REQUIRED PERMITS & CERTIFICATIONS(Also see the Kentucky Dept. of Ag. Farmers Market Manual)
Safety at the Market: All canopies & umbrellas must be staked or weighted. Tents, umbrellas, and other things that fly in the wind
Wind-blown canopies and umbrellas are the number one cause of injuries at a farmers’ market. Wind is unpredictable and can come without warning. A gusty wind coming from just the right direction will cause a tent to become a very heavy, damaging projectile. We have had injuries each year because of tents not appropriately staked down so please, secure your tent
Some suggested ways to secure tents include:
- Filling an empty bucket (2.5 gallon works great) with sand or cement and tying this to each corner of the tent with a rope or bungee
- Purchasing weights that are specially made for securing canopies and weigh at least 24 pounds,
- PVC pipe capped and filled with cement can be hung on the inside of canopy poles
- For more information about how to make your own weight, see this link
Support for new farmers: Community Farm Alliance Ag. Legacy Initiative
Produce marketing, tools, training, research and other resources for Kentucky produce farmers:
Support organization for Kentucky small farmers: Community Farm Alliance
Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture Farmers Market Manual
Marketing your business: http://smallfarmcentral.com/Blog-Item-Reach-People-Where-They-Are---Communication-Scheduling-Part-2
What’s a “grower only” market?
Every product sold at the Berea Farmers Market must be grown or created by the vendor selling the product. Any processed food item (jelly, salsa, breads, etc. ) must contain at least one ingredient that the vendor has raised. Each food vendor must complete a farm plan listing products or product ingredients grown for sale at the market.
Can I re-sell produce I buy at auction?
No. There is absolutely no reselling of any products at the Berea Farmers Market. We have built a trusting customer base of peoplewho value buying directly from the farmer or artisan who grew or created their sale product.
How is membersHip decided?
Participants in the market are determined by the board members.
What is the governance of the BFM?
If I’m already a Berea Farmers Market vendor, can I sell someone else’s products at the market?
Board approved members may sell products of another board approved vendor. A separate application and vendingfee must be submitted.
What is Kentucky Proud?
We recommend that all farmers become Kentucky Proud members. Kentucky Proud is the official state marketing program for agricultural products. There is no charge to join. As a Kentucky Proud member, you can consult with Kentucky Department of Agriculture marketing specialists; apply for grants and cost share funds; buy promotional items at cost; display the Kentucky Proud logo; and take advantage of many more member benefits.
Do I need a permit to sell whole fruits, vegetables, herbs or honey at the farmers’ market?
Can I sell canned foods or baked goods at the market?
Every processed item sold at the Berea Farmers Market must contain at least one ingredient grown by the vendor selling it. The Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Food Safety Branch is responsible for ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of all food products marketed in Kentucky and has partnered with KDA’s farmers’ market program. Depending on the circumstances of the operation and the food items being marketed, it may be necessary for vendors to secure specialized training and/or a permit to operate. See “home-based processor” and “micro-processor” questions for more information or contact the Madison County Extension office (859)623-4072 for more information.
What do I need to become a home-based processor?
This registration is for farmers who want to sell homemade jams, jelly, and baked items whose primary ingredient is grown on their farm. Home-based processing certificates are obtained from the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Food Safety Branch
What do I need to be a home-based micro-processor?
This certification is for farmers who want to sell salsas, home-canned veggies and pickled products. It requires the completion of the training course provided by University of Kentucky Extension ($50). Additionally, all recipes must be submitted to Dr. Sandra Bastin at UK for review and approval ($5 each). After finishing these two steps, an application should be submitted to the Kentucky Department for Public Health's Food Safety Branch with copies of the completed training course certificate and all recipes and labels.
Can I have both permits?
Yes. A permit is required for each type of food to be sold. Having a micro-processor certification does not cover registration for producing jams and jellies.
Can I use home-grown eggs and milk in my products?
No. Only U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected eggs and milk may be used.
Can I sell meat at the farmers’ market?
Yes.Kentucky-grown meat from a U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected facility may be sold at farmers’ markets after obtaining a mobile retail food permit from the local health department.
Can I sell eggs at the farmers’ market?
Can I sell dairy products at the farmers’ market?
Only properly labeled dairy products (butter, cheese, etc.) from inspected and permitted facilities may be sold with a retail food permit.
Can I cook and sell my products at the farmers’ market?
A farmers’ market temporary food service permit is needed to cook and sell a Kentucky-grown food at the market. This special permit (for Kentucky farmers only) is good for six consecutive months, and allows service twice per week.
Can I give away free samples?
The Department for Public Health, in cooperation with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, has developed a food safety training program for farmers who want to sample their product. Farmers who wish to slice, cut cook or otherwise prepare samples must complete this program and keep its certificate of completion with them during their sampling. For more information about how to get started in sampling, see this slideshow about Best Practices for Sampling at Kentucky Farmers Markets.
What is needed in order to sell dried fruits, vegetables, and herbs?
A home-based processor permit is needed.
Can I sell pet treats?
Individuals who wish to manufacture dog biscuits and other specialty pet treats are required to register with the Division of Regulatory Services as well as meet specific labeling requirements of the law. For more information regarding the manufacture of pet treats, contact the Feed Program, at (859) 257-2785. Additional information may be obtained by visiting their web page. Pet treats should be clearly labeled for pets.
Do I need any special permits to sell handmade soap, lip balm, lotion or other homemade body products?
Kentucky law exempts the manufacture of soaps from regulations provided that the label makes no medicinal claims. Lip balms, lotions and any other cosmetics may be produced only by permitted manufacturer. Cosmetic manufactures are permitted by the Kentucky Food Safety Branch and are subject to the same Rules and Regulations as any other food manufacturer. This includes having a commercial grade kitchen and a label review by the Food Safety Branch. Contact the Food Safety Branch for further information.
TIPS FOR VENDORS NEW TO SELLING AT FARMERS MARKETS
What do I need to get started?
Before applying at the Berea Farmers Market, visit us and get familiar with the market. Take a look at what is already being sold and who seems to be selling well. Being in direct retail is a very difficult job. What you grow has to be interesting, and it has to look good. Farmers also have to manage logistics and provide good customer service. You need to be good at all of it. You have to be able to sell your product. Don’t let someone walk by your stand without saying ‘hello.’”To learn how to create a great business at the farmers market, see New Farmers Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets.
How much should I charge for my products?
Before you vend at the market, visit the market and take a look at what vendors are charging for their product. Many beginning farmers undervalue what they sell. It’s important that farmers charge fair prices—customers want to support farmers who sell local food, as this is a service they provide. Management does not set price limits but vendors are friendly rather than competitive in pricing. Food that is certified organic, humanely raised, etc. tends to bring more than food without the certifications. For an idea of what farmers are charging at farmers markets around Central Kentucky see the University of Kentucky’s weekly farmers market price report.
Do I need a scale?
If the product is sold by weight, you must have a legal-for-trade scale that has been inspected by the Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture. Once a year, an inspector will be available either at the Berea Farmers Market or in a near-by location to certify your scale.
Scales must be for legal trade and made for commercial use. A legal-for-trade scale will be marked with:
- A serial number.
- A model number.
- Class III designation on the identification plate or seal.