulations adopted by the
Association, and with terms and conditions of any and all agreements with the Association. The
conduct of the member in all matters shall not be detrimental to the rights and interest of the
4. Resignation – Any member may resign, but such resignation shall not relieve resigning
member of the obligation to pay any dues, assessments, or other charges accrued and unpaid
until that time. The Association shall not be liable to return or refund any dues, assessments,
or other charges in the event of resignation.
5. Transfer of membership– Membership in this Association shall not be transferable or
6. Membership rights – Regular members shall have one vote. Sustaining members shall have no
voting privileges. Proxy voting will not be permitted.
1. Annual meetings – An annual meeting of all three classes of members shall be held each year
at a time and place designated by the Board of Directors for the purpose of presenting the
annual report and other matters that may require general membership attendance. Notice of
the annual meeting shall be given to every member at least 14 days in advance of such
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2. Special meetings – The Board of Directors may call a special meeting that would require
general membership attendance. Notice of any special meeting shall be given to every member
at least seven days in advance of such meetings.
3. Board of Directors’ meetings– The Board of Directors shall meet from time to time as is
necessary. Only board members and chairpersons of adjunct committees need be notified.
4. Place of meeting – The Board of Directors may designate any place within the County of XYZ
as the place for an annual, special, or Board of Directors meeting.
5. Quorum – At any annual meeting or special meeting, one-tenth of active and associate
members shall constitute a quorum. At any meeting of the Board of Directors, a majority of
the Board of Directors in office shall constitute a quorum.
6. Procedures – All meetings of this Association shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts
Rules of Order.
1. General powers – The business and affairs of the Association shall be managed by its Board of
Directors. The Board of Directors may appoint committees and committee chairpersons as they
may consider necessary.
2. Number and tenure – The number of directors shall be seven. No fewer than four directors
shall be XYZ County farm-based producer members. Directors and officers shall be elected by
majority vote of the regular members, beginning with the officers, at each annual meeting.
3. Vacancies – If any vacancy occurs on the Board of Directors, other than from the expiration of
a term of office, the Board of Directors may fill the vacancy for the unexpired term at any
board meeting.
4. Compensation – The Board of Directors shall serve without compensation.
5. Attendance at board meetings – Directors shall attend all board meetings unless extenuating
circumstances occur.
6. Manner of acting – The act of the majority of the Directors present at a meeting at which a
quorum is present shall be the act of the Board of Directors.
7. Referendum – Referendum of policy matters upon demand to entire membership. Upon
demand of three members of the entire Board of Directors, made immediately and so recorded
at the same meeting at which the original motion was passed, any matter of policy that has
been approved or passed by the board must be referred to the entire membership for decision
at the next regular or special meeting; a special meeting may be called for the purpose. The
referendum shall be decided by a majority vote of active and associate members present and
comprising a quorum.
8. Standard of care – A director shall perform his duties as a director, including his duties as a
member of any committee of the board upon which he may serve, in a manner he reasonably
believes to be in the best interest of the Association, and with such care as an ordinary
prudent person in a like position should use under similar circumstances. A person who so
performs his duties shall not have any liability by reason of being or having been a director of
the Association.
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9. Removal of directors– Any director may be removed by a majority vote of active and associate
members present and comprising a quorum at any legally convened regular or special meeting
of the Association.
10. Advisors to the board – The Board of Directors may appoint advisors as necessary. Such
advisors shall have no voting rights.
11. Employment of manager– The Board of Directors shall have the power to employ or to
authorize employment of a manager and such other employees as may be deemed necessary,
and to fix their compensation. The board may designate a participating grower or producer to
serve as Market Manager for each market location. The Market Manager will oversee the daily
activities at the market and ensure compliance with the market rules. The Market Manager will
pay no space fee.
1. Officers – The officers of the Association shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, and
Treasurer. The officers shall serve without compensation
A. President – The President shall call for and preside at all meetings of the Association. The
President shall also act as official representative of the Association and have general charge
of its affairs. Only active farm-based producer members from XYZ County may serve as
B. Vice President – The Vice President shall, at the request of the President or in the event of
his/her disability or absence, perform any and all duties of the President. Only active
members may serve as Vice President.
C. Secretary – The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the meetings, give notice of all
meetings prescribed by these bylaws, perform all duties incidental to the office, and help the
President perform his/her functions. Active or associate members may serve as Secretary.
D. Treasurer – The Treasurer shall be the principal financial officer of the Association and shall
collect, receive, deposit, invest, and disburse the funds of the Association. The Treasurer
shall maintain accounting books and a checking account, render a statement of accounts at
each board meeting, file any required reports with the Commonwealth of Virginia, perform
all duties incidental to the office, and help the President perform his/her functions. Active or
associate members may serve as Treasurer.
The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by the same person.
2. Election and term of office – The four officers of the Association shall be elected by the general
membership at each annual meeting of the Association.
3. Vacancies – A vacancy in any office, however occurring, may be filled by the Board of Directors
for the remaining portion of the term.
4. Removal of officers– The Board of Directors shall have the power at any meeting to remove
any officer, and such action shall be conclusive on the officer so removed.
There shall be appointed various committees, members, and a chairperson for each committee
by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall delegate duties to the respective
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1. Standing committees – The standing committees shall consist of:
A. Promotion and Advertising Committee
B. Rules and Regulations Committee
C. Market Development Committee
D. Finance Committee
E. Audit Committee
2. Membership – Each committee shall consist of a chairperson who is a member of the Board of
Directors. Committee members may consist of active and associate members.
3. Meetings – Each committee is responsible for holding meetings at such regular intervals as to
assure the proper completion of the committee’s duties.
4. Chairperson – The chairperson or his delegate shall give a report at every board meeting
regarding the progress, accomplishments, and goals of the respective committee.
1. Depository – The Board of Directors shall have the power to select one or more banks to act as
depositories of the funds of the Association and to determine the manner of receiving,
deposition, and disbursing the funds of the Association and the form of checks and the person
or persons by whom same shall be signed, with the power to change such banks and the
person or persons signing such checks and the form thereof at will.
2. Bonds – The Board of Directors may require the manager and other officers, agents, and
employees charged by the Association with responsibility for the custody of any of its funds or
negotiable instruments to give adequate bonds. Such bonds, unless cash security is given,
shall be furnished by a responsible bonding company and approved by the Board of Directors;
the cost thereafter shall be paid by the Association.
3. Audits – At the end of each fiscal year, the Audit Committee shall make a careful audit of the
books and accounts of the Association and render a report in writing thereon, which report
shall be submitted to the members at their annual meeting. The report shall include at least
(1) a balance sheet, (2) an operating statement, and (3) a statement showing the amount of
capital, if any, furnished by the members during the period under review. Special audits shall
be made upon order of the Board of Directors or upon a majority vote of the members at any
regular or called meeting. Copies of the fiscal year-end financial statements will be made
available upon request and at the annual meeting.
1. Calendar – The fiscal year of the Association shall be April 1-March 31.
2. Amendments – These bylaws may be altered, amended, or repealed by a two-thirds vote of
those active and associate members present and comprising a quorum. Notice of the proposed
amendments shall have been presented to the members in writing at least 14 days in advance.
3. Definitions – Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, all terms used in these bylaws shall
have the same definition as in the statutes governing Virginia nonprofit corporations.
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4. Conflicts – In the event of any irreconcilable conflict between these bylaws and either the
Association’s Articles of Incorporation or applicable law, the latter shall control.
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TEMPLATE 1b: Sample Bylaws
Downtown Farmers’ Market of Big Lake, Inc.
The name of this Corporation is the "Downtown Farmers' Market of Big Lake, Inc." and may be
referred to in these Bylaws as the "Corporation."
ARTICLE II - Purpose & Objectives
Section 1. The Downtown Farmers' Market of Big Lake, Inc. has been formed to provide healthy,
fresh foods and horticultural products to Alligator County and surrounding areas, and to encourage
commerce, entertainment and trade in Downtown Big Lake. (Mission Statement established June 1,
Section 2. To achieve its mission, the Corporation shall do the following:
a. Establish and operate a farmers' market for the purpose of furnishing a facility for sales of Florida
fresh foods and horticultural products.
b. Work with the Alligator County Agricultural Extension Office/University of Florida (Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences) and similar organizations to promote the production of Florida
fresh produce and horticultural products in Vegetable County.
c. Organize and/or participate in educational and other activities that promote the use of Florida
fresh produce and horticultural products.
d. Organize and/or participate in those activities that, in conjunction with the operation of a
farmers' market, will serve to encourage commerce and trade in Downtown Big Lake.
e. Organize and/or participate in those activities that will serve to further the Corporation's mission.
f. Conduct research necessary to further the development of the farmers' market.
g. Solicit and receive funds, gifts, endowments, donations, devises and bequests.
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h. Lease and/or purchase property necessary to further the mission of the Corporation.
Section 3. It is hereby provided that the said purposes are not intended to limit or restrict in any
manner the powers or purposes of this corporation to any extent permitted by law, nor shall the
expression of one thing be deemed to exclude another although it be of like nature.
Section 4. The Corporation is organized exclusively for public purposes as a not-for-profit
corporation. Its activities shall be conducted in such a manner that no part of its net earnings will
inure to the benefit of any member, director, officer or individual. In addition, the Corporation shall
be authorized to exercise the powers permitted not-for-profit corporations under Chapter 617 of the
Florida Statues as now exists or is subsequently amended or superseded provided, however, the
furtherance of the exempt purpose for which it has been organized is as described in Section 501
(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or any amendments or additions thereto.
Section 5. The Corporation shall be nonsectarian and nonpartisan.
ARTICLE III - Membership
Section 1. Any person interested in and who supports the purpose and objectives of the Corporation
shall be eligible for membership.
Section 2. The membership of the Corporation shall be representative of a broad cross section of
the community which it serves, including but not limited to representatives from business, citrus,
government, horticulture, and education.
Section 3. Criteria for membership may be from time-to-time established by the Corporation Board
of Directors.
ARTICLE IV - Board of Directors
Section 1. Except as otherwise provided for by law, by the Articles of Incorporation, or these
bylaws, the Board of Directors shall exercise the powers of the Corporation, conduct its business
affairs, and control its property. The Board is also expressly authorized to make appropriate
delegations of authority through management agreements.
