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Selling at a Certified Farmers’ Market San Diego County Farm Bureau. What We’ll Cover Today. San Diego Ag Profile Laws and Regulations How to Choose a Market What To Sell Market Day Procedure and Materials Market Rules Market Fees Marketing Technique

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Selling at a certified farmers market san diego county farm bureau

Selling at a Certified Farmers’ Market San Diego County Farm Bureau

What we ll cover today
What We’ll Cover Today

  • San Diego Ag Profile

  • Laws and Regulations

  • How to Choose a Market

  • What To Sell

  • Market Day Procedure and Materials

  • Market Rules

  • Market Fees

  • Marketing Technique

  • Food Safety Rules and Health Dept. Regulations

The san diego county profile
The San Diego County Profile

  • 12th largest farm economy among all counties in the nation

  • More than 200 different crops produced locally

    • 5500 farms - 145 “certified” producers

  • 8th largest regional population in the nation

  • Many diverse communities

  • Virtually no market days lost to weather

  • Residents enjoy being outdoors and are health conscious

The local opportunity
The Local Opportunity

  • 3,000,000 consumers in San Diego County

    • 35 farmers’ markets

    • 8 new markets since June 2008 - 4 in planning

  • 18,000,000 consumers in southern California

    • San Diego County FMs dominated by local growers

    • L.A. and Orange County markets have many SD producers

  • Farmers’ markets held in high esteem

    • Widely publicized in newspapers and lifestyle magazines

    • It’s all about “local”

    • Buyers become committed patrons

California law1
California Law

  • “A certified producer may sell agricultural products, which he/she has produced, at a certified farmers’ market.”

  • Certified Farmers’ Market: “ A location approved by the county agricultural commissioner of that county where agricultural products are sold by producers or certified producers directly to consumers.”

California law2
California Law

  • Who can operate a certified farmers’ market?

    • Certified producer

    • Non-profit

    • Local government agency

California law3
California Law

  • Non-Certified Sales

    • Two markets operating simultaneously

    • Pure vs. Mixed

Finding a market1
Finding A Market

  • Visit the markets – become familiar


  • Schedule

    • Which markets fit your schedule?

  • Rules

    • Can you comply with the market rules?

  • Product Mix

    • Is there a market for something you can provide?

Finding a market2
Finding A Market

  • Travel

    • How far are you willing to drive?

  • Each market acts independently

  • Market Manager

    • The manager ultimately decides who is allowed to sell at the market.

    • Ask about fees – markets are financed by stall fees

  • Space

    • Many markets have limited booth space and you could be placed on a waiting list.

What to sell2
What To Sell?

  • Diversity vs. Specialization

    • Offer a range or specialize in one or two crops?

What to sell3
What To Sell?

  • What can you or do you grow?

    • Your resources determine what you can produce.

  • What are other people selling?

    • Is the market full of certain crops already?

    • Can you grow something few other people are selling?

Market day1
Market Day

  • Booth setup

    • Arrive by prescribed set up time.

    • Consult with manager for space assignment.

    • Set up and display.

Market day2
Market Day

  • Certified Producer List

    • Display it.

    • Only sell those

      products on your list.

Market day3
Market Day

  • Money Handling

    • Have sufficient change on hand.

    • Secure your cash.

    • Keep the bill you are changing visible.

Market day4
Market Day

  • Certified Scale

    • You must use a scale certified by Ag Weights and Measures.

Market day5
Market Day

  • Bags

    • Provide take-away bags for your customers.

Market day6
Market Day

  • Containers

    • To transport and

      display your product.

Market day7
Market Day

  • Signs

    • Prices, advertising, educational.

    • What would you want to know as a customer?

Market day8
Market Day

  • Display items

    • Tape, scissors, markers, material (cardboard, paper), zip ties

  • Business items

    • Pens, calculator, sales record book, business cards, notepad

  • Personal comfort

    • 4 hour market is standard

    • Water, chair, comfortable shoes, snack

  • Fees

    • Pay market fees at end of each market day.

Market day9
Market Day

  • Load List

    • Fill it out accurately.

    • Report all sales.

  • Fees

    • Pay market fees at the end of each day.

Market rules1
Market Rules

  • Read them carefully

  • Time

    • Be on time to the market.

    • Stay for the full event, do not leave early.

  • Booth Setup

    • Management determines location, size and acceptability.

  • Safety

    • Always act in a safe and responsible manner. Comply with all safety regulations.

Market rules2
Market Rules

  • Cleanliness

    • Keep your space clean.

    • Provide a trash receptacle for your customers.

  • Behavior

    • Unacceptable behavior can result in removal from the market.

  • Conflicts

    • Market rules have mediation guidelines.

Market fees
Market Fees

  • Fees

    • Traditionally, producers pay a set percent of their daily sales to management in cash at the end of the day.

    • Some markets charge a flat fee.

    • Some markets charge a combination of flat rate and/or percentage.

Marketing technique
Marketing Technique

  • How much produce should I bring?

    • Bring enough for the day.

    • Make it look full.

Marketing technique1
Marketing Technique

  • Stall

    • Make it stand out

    • Organized, clean, colorful

Marketing technique2
Marketing Technique

  • Signs

    • Information

      • Prices and variety

    • Education

      • Educate your customers and keep them coming back.

    • Promotion

      • Tell customers who you are.

    • Position

      • Don’t hide the signs, above eye level is easier to see.

Marketing technique3
Marketing Technique

  • Brand Yourself

    • Customers will become loyal to you and tell their friends.

    • Create personal relationships.

    • Make it easy for people to find you.

Marketing technique4
Marketing Technique

  • Food Assistance Dollars

    • WIC

    • EBT

Getting ready for market1
Getting Ready For Market

  • Certification

  • Stall

    • Canopy (quality), tables, table cloths, chair, containers

  • Signs

  • Scale

  • Bags

  • Change

  • Money Security

  • Health department regulations
    Health Department Regulations

    • Sampling

      • Plastic gloves

      • Sanitary distribution (toothpicks)

      • Non-absorbent cutting surface

      • Handwash station with potable water

      • Samples kept in a covered container

      • Samples cleaned with potable water

      • Samples disposed of 2 hours after cutting

    Health dept regulations1
    Health Dept. Regulations

    • Value Added Products

      • Processed certified products

      • New state regulations being written now will define what can be sold within CFM

      • Currently “a simple process”

      • Products regulated by Dept. of Ag and Dept. of Environmental Health

      • Must comply with Health Dept. regulations

    Health dept regulations2
    Health Dept. Regulations

    • Open vs. Closed Containers

      • Food and Agricultural Code, Section 47002 (C)

        • All fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables sold in closed consumer containers shall be labeled with the name, address, and ZIP code of the producer, and a declaration of identity and net quantity of the commodity in the package.


    • San Diego County Farm Bureau

      • 1670 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA. 92027

      • (760) 745-3023


    • San Diego Dept. of Ag, Weights and Measures

      • 5555 Overland Ave. Suite 3101, San Diego, CA 92123

      • 334 Via Vera Cruz, Suite 150, San Marcos, CA 92078

      • (858) 694-2778

    • San Diego Dept. of Environmental Health

      • 1255 Imperial Ave., 3rd Floor, San Diego, CA 92101

      • (619) 338-2222