Farmer’s markets are in full swing across the state and there are more today than ever. But there’s more than just buying and selling going on at the markets.
At the farmer’s market, you shake the hands that have sown, raised, cared for, and harvested your food. There, you greet old friends and make new ones. They are the best places to connect with the core of the sustainable agriculture community.
Starting a New Farmers Market
Anyone can start a farmers market—city governments, farmers, community groups, business associations, individuals. But establishing a successful market involves meeting certain requirements and conditions.
At a recent Georgia Organics conference, Leanne Culbreath, of Wiregrass Farmers Market, and Deborah Chester, of the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers Market, presented on Starting and Sustaining a Community Farmers Market. Here are Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 , and Part 5.
Below you’ll find presentations and documents used by established and viable farmers markets.
- The UC Small Farm Program has a comprehensive collection of resources for starting a new farmers market from scratch.
- Phoenix Gardens‘ Brennan Washington, who helped start farmers markets in Auburn, Lawrenceville, and Norcross, shared this presentation with tips on recruiting vendors, growing consumer demand, and setting clear and attainable goals..
- The East Atlanta Village Farmers Market is sharing its financial data, going back to 2007; expenses, income, marketing – it’s all here. EAV founders are also providing this initial proposal of the farmers market that was used to solicit business associations and private sponsors to pitch in close to $3,500 for start-up and operational costs.
- The Peachtree Road Farmers Market is sharing a standard and necessary agreement between the Market and the Vendor, its market principles (which serve as great guidelines showcasing the market’s personal vision and mission), and an application & qualification document for vendors.
- The East Lake Farmers Market is allowing us to publish its bylaws – very important stuff for a fledgling market.
- The Campbell Risk Management has an insurance program designed for farmers marketing products off the farm. The Farmers Market Vendor Liability Insurance policy covers all products sold at farmers markets, and from speaking with them, they can write a policy for not much more money that would cover products sold to any outlet.
Agriculture and Food Regulations
Foods that are packaged fall under the inspection of the Department of Agriculture. Prepared foods that are served fresh are regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health and falls to the county health departments. Click here for more information on regulations for value-added and prepared foods. The Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development at UGA is great resource for questions in this area.
Food Stamps and the EBT Program at Farmers Markets
Are you interested in accepting SNAP at your farmers’ market? Here’s some basic information on how to get started and how the process works. Learn more about SNAP/EBT benefits on the USDA-Food and Nutrition Service website.