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Section 2: The Board of Directors shall assume responsibility for setting goals of the corporation,
reviewing and approving the Corporation's operational and strategic plans, and evaluating
operational and strategic performance. No acquisitions or divestitures shall occur without prior
approval of the Board.
Section 3: The Corporation Board of Directors shall be composed of fifteen (15) members.
Section 4: Five (5) members shall be elected each year to serve a three-year term.
a. By April 30 of each fiscal year, the Board of Directors will appoint a Nominating Committee
which will be composed of not fewer than three (3) and not more than five (5) persons. Persons
who might be considered to serve in one of the five (5) available Board positions may not be a
member of the Nominating Committee.
b. By May 31 of each fiscal year, the Nominating Committee will present a slate of candidates
numbering not fewer than five (5) and not more than ten (10) persons who are eligible to serve
based on membership requirements found in ARTICLE III and who have expressed their
commitment to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. In the preparation of the slate, the
Nominating Committee shall consider the future composition of the Board of Directors for the
purpose of having representation from a broad cross section of the community which the
Corporation serves.
c. By June 30 of each fiscal year, the Board of Directors will elect five (5) persons to fill the five (5)
available positions.
d. Those elected will begin their service on the July 1 that immediately follows their election.
e. A Board member may not serve more than two (2) consecutive three-year terms.
Section 5. The Board of Directors shall establish attendance, participation and/or ethical standards,
and may from time-to-time amend same, by which Officers and Directors will have to adhere to
maintain their membership on the board.
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Section 6. The Board of Directors may fill an unexpired term of an Officer or Director by a vote of
fifty (50%) percent plus one (1) of the Directors in attendance of a meeting at which a quorum is
Section 7. A quorum of the Board of Directors will be constituted with the presence of fifty (50%)
percent plus one (1) of the Board positions that are filled at the time of a meeting for which proper
notice has been served.
Section 8. Notice of a Board of Directors meeting is to occur by written correspondence or facsimile
and is to be received no less than seven (7) days prior to the meeting.
ARTICLE V - Executive Committee
Section 1. The Corporation Executive Committee shall have the full authority to act on behalf of the
Corporation Board of Directors if action is required in a time which is insufficient to meet the
notice requirement for calling a meeting of the Board of Directors, as found in ARTICLE IV,
Section 8 of these bylaws. Otherwise, the Executive Committee shall act as an advisory,
recommending body or in other capacities as may be determined by the Board of Directors. Actions
taken by the Executive Committee on behalf of the Corporation shall be made known to the Board
of Directors within seven (7) days from which the action was taken.
Section 2. The Corporation Executive Committee shall be composed of the following persons:
Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and one (1) at-large member of the Board of
Section 3. The Board of Directors shall conduct an election to determine the Executive Committee
members for the upcoming fiscal year during the period of time that immediately follows the annual
election of Directors and the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1.
Section 4. Persons eligible to serve on the Executive Committee must meet the membership
requirements found in ARTICLE III of these bylaws and serve as a member of the Board of
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Section 5. A quorum of an Executive Committee meeting will be constituted with the presence of
fifty (50%) percent plus one (1) of the Executive Committee members of which one (1) must be the
Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson.
ARTICLE VI - Officers
Section 1. The Officers of the Corporation shall be the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer
and Secretary.
Section 2. Officers shall serve one (1) year terms and may not serve more than two (2) consecutive
terms in any one position.
Section 3. It shall be the responsibility of the Chairperson to call and conduct all meetings of the
Corporation Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The Chairperson will appoint, subject to
the approval of the Board of Directors, the chairpersons of all Corporation committees. The
Chairperson shall be the principal spokesperson for the Corporation and shall represent it at those
programs and activities at which the Corporation is to have representation.
Section 4. The Vice-Chairperson shall preside at meetings upon the absence of the Chairperson and
shall assure the duties of the Chairperson upon his/her inability to fulfill the duties of his/her office
as determined by the Board of Directors. The Vice-Chairperson shall serve as the Corporation's
parliamentarian and shall be responsible to the Corporation to insure that the Corporations' business
is conducted in an orderly fashion. Unless otherwise determined, meetings of the Corporation shall
be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order.
Section 5. The Treasurer shall be responsible for providing a regular accounting of the Corporation
moneys and financial transactions. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the prudent management
of the Corporation moneys and for making the financial transactions necessary to conduct the
business of the Corporation.
Section 6. The Secretary shall be responsible for notifying the members of the Board of Directors
and Executive Committee of upcoming meetings. The Secretary shall be responsible for recording
the actions taken by the Board of Directors and Executive Committee at their meetings. The
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Secretary shall be responsible for distributing correspondence and other information/material as
may be necessary to conduct the business of the Corporation.
ARTICLE VII - Committees
Section 1. The Corporation Board of Directors shall from time-to-time form those committees
deemed to be necessary to conduct the business of the Corporation.
Section 2. Persons to serve as a Committee Chairperson shall be members of the Board of
Directors. Committee Chairperson shall serve as result of an appointment by the Corporation
Chairperson and approval of the Board of Directors.
Section 3. Persons interested in serving as a member of a Corporation Committee shall be eligible to
serve upon meeting the membership requirements found in ARTICLE III of these bylaws. It is not
necessary for such persons to be a member of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VIII - Staff Services
The Board of Directors may from time-to-time engage an individual or organization to provide staff
services to the Corporation. The Board will provide those so engaged with a scope of work,
reasonable compensation, and periodic (not to be less frequent than once every twelve (12) months)
evaluation of the efforts to accomplish the scope of work.
ARTICLE IX - Finances
Section 1. The Corporation shall use its funds only to accomplish the purpose and objectives
specified in these bylaws, and no part of said funds shall inure to the benefit of nor be distributed to
the members of the Corporation.
Section 2. The Corporation shall have a fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30 of each
calendar year.
Section 3. All moneys received by the Corporation shall be deposited to the credit of the
Corporation in such financial institution or institutions as may be designated by the Board of
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Section 4. The solicitation of funds shall not be authorized without prior approval of the Board of
Section 5. No obligation of expenses shall be incurred and no money appropriated without prior
approval of the Board of Directors.
Section 6. Upon approval of an annual budget, the Treasurer or other persons as authorized by the
Board of Directors shall have the authority to make disbursements on accounts and expenses
provided for in the budget without additional approval of the Board of Directors.
Section 7. Disbursements shall be made by check signed by the Treasurer and one other Officer.
Section 8. The Board of Directors may from time-to-time cause an audit to be conducted of the
Corporation's books and accounts. Such audits are to be conducted by a certified public accountant,
and upon its completion, the audit report shall be presented to the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE X - Dissolution
Upon dissolution of the Corporation, any funds remaining shall be distributed to one or more
regularly organized and qualified charitable, educational, scientific, or philanthropic organization as
selected by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XI - Indemnification
Each elected or appointed Director or Officer of the Corporation shall be indemnified by the
Corporation against all expenses and liabilities, including counsel fees, reasonably incurred by or
imposed upon him/her in connection with any proceeding or the settlement of any proceeding to
which he/she may be a party or may be involved by reason of his/her being or having been a
Director or Officer of the Corporation, whether or not he/she is a Director or Officer at the time
such expenses are incurred, except when the Director or Officer is adjudged guilty of willful
misfeasance or malfeasance in the performance of their duties. The foregoing right of
indemnification shall be in addition to and exclusive of all other rights and remedies to which such
Director or Officer may be entitled.
ARTICLE XII - Waiver of Notice
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Whenever any notice is required to be given under the provision of Florida Statute, Articles of
Incorporation or these bylaws, a waiver thereof in writing signed by the person entitled to such
notice, whether before or after the same stated therein, shall be deemed equivalent to the giving of
such notice where such waiver is permitted by Florida law. All waivers shall be filed with the
Corporation records or shall be made a part of the minutes of the relevant meeting.
ARTICLE XIII - Corporate Seal
The Board of Directors may provide for a Corporate Seal in such a form and with such inscription
as it shall determine provided such seal shall always contain the words "Corporation" and "Nor-forProfit."
ARTICLE XIV - Amendments
These bylaws may be amended, altered, repealed or adopted by a 2/3rd vote of the Board of
Directors at a meeting for which proper notice has been provided.
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TEMPLATE 2: Articles of Incorporation
The name of this organization is the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, a cooperative enterprise
organized under Title 18, Chapter 10, Section 421 of the Statutes of the State of Oklahoma.
The purpose of this cooperative is to provide retail marketplaces that sell Oklahoma grown and/or
Oklahoma processed foods and non-food items, for the mutual benefit of its producer and
customer members. The activities of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative are governed by its Core
Values of social justice, environmental stewardship, and economic sustainability. The cooperative
shall educate members, and the general public, regarding cooperative principles, the local food
movement, its core values, and the practical implementation of these principles. This association
shall be operated on a cooperative basis for the mutual benefit of its members as patrons and
owners of the cooperative.
Acting as the agent of producer members, the Oklahoma Food Cooperative will publicize to its
members the products that its producer members have for sale, receive orders from customer
members, provide a way for products to be delivered to other members of the cooperative, collect
payment from the customers and forward the payments to the producers. Acting as the agent for
customer members, we will provide them a catalog of available local food products that includes
information about how and where the product was grown or processed. We receive their orders and
notify the appropriate producers, arrange for the food to be delivered, receive and process their
payments. For both producer and customer members, we will provide a basic screening of products
and producers based on our published parameters, and education and training regarding the use and
the advantages of local foods. The essential business of the cooperative is to provide a marketplace
where our members who are willing buyers and sellers can meet.
