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Author Topic: Are farmer's markets illegal now?
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Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Wed, Mar 2 '11 at 03:42 UTC)

I've had all sorts of people tell me that because of a recent bill that was passed, farmer's markets are now illegal. I can't seem to discern fact from over-reaction. Can anyone help me?

Re: Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Wed, Mar 2 '11 at 07:32 UTC)

we still have farmers markets in alabama

Dave & Roxanna
Re: Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Wed, Mar 2 '11 at 02:28 UTC)

No and as a matter of fact most of the farmers who sell at farmers market have been exempted from the bill. Farmers markets are alive and well across the entire USA

Lucy Goodman Boulder Belt Eco-Farm Eaton, OH
Re: Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Fri, Mar 25 '11 at 05:40 UTC)

There?s a few community farmers markets near me where the farmers bring their wares and sell it to the gawking, gabbling masses to whom ?farmers market? is a stamp of authenticity. There?s another farmers market near me which is run by a single farm, but which buys produce from the wholesaler in the city, and buys various other supplies of farm-made stuff from whoever has any to sell. I sell this guy a small supply of jelly throughout the year for just over cost, and he sells it at a 100% markup.

My brand of jelly consumes about one-half of one percent of his total shelf space for local farm-made preserves, sauces and compotes ? if that. He has two 40-foot long double-shelved tables with display space on the front and back, and my section is two jelly jars wide on one shelf. But I?m the only one who has mulberry jelly and mint jelly under his tent. Yeehah! I?ve cornered a mini-market!

One-fourth of his preserves aisle is taken up with an outfit twenty or so miles up the road which spits out hundreds [perhaps thousands if they sell to other markets] of jars and bottles filled with various gunk. I can see a bald-headed grandpa wearing overalls and a long-dead John Deere cap shuffling in the back door with a bushel of pole beans in his mitts, and a blue-haired granny hollering, ?Jus? set ?em down on the porch, Paw, the first batch is about ready fer the cellar,? as she lifts quart Masons full of pickled beans out of a steaming pot.

Or, the outfit twenty miles up the road may simply be a small storefront office complete with potted ficuses on their faux-marble floor which serves as the rural address of a wholly-owned subsidiary of a commercial produce packing plant in Cincinnati Ohio ? production units per year in the 6 figures and revenue in the 7s. I don?t know. I don?t even care.

But many people do.

Many many people care. And for one of three clusters of reasons.

Continue reading at:

Ross & Jeannie Laura Lane Lambs
Re: Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Sat, Mar 26 '11 at 09:11 UTC)

The Food Safety Act didn't make markets illegal, per se. But each state, county and market may have interpreted this bill differently for each area.

My area still has farmer's markets, however, in order for me to sell to my same market as last year, I now need upwards of 7 different licenses to do what I normally do, almost all of which require an inspection that is paid for by me.

One rule that has changed is that NO DOMESTIC KITCHEN can get a kitchen license. So if you had your kitchen in your home inspected and it PASSED, it doesn't matter, it's no longer legal to sell bread, jams, salsa's etc that you have made in your home.

It is effectively making it financially difficult for the really small operations to be able to sell at the markets. These actions are pushing me OUT of my farmer's market, and pushing me towards a CSA model - which saves me a lot of money, not just from multiple, redundant inspections and licensing fees, but also from the fee I pay the markets. Let the people come to me, I'll make it work.

(and no, I don't want food to not be safe, but by driving small farms out of business, we are putting the safety of our food into the hands of a few huge conglomerates - and to ME, that makes our food unsafe!)

Re: Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Sat, Mar 26 '11 at 09:27 UTC)

I think I may need to look in to this a bit.

Federal Regulation on Value Added products has always been difficult. However, mostly managable for the smart, small producer.

Baked goods such as breads and cakes were not required to be produced in a commercial kitchen. Soft spreads such as fruit butters and jellies....same. Dehydrated/dried fruits and vegetables...same. With exceptions of course. Has this changed?

Low acid and acidified foods fall into a totally different realm, as does dairy. That's where it gets tenuous. Not really attainable by small producers. And if you manage to pull it'll hate it.

This is at the federal level....each level down adds their own restrictions, by state, county, city...etc. Each making it more dificult and expensive.

What has changed?

Angela G Stanley Rockgate Farm
Re: Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Sun, Mar 27 '11 at 11:26 UTC)

I am in the midst of starting another farmers market in northwest Washington and there is no action so far from either the FDA or the USDA based on the farm bill. Remember, the exemption for farms under $500,000 gross sales per year (called the Tester Amendment, I believe) applies to virtually all farms doing a farmers market. There are the usual nuts and bolts items, like a local city license for vendors, restrictions on signage, health department rules for those vendors doing prepared food, etc., but for us small-scale growers the recently passed farm bill amounts to a tempest in a teapot.

Catering to the unique Ferndale perspective.
Re: Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Mon, Mar 28 '11 at 01:42 UTC)

i would like to point out that Cassidy's state or local region may have outlawed home kitchen use but if you live in a state with cottage industry rules such as Ohio or Michigan (and i believe 30 other states) you should not need any additional licensing to sell your stuff at farmers markets.

So far SB5120 has had zero effect on farmers market via federal rules and regulations. it is different state by state and in some cases county by county

i have been doing farmers markets all winter and have had no change in how i do business (other than it has been the best for winter sales for us ever)

Lucy Goodman Boulder Belt Eco-Farm Eaton, OH
Re: Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Wed, Mar 30 '11 at 04:54 UTC)

I have just recently recieved harassing emails from someone requesting my agriculture licence for my state. It is my understanding that with cottage industry or "farm", that they have always been treated as a yard sale, farm market, whether it be seeds, plants, or vegetable, or homemade products food or craft.

So what is up with all the questioning now about having licences for agriculture, nurseries, and such?

I understand that Monsanto is out to control all of our agriculture in seed and in controlling our food safety by panicing the public. But we just can't let that happen. Seed Savers keep saving seed. No one should own the rights of seeds or plants.

So how are we to operate with all this over head, and how do we respond to such inquisitions when under attack? Does anyone have a link to such matters?

Amy C
Re: Are farmer's markets illegal now?    (Posted Wed, Mar 30 '11 at 05:24 UTC)

Contact your Dept of Ag in your state to make sure that you have met all of the "local" liscensing requirements. If you sell none farm items....make sure that you don't need a vendor liscense from your county of town. Just exercise due diligence.

Other then that, learn to use your delete button.

Governmental Agencies will contact you formally, ususally not by e-mail...but when they do, they are easy to verify. You are under NO obligation to impart information to anyone else, unless you care to. I get those e-mails all the time, and a lot of the time...they are competitors making trouble.

Angela G Stanley Rockgate Farm
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