Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. We love that you are interested in participating at a Farmer Mark run market. It is our goal to make it as easy for you as possible. If your answer isn't below, click here to submit your unanswered question.
What is a Certified Farmers' Market?
California Certified Farmers’ Markets are the “real thing”, places where farmers sell their crops directly to the public. Before a farmer can sell at a Certified Farmers’ Market, the government checks to make sure the farmer grows the produce the farmer is selling.
Is all the produce at the market organic?
We are a certified farmers’ market, so all of our produce is certified as being locally grown in California. Some of our farmers have the additional certification of being organic. If a farmer is Certified Organic, they will surely have signage indicating so. Regardless, we strongly encourage interaction at the market with our vendors so please ask them questions about their growing practices. You can also ask our friendly market staff to assist you with any questions as well.
PARTICIPATION AT A MARKET
How can I become a vendor?
Please fill out an application on our website. Look for the “Vendor Application” page under the Vendor tab at the top right corner of our site. We receive lots and lots of applications so be sure to complete the appropriate application thoroughly. The application is your audition!
I applied but haven’t heard back yet?
Every application submitted receives a confirmation email with information about our application process. Given the many applications we receive weekly, we only have the resources to reach out to those applications we have an immediate spot to offer.
Do you have a waiting list?
No, we do not operate on a waitlist system. We keep all applications on file and consider the best applicant in our database when an opening is available.
Do you accept artisans (non-food arts and crafts)?
Currently, we offer an artisan section at all our markets. Examples of artisan participants are: jewelry designers, bath & body products, hand-made stationary designers, painters, photographers, and woven cloth artisans. For artisans, we seek hand-made, locally produced items. Mass produced, multi-level marketing, imported, cottage industry or commercially produced products at NOT ACCEPTED. Products are selected for integrity, creativity, direct marketing value and alignment with our mission.Prepared food items, cut flowers, potted plants or any FRESH agricultural items such as fruits and vegetables are not allowed in any form in the Artisan section (per Ag Regulations).
What types of vendors are a good fit?
Our first priority is always to include as many certified farmers into the market as possible. For food vendors, we prioritize applicants who offer products that contribute to our mission of promoting healthy living and supporting local farmers. For artisans, we seek hand-made, locally produced items. For local businesses/community organizations, we seek those that are operating in the market’s community or adjacent communities.
Do you allow cottage food operators?
Yes, we do allow cottage food operators. For more information on becoming a cottage food operator, visit the California Department of Public Health website at this link: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/pages/fdbcottagefood.aspx
Do you allow urban farmers to apply?
Yes, we do allow urban farmers to apply, if they have been certified or are willing to get certified as a producer. In order to avoid unfair competition, we do ask that backyard farmers who sell their product as a supplemental income or hobby do not price their good below a reasonable and fair market price.
What are the application or on-boarding fees?
Artisans: We currently have a $5 application processing fee for Artisans. The fee is for reviewing and processing the application only and does not guarantee a spot or acceptance into our artisan roster.
Food Vendors: We currently have a $25 processing fee for on-boarding food vendors (this fee is applicable once you are invited to participate).
Farmers: No application or on-boarding fees apply.
What are your daily fees for the market?
Market participants pay a fee based on your sales for that particular day. The fee is the greater of 12% (7% for Farmers) of your sales or the pre-established minimum set for your business. The minimum is set based on your type of business and the number of canopies (market space) you utilize. For Local Business booth participants, fees are a fixed amount depending on several factors (market, booth size, etc.). Fees start at $30 per market.
What are some of the main requirements vendors must complete before participating in the market?
Submission of vendor application
- Completion of new vendor paperwork
- Obtain necessary permits.
- Farmers: Certified Producer’s Certificate (CPC) from Agricultural Department
- Food Vendors: Temporary Food Facility (TFF) permit from Health Department
- Submit Insurance (Farmer Mark added as additional insured to to your General Liability Insurance policy).
What supplies must vendors provide for participation?
Vendors must provide their own supplies & equipment (unless specifically outlined in writing from us). Some common supplies include, but are not limited to:
-pop-up canopy, tables and chairs
-banner with business name and information (see specific requirements on health department website)
-canopy weights (required due to winds)
-labels for pre-packaged foods
-document holder to display business paperwork (i.e. temporary food facility permit or certified producers’ certificate)
-scale, registered and sealed within previous 12 months (farmers only)
-Optional: credit card processing system (i.e. Paypal, Square, etc.),
For vendors who sample/prepare open food:
- Handwashing station (includes warm water in an insulated container, a bucket to catch the wastewater, liquid pump soap, and single service paper towels.)
-Disposable single-use gloves
-Cover, disposable utensils for samples
-Three compartment sink, potable water, and fire extinguisher (food prep vendors only)
What kind of permits do I need to participate?
Farmers: a current Certified Producers’ Certificate (CPC) is required. Product certification is through the county Agricultural Commissioner in the county of production. You can consult the following website to learn more about becoming certified producer and view contact information for County Agricultural Commissioners: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/cfm.html
Food vendors: a Temporary Food Facility (TFF) permit issued by the County Health Department where the farmers' market is located.
Los Angeles County Health Department -> http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/DSE/CommunityEvent.htm
Orange County Health Department -> https://cms.ocgov.com/gov/health/eh/food/retail/tff.asp
Do I need a business license to participate?
It is the responsibility of vendors to comply with the regulatory agencies that govern their respective businesses.