This cooperative shall have the power to conduct all lawful business in the state of Oklahoma,
including but not necessarily limited to the operating of retail marketplaces that sell Oklahoma
grown and/or Oklahoma processed foods and non-food items, and shall have, exercise, and possess
all the rights, powers, and privileges generally granted to a cooperative corporation by the laws of
the State of Oklahoma, including (1) To borrow money within the limits allowed by law and to give
a lien on any of its property as security therefore in any manner permitted by law; (2). To buy, lease,
hold, and exercise all privileges of ownership over such real or personal property as may be
necessary or convenient for the conduct and operation of the business of the association, or
incidental thereto, (3) To draw, make, accept, endorse, guarantee, execute, and issue promissory
notes, bills of exchange, drafts, warrants, certificates, and all kinds of obligations and negotiable or
transferable instruments for any purpose that is deemed to further the objects for which this
cooperative is formed, and to give a lien on any of its property as security therefore, (4) To acquire,
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own, and develop any interest in patents, trade-marks, and copyrights connected with, or incidental
to, the business of the association, (5) To cooperate with other similar associations in creating
central, regional, or national cooperative agencies, for any of the purposes for which this association
is formed, and to become a member or stockholder of such agencies as now are or hereinafter may
be in existence, (6) To have and exercise, in addition to the foregoing, all powers, privileges, and
rights conferred on ordinary corporations and cooperative associations by the laws of the State of
Oklahoma and all powers and rights incidental or conducive to carrying out the purpose for which
this association is formed, except such as are inconsistent with the express provisions of the act
under which this association is incorporated, and to do any such thing anywhere; and the
enumeration of the foregoing powers shall not be held to limit or restrict in any manner the general
powers which may by law be possessed by this association, all of which are hereby expressly claimed.
a. The Board of Directors is authorized to issue as many shares of stock as is necessary to
provide each person who desires to become a member with one (1) share of stock upon
their payment of its actual value or par value, whichever is greater. There is only one class of
stock, and the Cooperative shall not issue any other classes of stock. The par value of each
membership share is $50. Membership share stock may be authorized at any board meeting
and the number of shares issued is always based on the applications for membership
received at that meeting. The initial number of shares to be issued is 250.
b. The actual value price of a membership share is determined by dividing the value of the
cooperative as determined by the board of directors by the number of members. The board
may take all relevant factors into consideration in determining this value, including annual
revenues of the cooperative, the transportation and communications links and routes
developed by the cooperative, goodwill and name recognition, cash on hand and the value of
the fixed assets of the cooperative, provided however that the share price may never be less
than the value of the fixed assets of the cooperative plus capital cash on hand, divided by the
number of members. The purpose of this article is to ensure that all of the value of the
cooperative is owned equally by the members, and that the value of a share reflects the
member's ownership in the cooperative, thus dividing the ownership of the cooperative
equitably among all its customer and producer members.
c. No person, persons, or other legal entity may own or vote more than one membership share
in the cooperative; however, any person may give money to the cooperative to pay for shares
of stock for low income persons who desire to be cooperative members but who do not
have sufficient funds to pay for the membership. Shares may not be transferred directly from
members to non-members or between members.
d. If a member desires to leave the cooperative, or is expelled, the cooperative shall buy back
that membership share at the actual value within 90 days of receiving a written request or
expelling a member. It shall then cancel that share on its books. The member may elect to
donate his or her share to the cooperative, in which case the value of the share shall be paid
to the fund that finances membership stock purchases for low-income people.
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e. The Board may extend credit to nonmembers to enable them to purchase a membership
share on an installment payment plan, under terms approved by the Board of Directors.
Pending full payment of the membership share a member may not vote or hold office in the
cooperative but they may exercise member privileges and rights as a customer and producer
patron of the cooperative's marketplaces.
f. No certificate of membership stock can or shall be assigned, either voluntarily or
involuntarily, or by operation of law, nor can any membership or membership rights, voting
or property rights of a member in the Cooperative be assigned, transferred, alienated, or
encumbered in any manner or by any means whatsoever. Any purported or attempted
assignment, transfer, alienation, or encumbrance of either the certificate of membership
stock, or of the membership, or membership and property rights, shall be null and void and
confer no rights upon the purported assignee, transferee or claimant. Provided, nothing
herein shall prevent the donation of the share to the co-op by a resigning member, nor shall
it prevent making donations or applying for grants to pay for the share for a person of
poverty, nor shall it prevent the transfer for repurchase, of the member's share, back to the
FIVE: Duration
The duration of this cooperative shall be perpetual.
SIX: Registered Office
The principle place of business of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative is 1524 NW 21, Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma 73106.
SEVEN: Membership:
a. The members are the supreme governing body of this cooperative and are the only owners
of this association.
b. Members of the cooperative are those persons or other legal entities that purchase a
membership capital share in the cooperative. There are two classes of members: producers
and customers. The two classes are equal in their rights and privileges and responsibilities of
membership, but they differ in their voting rights for the two Vice Presidents of the
Cooperative. A member may change their classification from customer to producer, or
producer to customer, by notification to the Secretary of the Cooperative. All members of a
shareholder's household share in the rights and privileges of membership, and may buy, sell,
and hold office in the cooperative, but only one vote is exercised per membership in the
Cooperative Assembly. Before each annual meeting, each household shall certify to the
Secretary of the Cooperative the person who will exercise that household's vote at the annual
meeting. For the purpose of these articles, "household" is defined as 2 or more persons
residing at a common address or in the case of producers, 2 or more persons who are
partners in a business enterprise. At the discretion of the board of directors, these definitions
may be broadened to include institutions, retirement complexes, religious organizations, or
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other larger groups of people.
c. Membership in the cooperative is open to both customers and producers of Oklahoma food
products or other Oklahoma products that are authorized by the Board of Directors. Any
person shall be eligible to become a member of the association, regardless of race, gender,
religion, income, marital status, culture, or nationality. Groups shall be eligible for
membership at the discretion of the board of directors.
d. The board of directors must approve all applications for membership. Between meetings the
Board may accept members by unanimous consent.
e. The voting rights of the members of the cooperative shall be equal, except for the election
of the Producer and Customer vice presidents, which elections have membership electorates
limited by the appropriate declaration of the member, and no member shall have more than
one vote upon each matter submitted to a vote at a meeting of the members.
f. The property rights and interests of each member in the fixed assets of the association shall
be equal and are determined based on the ownership of each member of one share of the
cooperative. The property rights and interest of each member in the membership patronage
surplus of the cooperative, if any, shall be determined and fixed on a patronage basis, and
the surplus from the member patronage business of the association shall be allocated to
member-patrons in the proportion that the patronage of each member bears to the total
patronage of all the members of the association. The property rights and interest of each
member in the nonmember surplus of the cooperative, if any, are equal.
g. Members may be expelled for cause from the cooperative by a 2/3rds vote of the Board of
Directors, acting upon the recommendation of the Discipline Committee, which shall make
such recommendations based on a 2/3rds vote of its members. Expulsions may be appealed
to the Cooperative Assembly. Members who are expelled shall receive the actual or par value
of their membership share, whichever is greater. Cause for expulsion can include illegal
activity, fraudulent affidavits regarding the Oklahoma origin or production practices of
products sold through the cooperative, and prolonged and egregious inability or
unwillingness to follow cooperative standard operating procedures.
a. The supreme governing body of the cooperative is the Cooperative Assembly, which is the
annual or special meeting of the members. The Cooperative Assembly shall meet at least
once each year to elect members of the Board of Directors and Officers of the Cooperative,
approve or reject proposed changes to these Articles of Incorporation, consent to or repeal
any action of the Board of Directors submitted to their vote, and conduct other such
business as comes before the cooperative.
b. In accordance with law, notice of the time and place of holding each annual meeting shall be
published not less than two (2) weeks previous thereto in the newspaper printed nearest to
the place where the principal office or place of business of the corporation is located. A
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quorum shall consist of at least ten percent (10%) in number of all the stockholders or
subscribers for stock who are entitled to vote. Notice shall also be posted at the
cooperative's website and mailed to all members.
c. Special meetings of the members may be called at any time by the Board of Directors of the
Cooperative or by a petition calling for a membership meeting and specifying the agenda,
signed by 5% of the membership of the cooperative or 250 members, whichever is less. If
such a petition is submitted, the Secretary of the Cooperative must schedule a membership
meeting within 30 days of its receipt by the Secretary. Written notice of every regular and
special meeting of members shall be prepared and mailed to the last known post office
address of each member, and posted on prominent signs at all association locations, not less
than 10 (ten) days before such meeting. Such notice shall state the nature of the business
expected to be conducted and the time and place of the meeting. No business shall be
transacted at any special meeting other than that referred to in the notice. In all
consideration of decisions to amend the articles or bylaws, as the case may be, the members
shall be informed of such consideration at least twenty five (25) days in advance through a
mailing to all the cooperative members and a prominent notice at all cooperative locations.
The officers of the Cooperative shall be:
1. President. The president shall (1) preside over all meetings of the association and of the
board of directors; (2) call special meetings of the board of directors; (3) appoint such
additional committees for special or regular purposes as the board of directors may deem
advisable for the proper conduct of the cooperative; (4) is responsible for appointing and
removing management as provided for by the Board of Directors, provided however that if
the Cooperative hires a General Manager, said appointment shall be by the Board of
Directors and at that time the General Manager shall be responsible for supervising,
appointing, and removing if necessary the other management employees and volunteers of
the cooperative, (5) Serve as chair of the Cooperative Administration and Operations
Committee, and (6) perform all acts and duties usually performed by a presiding officer and
in the absence of a General Manager employed by the cooperative, the duties of a General
Manager. In the event of the absence or disability of the President, his or her duties shall be
exercised by the Vice President for Producers or the Vice President for Customers, in
2. Vice President for Producers. The Vice President for Producers shall affirmatively represent
the views and needs of the producer members of the cooperative, and rotate with the vice
President for Customers in fulfilling the duties of the President in the event of his or her
absence or disability. If the cooperative does not have a General Manager, the Vice President
for Producers shall assist the President in the general management of the cooperative.
3. Vice President for Customers. The Vice President for Customers shall affirmatively
represent the views and needs of the Customer members of the cooperative, and rotate with
the vice President for Producers in fulfilling the duties of the President in the event of his or
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her absence or disability. If the cooperative does not have a General Manager, the Vice
President for Customers shall assist the President in the general management of the
4. Secretary. The secretary shall keep a complete record of all meetings of the association and
of the board of directors and shall have general charge and supervision of the books and
records of the association. The secretary shall sign papers pertaining to the association as
authorized or directed by the board of directors. The secretary shall serve all notices required
by law and by the articles of incorporation and the bylaws and shall make a full report of all
matters and business pertaining to the office to the members at the annual meeting. There
shall be a corporate seal, and the secretary shall have custody of it. The secretary shall keep
all books of blank membership stock certificates, complete and countersign all membership
stock certificates issued; shall keep complete membership certificate ownership records; shall
make all reports required by law; and shall perform such other duties as may be required by
the association or the board of directors. Upon the election of a successor, the secretary shall
turn over all books and other property belonging to the association.
5. Treasurer. The treasurer shall be responsible for the keeping and disbursing of all monies of
the association, and shall keep accurate books of accounts of all transactions of the
association. The treasurer shall perform such duties with respect to the finances of the
association as may be prescribed by the board of directors. At the expiration of his or her
term of office, the treasurer shall promptly turn over to the successor all monies, property,
books, records, and documents pertaining to his office or belonging to the association.
6. Chief Information Officer. The CIO shall be responsible for the development and operation
of the cooperative's computer systems. Because of the nature of this office, the CIO shall be
appointed by the Board of Directors.
7. The officers shall serve terms of three years and may succeed themselves in office.
Whenever a vacancy occurs in the officers, other than from the expiration of a term of
office, the Board of Directors shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy until the next
regular meeting of the members. If the term of the vacating director does not expire at that
regular member meeting, a special election shall be held to select a director to fill the year or
years remaining in that term.
8. The first officers of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative shall be the officers of the Oklahoma
Food Cooperative Organizing Committee, they shall serve until the first meeting of the
Cooperative Assembly at which time the cooperative president, vice presidents for
customers and producers, secretary, and treasurer shall be elected.
1. The members of the Board of Directors of the Cooperative are (a) the officers of the
cooperative including the CIO, (b) one representative of the employees of the Cooperative
(if the cooperative has employees), who is elected by the employees and (c) five or six
members elected at large by the membership (five or six in order to make the membership of
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the board an odd number). If the cooperative hires a general manager, he or she shall also be
a member of the Board of Directors.
2. The Board shall be in charge of the general operations of the cooperative, shall determine
the need for cooperative management and make appropriate arrangements for management
employees or volunteers, to be appointed by the President or General Manager. The board
shall authorize the employment of such other employees, agents, experts, and counsel as it
from time to time deems necessary or advisable in the interest of the association. The Board,
shall vote on the purchase and sale of property, is authorized to borrow money and apply for
grants, and have other rights and privileges as provided by law, these articles, the
cooperative's Bylaws, or the vote of the members. The powers and authorities of this
cooperative may be exercised by the board of directors of the cooperative, subject to the
laws of the State of Oklahoma, to these articles, and to any provisions of the bylaws. The
board of directors shall have installed an accounting system which shall be adequate to meet
the requirements of the business and shall require proper records to be kept of all business
transactions. The Board of Directors may not obligate the Cooperative for a debt larger than
the value of the stock of the Cooperative.
3. Board members shall serve for 3 years and may succeed themselves in office. They may
receive compensation for their expenses in attending meetings, to be determined by the
Board, which may include mileage, accommodations, and meals, but they shall not receive a
salary from the cooperative. All officers and board members must be members of the
4. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the board of directors, other than from the expiration of a
term of office, the remaining directors shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy until the
next regular meeting of the members. If the term of the vacating director does not expire at
that regular member meeting, a special election shall be held to select a director to fill the
year or years remaining in that term.
5. Regular meetings of the board of directors shall be held at least quarterly, and at such other
times and at such places in the state of Oklahoma, as the board may determine. The Board
of Directors may conduct business by unanimous consents in lieu of meeting, if the consent
clearly states the matter decided and is signed by all of the directors of the association who
would be eligible to attend and vote at a regular meeting of the board. A special meeting of
the board of directors shall be held whenever called by the president or by three of the
directors. Only the business specified in the written notice shall be transacted at a special
meeting. Each call for a special meeting shall be in writing, shall be signed by the person or
persons calling the meeting, shall be addressed and delivered to the secretary, and shall state
the time and place of such meeting. Oral or written notice of each meeting of the board of
directors shall be given each director by, or under the supervision of, the secretary of the
Cooperative not less than seventy-two (72) hours prior to the time of meeting. But such
notice may be waived by all the directors, and their appearance at a meeting shall constitute a
waiver of notice. A majority of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum at any
meeting of the board.
6. First board election: At the first meeting of the stockholders, there shall be elected the five
at-large directors, one of whom shall serve one (1) year, two of whom shall serve two (2)
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years, and the remaining two of whom shall serve three (3) years. As the term of office of
each of these directors expires a successor shall be elected, who shall serve for three (3)
years, unless sooner removed, or until his successor is elected and qualified.
7. Any director or officer of such corporation may be removed by a majority vote of the
stockholders at any regular or special stockholders' meeting lawfully called, and the vacancy
may be filled at such meeting or by the remaining directors at any regular or special meeting
8. The Board may by a 2/3rds majority vote refer decisions to the membership meeting, or a
petition signed by 5% of the membership may refer such actions. A membership meeting
must be held within 30 days of the Board's vote or the submitting of a valid referendum
The following are the standing committees of the cooperative. Their activities are governed by the
provisions of the cooperative's bylaws and/or action of the Board of Directors: Finance, Audit,
Producer Standards and Compliance, Cooperative Administration and Operations, Discipline and
Arbitration, Education and Core Values, Membership, Elections. The Finance Committee shall
arrange for the cooperative's financial accounting systems, procedures, and work. Audit Committee
shall audit the financial records and board actions of the Cooperative. Producer Standards and
Compliance ensures that products sold in the cooperative's marketplaces are licit for sale under our
procedures. The Cooperative Administration and Operations committee is responsible for the work
involved with operating the cooperative's marketplaces and computersystems. The Discipline and
Arbitration committee considers membership expulsions or sanctions and arranges for arbitration in
the event of disagreement between members of the cooperative. The Core Values and Education
committee provides education to members regarding the cooperative's core values and their practical
implementation, as well as the principles of the international cooperative movement. The
Membership committee is responsible for recruiting new members.
The liability of members, officers, and directors of the cooperative is limited to the amount of the
actual value of their membership share in the cooperative. The Cooperative may indemnify its
directors, officers, committee members, and employees to the extent allowed by law and may
purchase liability insurance on their behalf.
THIRTEEN: Liquidation
Upon liquidation, any assets remaining after all debts and obligations are satisfied shall be distributed
equally to the members of the cooperative.
FOURTEEN: Amendment
The articles of incorporation may be amended at any time, or from time to time, by the affirmative
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vote of two-thirds of the members present at any annual meeting of the stockholders, if notice of
the proposed amendment shall have been given in the call for such meeting. The directors, who
shall sign and acknowledge and file, as above provided, new or revised articles containing such
amendments and superseding the original articles, shall put such amendments into effect. Provided,
however, that section 4 (c) above, (limiting ownership of shares of membership stock to one per
membership), is neither amendable nor repealable.
FIFTEEN: Assumption
This cooperative assumes the membership, assets, and liabilities of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative
Organizing Committee, Inc.
SIXTEEN: Initial Board of Directors
The initial board of directors of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, which shall have charge of the
affairs of the cooperative until a board is elected at the first Cooperative Assembly, shall be the
Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative Organizing Committee, Inc.
Robert Waldrop, Oklahoma City
Jonalu Johnstone, Oklahoma City
Mark Parman, Webers Falls,
Kathy Carter-White, Tahlequah
Jo Logan, Edmond
Walter Kelley, Norman
Kim Barker, Waynoka
The following amendments have been adopted by Annual Meetings of the Oklahoma Food
Adopted at the 2010 Annual Meeting:
Amendment to Article 10 paragraph one. Add section (d) to the first sentence.
(d) Past presidents of the Cooperative who have served at least one full term.
Adopted at the 2009 Annual Meeting:
Article 9-1: Treasurer
Add this sentence to the end of the job description:
"Because of the nature of this office, the Treasurer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors,
commencing with the term that begins in 2011."
Article 10-1-c: Board of Directors
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Sub-section "c" is replaced by this sentence. Its effect is to reduce the number of at-large members
by 2.
(c) three or four members elected at large by the membership (three or four in order to make the
membership of the board an odd number).
Article 10-9
This is a new paragraph added to the end of the section.
A board member or officer who misses four meetings during a calendar year may be removed from
office by the Board.
Adopted at the 2007 Annual Meeting:
In Article 8-b, change the quorum from ten percent of the membership to 5%.
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TEMPLATE 3a: Survey-Producer
TEMPLATE 3b: Survey-Consumer
TEMPLATE 3c: Survey-
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TEMPLATE 4a: Sample Guidelines and Policies (Renton, WA)
The Renton Farmers Market (RFM) is a volunteer-driven effort supported by Piazza Renton, the City of
Renton, and corporate partners. It is the goal of the Market to provide a fun, healthy activity in the
downtown Renton area and provide a regular outlet for vendors of fresh produce and other products.
The mailing address is:
Renton Farmers Market
1055 South Grady Way, 6th Floor
Renton, WA 98057
The Renton Farmers Market takes place in The Piazza, a public park in downtown Renton, located on South
3rd Street (SR 900), between Logan and Burnett Avenues. The 2010 Renton Farmers Market will be open to
the public from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., for 18 weeks, beginning Tuesday, June 1 and continuing every
Tuesday through September 28, 2009. (This is two weeks longer then last years season.)
The goal of the Farmers Market is two-fold: to provide an outlet for local farm products and to provide farmfresh food for consumers.
Permits to sell and stall assignments are made based on the Market‟s need to balance available produce with a
well-rounded selection for customers. The Market intends to meet the needs of participating farmers without
overloading the Market with particular products. Products not covered under these guidelines will be given
special consideration by RFM.
Products sold at the Farmers Market are limited to:
A. FRESH FARM PRODUCTS: Includes fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, nuts, honey, dairy products,
eggs, poultry, mushrooms, meats, and fish. Also included in this category are fresh flowers, nursery
stock, and plants.
All fresh farm products must be grown or produced in Washington State. All products must be
grown or produced by the seller. Vendor must be an active owner/operator of the farming operation and may not
be operating the business under a franchise agreement. Only vendors selling as farmers may sell fresh farm
products from this category.
The vendor must propagate all plants and flowers from seed, cuttings, bulbs or plant division. The
vendor‟s application for a permit to sell shall state what is grown by vendor, and what products the
vendor will sell at the Farmers Market.
B. PROCESSED FARM FOODS: Includes preserves, jams and jellies, cider, syrups, salsas, smoked
meats or fish, dried fruit, flours and salad dressings.
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All processed farm foods must be made from products/ingredients of which a majority are
grown or produced by the seller. Processed farm foods must be produced by the vendor from raw
ingredients. Vendors in this category must have personally cooked, canned, baked, preserved or
otherwise treated the product they sell. All processed foods must have the proper permits and licenses as
required by the City of Renton and Seattle-King County Health Department.
The vendor‟s application for a permit to sell shall state what is grown by vendor and what products the
vendor will sell at the Farmers Market.
C. DRIED FLOWERS, CRAFTED FARM PRODUCTS: Allowed are: bouquets, wreaths, roping,
arrangements and displays of fresh and dried flowers, vines and gourds.
These items must be grown, foraged and produced by vendor on vendor‟s own farm. These items are
intended as a supplement to fresh produce, processed farm goods, nursery/flower inventory, and cannot
exceed 25% of total displayed inventory.
The vendor‟s application for a permit to sell shall state what is grown/processed or prepared by vendor,
and what the vendor will sell at the Farmers Market.
D. BAKED GOODS/GRAIN PRODUCTS: Includes pastries, pasta, granola, cookies, muffins, breads,
pies and related take home desserts, not prepared on site. Vendor must be an active owner/operator of
the business and may not be operating under a franchise agreement.
Baked goods and grain products must be produced by the vendor from raw ingredients. Vendors in this
category are those who have cooked, baked or otherwise treated the product they sell. No commercially
prepared dough mixes, crusts, shells or fillings are allowed. It is expected that the vendor will use raw
ingredients that are grown in Washington, as appropriate for the product. All baked goods must have the
proper permits and licenses required by the City of Renton, the Seattle-King County Health Department
and/or the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
The vendor‟s application for a permit to sell shall state what is grown/processed or prepared by vendor,
and what the vendor will sell at the Farmers Market.
E. PREPARED FOOD: Includes fresh food products that the vendors themselves have processed into
being products offered for sale at the Market. These products are ready-to-eat. They may also be
packaged. Upon approval of the RFM, these vendors may also offer items that they do not process.
Such non-processed items are specifically limited so as to not compete with local handmade processed
items. The vendor must have the proper permits and licenses required by the City of Renton, the SeattleKing County Health Department, and/or the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
The vendor‟s application for a permit to sell shall state what is prepared/processed by the vendor and
what the vendor will sell at the Farmers Market.
Vendors in categories C, D & E will be limited to less than 25% of the total vendors selling at the
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A. The Market will make assignments in an attempt to balance the needs of the Market (supplying customers
with a complete, competitive selection of produce available in season) without overloading the Market
with particular products.
B. Market participation is based on:
Available space in the Market
The need for a specific product and your ability to produce it
C. It is very difficult to satisfy all participants‟ requests. We will do our best to accommodate as many
interested vendors as possible.
1. All vendors will pay a daily stall fee of $40.00 per market day.
2. Prepayment discounts are available at the following rates: 600.00, this gives you three free days.
3. Vendors wishing to reserve a specific stall location should pay the full stall fee in advance.
4. If stall fees have not been paid in advance, this fee will be collected by the Market Manager or Market
Coordinator and will be collected no later than 6:45 p.m. on Market day.
5. Pre-paid vendors who fail to show up on a given Market day are not entitled to a refund for that day.
6. Pre-paid vendors who cannot attend on a Market day should contact the Market Manager or
Market Coordinator 48 hours prior to Market day. Vendors who do not call when the Market
is otherwise full and there is a waiting list of farm vendors will be charged an additional stall
fee for that Market day, collected on the following Market day they attend.
Stall location will be assigned and reserved on a priority basis as follows:
Full season prepaid vendors.
Number of spaces you require. The more space you need, the harder it is to place you.
Multiple week prepaid vendors.
Date vendor submitted a complete application.
Vendors who have been a participant of the market for two or more years.
While site requests will be considered, vendors will be placed to create a mixture of product types. Vendors
will be selected so as to fulfill the variety that is listed in Section III. Vendors may not be allowed in the
market if the market has reached the maximum number of that type of vendor. Any vendor placed on a
waiting list, will be awarded space based upon what is available and the product they sell.
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MAY SELL AT THE MARKET. Principal farmer/producer may send family members, partners or
employees to the Market in their place, but are responsible for having their on-site representatives aware
of all Market rules and violation policies.
B. CANOPIES: All vendors who wish to erect canopies on the Farmers Market site during a normal period
of Market operations, including the set up and break down period, are required to have their canopies
sufficiently and safely anchored to the ground from the time their canopy is put up to the time it is taken
down. No anchors may be set in the shrub beds or turf without prior approval from the Parks
Department representative and Market Coordinator. Any vendor who fails to properly anchor his or her
canopy will not be allowed to sell at the Farmers Market on that Market day, unless that vendor chooses
to take down and stow their canopy and sell without it.
C. PUNCTUALITY/HOURS OF OPERATION: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. No vendors will be allowed
on the site before 12:30 p.m. All vendors must vacate the site by 8:00 p.m.
All vendors with assigned booth spaces must be at the Market site 30 minutes before the Market
opens and be ready to begin selling when the Market opens.
If a vendor does not call or occupy the reserved booth three weeks in a row, the stall will be declared
vacant and given to another vendor on the wait list.
D. LOADING AND UNLOADING: Upon arrival the Market, vendors can unload at N 3rd Street.
There is limited space, and the Renton Farmers Market has a limited number of carts to help move your
supplies to your site. When arriving, vendors will unload supplies then quickly move their vehicle to an
assigned parking location. When loading at the end of the Market, take down entire booth and then
move vehicle to the loading area.
E. SELLING TIME: Formal opening time is 3:00 p.m. Before the 3:00 p.m opening, vendors
should not sell until they are fully set up. Vendors who sell-out early should post a sign letting
customers know they have sold-out and should leave no earlier than one hour before closing. Vendors
will be loaded up and vacate the site no later than one hour after the Market is closed. Any exceptions
must be cleared with the Market Coordinator or Volunteer Market Manager.
F. SIGNAGE: All vendors must post a sign identifying him/her, the name of the farm or business
represented and where it is located. Signs should not be smaller than 24” wide by 8” high. Vendors
will have their signs displayed before sales begin. If you do not have a sign, one will be provided for
G. PRICE SIGNAGE: Produce and other allowable Market products should be clearly marked with
their price. This can be done by individually tagging each item with a sign or by listing all produce and
prices on a large sign or blackboard.
H. SELLING SPACE: The vendor sales area (where your produce is marketed) must not extend beyond
the allotted boundaries of the stall space. Upon payment of specified fees, vendor may use and occupy a
Market space designated by the Market Manager or Market Coordinator. All Market spaces are 10‟ x 10‟
and vendors must fit within the space allowed. These spaces are intended to allow only enough room
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for the vendor‟s goods. Off-site parking and Market-owned carts for the transportation of goods will be
I. BOOTH CLEAN UP: Each vendor is responsible for keeping his/her booth space clean during the
Market and for complete clean-up of their space at the close of the Market. This includes hauling away
any trash or garbage that is generated in or around the booth and sweeping up any product debris left on
the ground. Market trashcans and dumpsters are not available for vendor use. Ice should be not be
dumped on the grass or cement. Vendors should bring their own brooms and dustpans. Those who do
not clean up at the end of the Market will be issued a written warning for the first offense and a $25 fine
for the second offense. A third offense is grounds for termination of the vendor‟s permit to sell.
SET OUT DISTANCE FOR VENDOR DISPLAY: Displays and signs must allow clear visibility to
adjoining booths. Display and selling techniques must not impair other vendors‟ ability to sell, nor create
a hazardous situation for customers. Hawking in front of booths is not allowed.
1. Pricing of goods sold at the Market is solely the responsibility of the individual vendor. Vendors are
expected to price goods in a way that doesn’t give the appearance of a “loss leader” product
as is used in large grocery stores.
2. Vendors are expected to bring quality produce to Market.
3. Vendors are not allowed to give produce or other items away for free or at below-cost pricing, thus
undercutting potential sales of other vendors.
4. Sampling is allowed under Seattle-King County Health Department Guidelines. Please ask the
Market Coordinator or Volunteer Market Manager for information and see Special Requirements
section on Sampling that follows.
L. SCALES: Vendors selling produce by weight must provide their own scales. Scales must be “legal for
trade” and are subject to inspection by the Washington Department of Agriculture - Weights and
Measures Program.
M. PETS: No pets will be allowed in the vendor‟s selling area. The only exceptions will be service animals.
N. CHILDREN: Vendors need to keep a watchful eye on their children at all times during Market day.
Set-up time can be an especially dangerous time for unattended children. Small children should not be
allowed to wander the grounds without a parent or guardian with them. The Market can take no
responsibility for their safety or whereabouts.
O. COURTESY: Vendors will conduct themselves courteously. It is the Market‟s intent to win friends and
benefit the vendors, consumers and the community.
P. HAWKING: Hawking (calling attention to your products in a loud, repetitive, public manner) during the
Market day is discouraged and may be limited or prohibited by the Market Manager or Market
Q. VENDOR DRESS: Vendors are requested to wear shirts and shoes at their booths during the Market
R. VENDOR MUSIC: No sound that can be heard outside an individual vendor‟s stall space shall be
S. NO-SMOKING: Smoking is not allowed in the vendor sales areas.
Market Coordinator‟s jobs are to implement Market policies. This includes overseeing Market set-up,
booth assignments, collection of fees, providing information on membership and Market policies, and
assuring vendor compliance with all Market policies. The Manager or Market Coordinator will make
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booth assignment decisions based on available space in the Market and the need for specific products.
The Manager or Market Coordinator will be responsible for public concerns and vendor complaints. The
Manager or Market Coordinator is also the conduit between vendors/customers and RFM. The Market
Coordinator has complete authority to interpret and implement policy on the Market site; including the
authority to rescind stall space for just cause. Vendor grievances will be taken to the Market Managers
and Market Coordinator.
U. PROHIBITIONS: The RFM reserves the right to prohibit anyone from selling or any product from
being sold.
V. INSPECTIONS: The RFM or its designated representative has the right to inspect vendor‟s land.
Representatives may inspect or visit any farms or establishments used by vendors. Farm visits will be
conducted with at least 24-hour notice. Vendors should provide help during a visit in identifying the
crops listed on the application for permit to sell.
The RFM is not responsible for loss of property or damage.
X. DISCRIMATION: There will be no discrimination according to race, color, creed, sex, religion, sexual
orientation, age or nationality.
Y. HOOK-UPS: Vendors requiring hook-ups to power to run appliances will be charged an extra fee of
$30.00 per season.
Z. VENDOR RESPONSE FORM: If a vendor has a comment or issue, they can obtain a Vendor
Response Form from the Manager or Coordinator.
Special requests or variances from the above listed guidelines must be directed to Market Coordinator.
A. ON-SITE FOOD STORAGE REQUIREMENTS: All food must be kept at least 18” above the
B. TAXES: Retail sales taxes and Business and Occupation taxes are the responsibility of the individual
vendor. Vendors are required by law to have a Washington State tax number and must supply this tax
number when application is made to sell at the Market. (Note: the Vendor‟s application will not be
processed without this number.)
C. PERMITS AND LICENSES: All vendors shall provide at the time of application copies of any
permits and licenses applicable to the sale of their products. These will include the vendor‟s Washington
State tax number, and where applicable, the Washington State Nursery License, Washington State
Dept. of Agriculture Food Processors License, Certification for Organically Grown Produce,
Grade A Dairy Permits, or Department of Fisheries Wholesale License. Sellers of plants, bulbs or
seeds for planting must have a Nursery License, available from the Washington State Department of
D. ORGANIC PRODUCTS: If a product is labeled “organic,” it must be certified as required by
Washington State law.
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E. “UNSPRAYED, PESTICIDE-FREE OR LOW-SPRAY”: Written and verbal declarations regarding
pesticide use which cannot be certified such as “Unsprayed, Pesticide-free or Low Spray” will need a
notarized affidavit attesting how these procedures are followed. This affidavit will be kept with the
Market management for the season. Consumer queries regarding farming practices must be answered
F. PROCESSED FOODS must be licensed by the City of Renton and/or Department of Agriculture as a
Food Processor. These foods include dried fruits, herbs, teas, baked goods, cider, preserves, salsas and
salad dressings. Beekeepers who process their own honey do not need a Food Processor‟s license, unless
the honey is sold wholesale. Other Seattle-King County Health Department requirements apply.
G. BAKED GOODS: Those bakeries that sell more than 25% of their products wholesale must be licensed
by the Department of Agriculture as Food Processors. Other Seattle-King County Health Department
requirements apply.
H. LABELING: Processed foods, including honey, have Washington State labeling requirements. Labels
on processed foods must meet State requirements and include 1) The name of the product, 2) Company
name, 3) Address (if not found in the phonebook), 4) Net weight on bottom 1/3 of label, and 5)
Ingredients listed in decreasing order of predominance.
I. SAMPLING: Special Health Department guidelines can be used at vendor booths for some limited food
demonstration and sampling. Please consult with the Health Department, Market Manager or Market
Coordinator regarding these regulations.
J. FOOD HANDLER’S PERMITS: All prepared foods and baked goods vendors must have a current
Seattle-King County Health Department Food Handler‟s Permit.
VENDOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Food contributions may be solicited every week by the local
Food Bank. Please consider contributing. Also, please consider that the local Food Bank is the best resource
for distributing
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TEMPLATE 4b: Rules and Guidelines
Downtown Farmers' Market of Big Lake, Inc.
The Downtown Farmers' Market is intended to provide healthy, fresh produce and other assorted
nutritional non-commercial foods to the residents of, and visitors to, the community and
surrounding area. Both small and large vendors of produce and non-commercial food items will find
a supportive outlet for the sale of their goods. The Market will encourage commerce, entertainment
and trade in downtown Big Lake, and help display the city's history, uniqueness, charm and
(IMPORTANT: Please read and sign the Market application. Return it, with your exhibit fee, to the
Market Manager. Your signature indicates that you have read, understand and agree with the rules.)
Each vendor is responsible for providing and removing any and all equipment and supplies he or
she requires to do business on the Market site. This includes signs, tables, chairs, products and
equipment utilized for clean-up purposes.
All signs must remain within the allotted vendor's exhibit space and must not block traffic or
pedestrian ingress or egress, or interfere with other vendors' display or views.
Market management has full authority to assign exhibit space. Requests for particular sites will be
given consideration but management reserves the right to assign and locate all vendors. Stall space
will be assigned by 3:00 pm on the Friday preceding Market day for all vendors whose fees are paid
by that time, and may be confirmed by calling 123-456-7899 between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm on the
Friday preceding Market day. (Please note this number has changed from last year.)
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The Market shall operate every Saturday from 8:00 am - 12:00 noon. (**Please note the times have
changed from last year.) All vendors must remain at the Market site until the 12:00 noon closing,
and must vacate the Market site by 1:00 pm.
Set-up starts at 7:00 am and must be completed by 8:00 am. Vendors are responsible for removing
all garbage from their stall space area. Stall spaces are to be left in the same condition as when
rented. Breakdown starts at 12:00 noon and must be completed, and stalls vacated, by 1:00 pm.
All vendors must display their permit pass in order to occupy a stall site. Permits shall remain on
display during Market hours.
Vehicles shall not be utilized as a display or dispensing area for Market goods unless it is a
refrigerated unit for perishable items. No vehicle may remain running during Market hours other
than for purposes of refrigeration of product. The use of canopies, awning and sun-umbrellas are
Fresh produce, plant items, flowers, baked goods, jellies, jams, preserves, and other non-commercial
food items may be sold. No cooking will be allowed on-site. The Market Manager will resolve any
doubt as to the suitability of an item. No soliciting or political or religious activities shall be
permitted within the Market area. Displays of public interest, such as nutritional, health or consumer
information, may be displayed with the permission of the Market Manager. All products must be
sold, displayed and stored from a surface above the ground. All vendors must utilize tables, shelves,
cases or other structures for these purposes.
FEES (All fees are utilized for publicity for the Market.)
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Ten-foot x ten-foot (10'x10') stall spaces are $15.98 including tax per Market day or $319.50
including tax per Market season (October through April). Spaces with electricity are $21.30 per
Market day or $340.80 per season. Vendors paying on a per Market day basis must pay their fee by
5:00 pm on the Thursday preceding Market day and pick up their display permit Market morning.
Payment on a seasonal fee basis must be made prior to the first Market day of the Market season, as
announced by the Market Manager. Seasonal fees may be pro-rated for vendors seeking to rent
exhibit space after the Market season has commenced at the discretion of the Market Manager. No
reimbursement will be made for fees paid if a vendor decides to no longer participate at the Market.
The Market Manager shall consider reimbursement in case of illness or death. Vendors may call the
Market at 123-456-7899 concerning Market closure due to inclement weather. Vendors shall be
credited for fees paid if inclement weather causes cancellation of a Market day. Fees shall be waived
for participants of the Community Gardens Program.
Vendors are responsible for collecting and remitting their own sales tax. Vendors are responsible for
all permits required by Florida or local County to sell their products. The sale or consumption of
alcoholic beverages on the market site is prohibited. All rules may be revised by the decision of the
Market Board.
The Market Manager is responsible for enforcing the Market rules. Possible violations will be
discussed and resolution attempted. Vendors selling prohibited items will be asked to remove those
items from sale or leave the Market. Unresolved problems will be referred to the Market Board.
Continued violations will result in being banned from the Market with no reimbursement of fees
paid. Any vendor challenging another vendor's product's legitimacy or conduct must file a written
complaint with the Market Manager, giving the name of the vendor and the product or situation
they feel may not be in compliance with Market policies. The complainant must date and sign their
name to the complaint and the Market Manager will attempt resolution. If resolution is not possible,
the complaint will be referred to the Market Board.
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Vendors are encouraged to consider obtaining individual liability insurance for products sold.
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TEMPLATE 4c: Farmers Market Guidelines and Rules
ABC County Farmers Market
2007 Rules and Regulations
The ABC County Farmers Market creates the opportunity for people to buy locally grown and
produced products.
Goals and Vision
The ABC County Farmers Market:
Increases access to fresh, locally produced, nourishing, and safe foods for all people.
Encourages, supports, and promotes the entrepreneurial efforts of local, independent,
and small-scale farmers, local growers, and local artisans, seeking to sell their
products/produce directly to consumers.
Creates an opportunity for people to meet, eat, and share stories, recipes, and
knowledge in a place dedicated to the cultivation of local products and talents.
Strives to create an atmosphere that serves not only the market, but also contributes
to a prosperous rural area and promotes a sense of community.
Participation is open to growers, harvesters, bakers, makers of prepared food, and artisans
(hereafter, “the vendors”) in the following counties: ABC and XYZ. The Market strives to be a
producers-only market. Vendors must participate in production of the product they sell.
Location and Times
Location: Downtown ABC
Selling season: June through October
Day(s) of the week: Saturday
Hours of operation: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
The Market Manager shall enforce all the rules and regulations of the market and work with the
vendors to assist in their success. The Market Manager or her/his representative will be present
at the market during operation. If questions or problems arise on market day, they will be
resolved by the Market Manager.
Market-day responsibilities include the following:
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1. Overseeing the set-up and breakdown of the market.
2. Recording attendance.
3. Assuring all vendors are in compliance with market regulations.
4. Addressing any disputes or complaints.
The Market Manager shall be aware of all health and sanitation Rules and Regulations affecting
open-air farmers markets.
Vendor Eligibility
The ABC County Farmers Market is primarily a producer-only market.
A producer is defined as the person who grows or makes the product and may also include the
producer’s immediate family, partners, employees, or local cooperatives.
The ABC County Farmers Market gives preference to 100 percent grower/producer goods over
resale goods.
Farmers and food producers are given priority over artisans at the market.
Vendor Information: Application, Fees, Space Assignment, Sales
Time, and Additional Information
Permanent vendors must annually submit a market application to the Market Manager.
Applications may be modified or updated during the season.
Guest vendors must submit a market application the day of their participation to the Market
Included within the permanent and guest vendor application is a “hold harmless” agreement that
the vendor must sign. This agreement means the producer will hold ABC County Farmers Market
and its representatives harmless concerning product liability or other factors that relate
specifically to the vendor’s business practice.
Permanent vendors must commit to the entire market season (June through October) and
participate on a regular basis (a minimum of 80 percent of market days). Produce availability
may limit market beginning and ending dates. Guest vendors will participate based on the
discretion of the Market Manager.
Vendors may be charged fees to cover the operating costs and related expenses to assure the
viability and quality of the market.
The Market Manager will make vendor space assignments in a fair and equitable manner based
on the needs of the market, seniority, previous attendance, sales volume, and term of
A vendor space is defined as a designated area not to exceed 10 feet wide.
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Vendors may begin to set up at 7 a.m. and are required to be completed by 8 a.m. Vendors are
required to stay until the market closes at noon.
Vendors are required to stop selling at 12 p.m. They must leave their spaces clean and remove
their displays and trucks by 12:45 p.m.
Vendors shall not sell before the opening hour of the market day.
Tables, tents, canopies, pop-ups, umbrellas, signs, and display items must be in good condition.
At no time shall the safety or convenience of customers or vendors be compromised by any
vendor’s display.
Vendors will clearly display prices of all items and post their farm’s name and location. Posting of
current licenses, certifications, and inspections is highly recommended. At a minimum, vendors
should have copies available at their sites.
Guidelines for Market Products
The ABC County Farmers Market strives to be a regional, producer-only market with an emphasis
on agricultural products.
It is understood that some ingredients such as spices, sugar, and other minor ingredients used in
the preparation of products may not be available for purchase locally. However, the final product
must be locally produced in its entirety.
Along with this goal is the aim of the market to meet the expectations of the customers with the
appropriate mix of products suitable for the market, which will be determined by the Market
Manager or her/his representative.
Eligible Products
All products in the following categories must originate within the following counties: ABC and
Complete grower/producer origin – These goods must be personally grown/produced only by the
vendor, vendor’s employees, or primary family members.
Limited grower/producer origin – These goods must originate in the counties listed but may be
grown/produced by partners on land or facilities not owned by the vendor. This includes crops
harvested by the vendor from “you-pick” farms.
Product Labeling and Pricing
All home-prepared consumable products must meet Virginia Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services (VDACS) Rules and Regulations.
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Vendors set their own prices and are responsible for accurately representing their products. All
scales or weighing devices must have a current and valid certification sticker signed by the
Virginia Department of Weights and Measures.
Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, and Herbs
Produce must be fresh, of the best quality, and locally grown – preferably by organic principles.
Overripe vegetables and fruits must be labeled and marked as suitable for sauce or preserves.
Baked Goods, Processed Fruits and Vegetables-Jams, Preserves,
Fruit Syrups and Purees, Pestos, Flavored Oils, Mustards,
Vinegars, Salsas and Relishes, Dehydrated Foods and Seasonings,
and Frozen Dairy or Fruit Products
Products should highlight local produce, seasonal ingredients, and be freshly prepared by the
Products for Consumption at the Market/Product
Beverages and other products for consumption at the market – including items offered as
samples – must comply with VDACS and/or health department regulations.
Honey and bee pollen must be from the beekeeper’s own hives but may be processed and
bottled off-farm.
All meat products must be 100 percent from animals raised from weaning by the farmer. Animals
may be butchered or processed off-farm. Meat must be certified and/or inspected.
Milk/Dairy and Cheese
Milk must be from the dairy’s own herd or creamery. Cheese and other dairy products must be
made by the vendor.
Eggs must be from the farmer’s own fowl. Eggs must be cleaned and labeled according to VDACS
instructions. Labels that include the name of the farm and date of collection are recommended.
Plants, Fresh-Cut Flowers, and Greens
The grower must grow potted plants and cut material. Potted plants and cut plant material must
not be on the state or federal list of invasive or rare and endangered plants published by the
Division of Natural Heritage.
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Value-Added Products
Candles, soaps, creams, lotions, massage oils, insect repellents, and scrubs must be made by
the vendor from locally grown and produced ingredients.
Seasonal and Holiday Products
Dried flower or herb bouquets, decorative berries, fruit, pods, cones, pumpkins, and wreaths
should be produced from materials grown or gathered on the vendor’s property.
Liability Insurance
Vendors are required to ensure that their insurance will cover off-site sales.
When applicable, attach the appropriate state/USDA inspection certificates.
1. Organic growers must present a Certificate of Organic Production from the USDA National
Organic Program.
2. For cheese and other dairy products, meats, and baked goods, the producer must supply
documentation of compliance with local VDACS ordinances and inspections.
Taxes, Licenses, and Permits
Vendors must visibly display any licenses, certifications, and permits required by law for all
products. The collection and filing of all related taxes is the responsibility of the
individual vendor.
Health, Sanitation, and Safety
Each vendor must abide by all state and federal regulations that govern the production, harvest,
preparation, preservation, labeling, or safety of products offered for sale at the Market. Vendors
are liable for their own products.
1. Vendors will be responsible for the collection and removal of all refuse generated from sales at
their space.
2. The use of tobacco products, alcohol, or illegal substances is not permitted at the Market.
3. Behavior by vendors or customers judged to be disruptive or detrimental to the peaceful
operation of the Market will not be allowed.
4. Small children brought to the Market by vendors must be kept under the supervision of a
designated adult.
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5. Any unsafe or unsanitary conditions should be brought to the immediate attention of the
Market Manager.
6. No live animals, fowl, or fish may be sold at the Market.
7. No pets, with the exception of assistance dogs, are allowed at the market.
8. Any accident or injury must be immediately reported to the Market Manager and to 911.
9. Neither ABC County Farmers Market nor its representatives are responsible for damage or loss
of any personal belongings.
10. Anyone who participates in the market – whether vendor, customer, or otherwise –
attends at his/her own risk. Vendors will operate at their own risk and assume liability
from the customers.
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Market Manager Job Description
Main Street Farmers Market
Farmers Market Manager
Job Description
The Main Street Farmers Market is a community market, supported by the Mayor‟s office, the City,
community members and a host of other local agencies. The market will provide access to locally grown
fruits, vegetables and other farm products, while creating a sense of community within the City and helping to
revitalize the downtown district. This ambitious project will be undertaken as a project of the Local
Development Corporation in cooperation with the State Dept. of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, and
local non profits to support this venture.
Manager Position
The Market Manager is a part time position with primary responsibility being the day-to-day operation of the
farmers market. This will include an on-site presence at the market during all market hours, as well as off-site
work during non market hours. The manager will report to a market committee, who will set all market
policy. In addition, the manager will represent the market to the market‟s vendors, the consumers and to the
Duties – in season
Enroll farmers/vendors in the market – either through seasonal vendor agreements or as daily vendors
Collect all stall fees owed, make accurate accounting and deposit in market account
Arrive prior to market vendors arriving and remain throughout the market day to:
 Properly place vendors in stalls, including assigning market stalls to daily vendors
 Place market signs, parking signs
 Ensure all rules and regulations are adhered to
 Ensure all state and county regulations are adhered to
 Answer questions for vendors and consumers
 Resolve disputes that arise
 Maintain market grounds in a safe manner
Operate market manager‟s booth
 Have nutritional education materials to distribute
 Have recipes for seasonal, local foods that are available in the market
 Operate market‟s EBT program
Enroll market and market farmers in the Farmers‟ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)
Act as liaison to the market‟s governing body, providing accounting and performance reports
Communicate market policies, activities and rules to farmers, keeping them informed throughout the
season. Bring suggestions from farmers back to the market board/committee.
Solicit entertainment for market days, as well as sponsors for the entertainment
Conduct periodic customer counts each market day to assess the level of growth in market usage
Assure the market site is clean once the market is closed and the vendors have left for the day.
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Maintain database of farmers, vendors, their contact information, and any licenses or permits each
vendor possesses based on the products they are selling.
Conduct farm inspections.
Duties – off season
Vendor recruitment
Professional development for market managers
Community relationship development
Advertising/ promotional program development, including special events planning
Work with market board/committee to plan for market growth and development
Preparations of site for next season, including securing location, site permits, market insurance,
ensure that any maintenance or repairs needed to site are made, secure bathrooms, set market
schedule, organize volunteers
Ability to think creatively
People person with skills in diplomacy
Dispute resolution skills
Good communication skills
Organizational skills
Marketing skills helpful
Some financial knowledge helpful: i.e. budgeting
Passionate about the community and local agriculture
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A Sponsorship Opportunities & Benefits (Renton Example)
Farmers – Increase Your Profitability
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ATTACHMENT A: Sponsorship Opportunities of the Renton Farmers Market
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the 2010 Market Season! See the Information Booth Sponsor
and Community Booth Sponsor categories below.
Sponsorship Benefits & Opportunities
Entertainment Sponsor - 18 weeks of music and dance entertainment; 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm (Seattle
Cancer Treatment & Wellness Center in 2009 and 2010, and held for them for 2011 and 2012)
Kids' Fun Patch Sponsor - Activity area that provides children the opportunity to make arts and crafts;
3:00 pm - 6:30 pm (Wizards of the Coast in 2008, 2009, and 2010 - and holding for them for 2011 and
Master Gardener Clinic Sponsor - Master Gardener volunteers provide the opportunity for
question/answers; 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm (Lowe's in 2009 and 2010)
Information Booth Sponsor - Volunteer-staffed table that includes information from throughout Renton
community (Sanctuary Apartments in 2009. OPEN - 2010 request: $3,000)
Community Booth Sponsor - Volunteer-staffed table with community information (OPEN - 2010 request:
Chef Demonstrations Sponsor - 18 weeks of restaurant sampling at the Market; 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm
(Renton Technical College in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and holding for them for 2011 and 2012)
Friend of the Market – Banner visible at Market, logo with link to business website or individual name on
website (donation level from $25) See additional information below.
Visibility and Marketing Impressions Available for this Investment
Logo or business name on Renton Farmers Market season posters – sponsorship contract must be
finalized by printing date (300 distributed to local businesses and key community gathering places)
Logo, business name and link (year round) to sponsor website on Renton Farmers Market website and
City of Renton Farmers Market page (City website - over 5 million hits per year)
Banner with business logo and name displayed at Renton Farmers Market for 18 weeks, viewed by
4,000 people each week (sponsor provided)
Logo and/or business name on weekly e-mails regarding next week's Farmers Market
Business mention in additional marketing and earned media (in past, on-site radio promotions and
Renton Magazine advertising)
Speaking opportunities at Farmers Market events
Opportunity to distribute business information at Market Information Booth (distributing informational
materials and free giveaways acceptable, no commercial sales allowed).
Friends of the Market
2010 is the inaugural year of the Friends of the Market program at the Renton Farmers Market. With a
minimum donation of $25, you or your business can become a Friend of the Market and help support
programs that make the Renton Farmers Market a wonderful community event. Once your donation is
processed, your name will be posted on the Renton Farmers Market website and on the Friends of the
Market banner that will hang at the Farmers Market each week.
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We will soon be accepting credit card donations, and until then, you can mail a check made out to the
Renton Farmers Market to:
Renton Farmers Market
Renton City Hall, 6th Floor
1055 S. Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057
All donations are tax deductable.
Meet the Friends of the Renton Farmers Market
McLendon Hardware
Forest Fairy Foods
Cherry Designs
The Renton Farmers Market is a collaborative effort of Piazza Renton and the City of Renton, with support
from private sponsors and community contributions. The Market is a member of the Washington State
Farmers Market Association, Seattle Chefs Collaborative and Puget Sound Fresh. For more information about
the Renton Farmers Market, call 425.430.7214.
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ATTACHMENT B: Farmers – Increase Your Profitability
Farmers Market
Start Up
A significant advantage of farmers markets is that they are generally situated in an ideal
location to reach consumers. The fees for a space are usually very minimal and most
regulations and restrictions- zoning, sign, health department, business license- are already
worked through by the sponsoring group. Little or no packaging is required. All you really
Farmers Markets
Information for Farmers
need is a creative, clean display and a truck!
Publicity for Your Farm
Farmers markets allow you to interact with
customers, educating them about your farm and how
food is grown. You get a chance to pitch your product
to the customer. Since most farmers don't use the
farmers markets as their only outlet, it also becomes
an opportunity to promote other aspects of your
business, such as Community Supported Agriculture
(CSA) arrangements, roadside stands, pick-your-own,
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deliveries to local restaurants, agri-tourism, etc.
Customer/Farmer Feedback
Feedback from customers is almost immediate. Customers are your most valuable link to
market trends and demands. They can offer new product or marketing ideas. If you're
unsure how a new variety might sell, experiment with a small amount before committing to
production on a larger scale.
Feedback from other growers and vendors is equally valuable. Growers can share
information on crops, growing techniques, market ideas and cooking.
Things to
There are important considerations to be made before deciding to sell at a farmers
market. Along with other direct marketing methods, marketing your product requires time,
often time away from the farm. Be sure to consider the time it will take not only to sell
your product at the market, but also loading up, traveling to the market, unloading, and
setting up and breaking down a display.
Consider the fact that volume is limited. Like other
direct marketing outlets, few people sell their products
in high volume at farmers markets. This is one reason
why farmers markets usually are only a part of the entire
business operation. Having other market outlets during
the week allows you to sell your farm product as it
Other factors to consider are the markets policies in regard to space, advertising, market
hours, etc. Be sure to visit a potential farmers market before selling there and observe
the attendance, layout, and facilities at different times of the year. Customer attendance
can be erratic, often affected by the weather and holidays.
The location of the farmers market should be another consideration. Is it located near
well populated areas? Is it difficult to get to? Are there other attractions or businesses
near the market that draw people to the area?
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Proper design and creativity are important to attract customers and increase sales. The
display is what the customer sees first. Convey a sense of pride in your product and
appear ready for business.
A good display does not have to be expensive. There are
certain rules of thumb to consider in any display. Keep the
display off the ground, preferably at waist level. Prop boxes
or baskets at a slant toward the customer. Give your display
the illusion of abundance. Make it appear as though your
product is spilling out. This may mean switching to smaller
containers as your stock decreases. Constantly re-stock your
containers. No one wants to think they're buying the last few
tomatoes. Make sure all items are clearly visible and easy to
reach. Use props from home/farm to create your display.
Listed below are some effective techniques:
Use tablecloths for a "down-home" appearance
Layer your display from the ground up onto your table
Use bales of straw as a shelf
Lay boards across bales, crates or baskets at different levels to give a step
Drape burlap over boxes
Use peach baskets, apple crates, or wicker baskets as containers rather than
cardboard boxes
Clearly label all products with the name (including variety) and the item's price. Small
index cards and magic markers are useful for general labeling. Be neat and creative.
Include information about the
taste or texture of the product
Identify how the product is used
Write down interesting facts or
catchy phrases
Provide recipes for each
product, including how much they
will need to buy
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A good sign is a must at a farmers market. A sign with your farm name (and logo)
identifies you so people can find you again and tell their friends how to find you. Have
photos and information about your farm available for consumers to see and learn about
your farm.
Sign Tips:
Make sure the sign is clearly visible from a distance
Make sign from sturdy material, especially for windy markets
Be sure to include descriptive phrases or words, such as
"locally grown" or "organic", if applicable
What to Sell
Quality products are the key to making money at the farmers market! Consumers are
interested in fresh, local and diverse products. Selecting from a wide variety of standard
and specialty products keeps customers satisfied and returning for more.
Seasonal variation of varied/diversified. Try
to find your niche. Remember there are others
selling at the market too, not everyone can sell
German Johnson tomatoes. When possible,
bring something new to the market each week
to retain customer interest.
Try to avoid having limited amounts of too
many items to avoid selling out before the end
of the day. Products sell better when they
look plentiful. The key is to go home with a
full wallet rather than an empty truck.
As much as possible, try to have crops available early and late in the season. One sure way
to make money is to get the jump on everyone else. By offering tomatoes early in the
season, before other growers, you can assure yourself an early share of the market and
lots of customers.
Food can go in and out of style. Keeping abreast of consumer trends is another way to
make the most out of your time at the market. What was a big seller this year may not be
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so hot next year. Look at cooking and restaurant magazines to see to see what's "in." Try
different, unique varieties of common products
to catch people's attention.
Value-added items, such as baked goods and
canned goods, help to supplement farm income
from the sale of fresh farm products, especially
during the off season. Products such as jellies
and salsas can be a great way to get rid of
leftover or less than perfect produce. Keep in
mind that production of some value added
products can be costly. It usually requires
special equipment and facilities, as well as added
labor. There are also numerous legal
restrictions and health regulations that need to be followed before selling your valueadded product. Kitchens and cooking facilities have to be inspected and meet certain
standards prior to selling at a market.
The best way to establish your prices is to base them on the cost of production. You
should never have to sell below supermarket prices. Remember that most people are not
coming to the farmers market for inexpensive produce. The more you educate your
customers about how a product is grown, the better they will understand your pricing
system. You are offering a fresh, locally grown product that customers can't get at a
grocery store, so don't be afraid to ask a premium price.
Posting all your prices for each product takes out the guess work for customers. Either
have a board with all products and prices listed or individual labels affixed to baskets.
Make sure to include both the price and unit ($1.50/lb., $2.00/bundle). Think about how
you want to sell each product. Selling by the pound means having a scale on hand as well as
a supply of bags. Many customers prefer to handle the products and pick them out
themselves, rather than purchasing them
Selling Tips
One of the main reasons people come to a
farmers market is for the one-on-one
contact between a customer and a farmer.
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Learning good selling techniques can help you establish customer relationships which lead
to more sales. Bring a smile and stories to tell.
Engage your customers in conversation and educate them on your products and how they
are grown. Make eye contact with them when you are talking and appear eager to serve
them. Pay attention to your physical appearance as well. You want to project a clean,
responsible, honest
image, so dress accordingly.
A few other selling tips:
Provide samples in a covered dish, with toothpicks when appropriate.
Make sure your name and the name of your farm are visible.
Have available a business card or brochure with information about your farm.
Drop a flyer in each bag with recipes and upcoming seasonal items.
Advertise "fresh picked!", "local!" And if you are certified organic, advertise it!
Keep careful records of your sales. This helps you plan for future markets.
Rules and
Farmers markets may be operated by state, county, or city governments as well as other
organizations. Each will have their own rules and regulations regarding the items that can
be sold and how. Most markets require that everything you sell must be produced by you.
Others require that only some percentage of what is sold be produced by you. Market
managers (and customers) strongly frown upon vendors selling products bought from
wholesale or retail sources. Check with the market
manager about arrangements for selling another local
grower's produce for them. Most farmers markets
discourage a flea market atmosphere, while some may
allow crafts to be sold.
Visit the farmers markets where you might want to
sell your products and talk with the manager about
rules and regulations. Check out the facilities, vendor
spaces, attendance, and clientele to determine if this
is a good place for you to sell and on which days of the week.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture publishes a helpful book on legal issues affecting
direct farm marketing called, The Legal Guide For Direct Farm Marketing by Neil
Hamilton. For information regarding rules and regulations at North Carolina state
supported farmers markets, visit: http://www.ncagr.com/markets/facilit/farmark/. For a
list of farmers markets in North Carolina, visit:
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Listed below are various resources with information regarding farmers markets and other
direct marketing methods:
Corum, V., Gibson, E. & Rosenzweig, M. The New Farmers' Market: Farm Fresh Ideas for
Producers, Managers & Communities. 2001. New World Publishing.
Gibson, Eric. Sell What You Sow! The Grower's Guide to Successful Produce Marketing.
1994. New World Publishing.
Hamilton, Neil. The Legal Guide to Direct Farm Marketing. 1999. United States
Department of Agriculture.
Ishee, Jeff. Dynamic Farmers' Marketing: A Guide to Successfully Selling Your Farmers'
Market Products. 1997. Bittersweet Farmstead.
Web Sites/Links
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA): http://www.attra.org
(pnone# 1-800-346-9140). USDA funded program offering publications and assistance on
direct farm marketing.
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