How to Sell in PCFMA's Farmers' Markets
Resources for Producers
The Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association operates only Certified Farmers' Markets - marketplaces in which California farmers can sell the products that they have grown themselves. All of PCFMA's markets also include an area adjacent to the Certified Farmers' Market where non-agricultural food items - such as baked goods, specialty or ethnic foods, or ready-to-eat foods - are sold. In keeping with the spirit of the farmers' market, these items must be sold by those who prepared the products.
Certified Farmers' Markets are governed by California Law, under the California Department of Food and Agriculture. These rules are enforced by County Agriculture Commissioners in the counties in which the market operates. The markets also fall under the jurisdiction of the health departments in each county in which a market operates. To help facilitate market operations, PCFMA has adopted Rules and Regulations for its markets that complement the state's requirements and their local enforcement. Applying to sell in any of PCFMA's markets requires you to agree to abide by all applicable laws and PCFMA's Rules and Regulations.
Important Information for all Producers in PCFMA's Markets
For 2014, the application fee to sell in PCFMA's markets is $100.00 if you are applying for 3 or fewer markets and $150 if you are applying for 4 or more markets. The deadline for PCFMA receiving producers’ applications is February 4, 2014. Producers who have previously sold in PCFMA markets must have their completed application and application fee of $100 or $150 turned in by February 4, 2014 in order to apply for markets where they have participated in previous seasons. After February 4, the application fee for returning producers increases to $150 if you are applying for 3 or fewer markets and $200 if you are applying for 4 or more markets and your history of market participation will no longer be considered for 2014 market assignments. This fee is a processing fee and is non-refundable and is not a guarantee that we will be able to reserve you in any of our markets.
The application requires your signature by which you attest to having read PCFMA's Rules and Regulations and by which you agree to abide by those rules. The Rules and Regulations are available for downloading from this site.
- In addition to having general liability insurance with minimum coverage of $500,000, you must also name Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association as an additional insured on the general liability insurance policy. The proof of insurance you send to PCFMA must include the listing of PCFMA as an additional insured.
If you are a California farmer who wishes to sell fresh produce of your own production, or who wishes to sell non-certifiable products such as meat, cheese or nursery stock, please see the Resources for Agricultural Producers section below.
If you are a local baker or food producer who wishes to sell fresh or packaged products of your own production, please see the Resources for Non-Agricultural Producers section below. Distributors and others wishing to sell products not of their own production will not be admitted to PCFMA's markets.
California law allows sales by California wineries in Certified Farmers' Markets under limited conditions. For information on wine sales in PCFMA's markets, see the Resources for California Wineries section below.
PCFMA accepts the sale of crafts, jewelry or other non-agricultural, non-food items only under limited conditions and in certain markets. If you are looking for an outlet for these types of products, see the Resources for Artisans section below.
Certified Farmers' Markets are organized around areas designated by county Agricultural Commissioners for California's Certified Agricultural Producers to sell directly to the public, those products that the farmers have grown them themselves.
All of the fresh fruits, vegetables, greens and nuts found in PCFMA's Certified Farmers' Markets are California Grown and brought to the market by the farmers who planted, nurtured and harvested the crop. In addition to fresh produce, Certified Farmers' Markets may include other California agricultural products such as honey, eggs, fresh flowers, olive oil, nursery plants, and orchids.
For information about becoming a Certified Agricultural Producer, contact the Agriculture Commissioner in your home county.
PCFMA invites California's Certified Agricultural Producers to complete and return a Certified Producers Application to Sell. Agricultural Producers must also pay an application fee and provide copies of certain documents including their Certified Agricultural Producers certificate, proof of product liability insurance and proof of auto insurance. Producers selling Certified Organic Products must also provide a copy of their organic certification. A full list of required documents is included with the Application to sell.
- Certified Producers Application to Sell (pdf file)
- PCFMA's Rules and Regulations for Certified Farmers' Markets (pdf file)
PCFMA's markets also include specialty food items such as breads, pastries, jams, seafood, and gourmet sausages. Some markets also include ready-to-eat foods such as various ethnic specialties or rotisserie-cooked chicken. These items provide additional choices for consumers and support local entrepreneurs.
In certain markets, PCFMA is restricted by its contract with the market sponsor concerning the number or type of non-agricultural products that can be sold in that market. All non-agricultural products must be juried by PCFMA before they are admitted to a market.
All non-agricultural producers must have a health permit covering the kitchen at which their products are produced and packaged (products cannot be made in home kitchens) as well as health permit from the county in which they wish to sell their products.
PCFMA is not currently admitting non-agricultural producers whose food products are manufactured in a home kitchen per the California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616). All non-agricultural producers must demonstrate that their food products were manufactured in a certified kitchen for admittance to a PCFMA farmers' market. Non-agricultural producers wishing to sell food products manufactured in a home kitchen in compliance with the California Homemade Food Act may email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to a mailing list to learn when PCFMA may begin admitting non-agricultural producers under the California Homemade Food Act.
PCFMA invites specialty food producers offering items other than certified California agriculture to download, complete and return the Non-Agricultural Producers Application to Sell. These producers must pay an application fee and provide copies of certain documents including health permits for the point of production, proof of product liability insurance and proof of auto insurance. A full list of required documents is included with the Application to sell.
- Non-Agricultural Producers Application to Sell (pdf file)
- PCFMA's Rules and Regulations for Certified Farmers' Markets (pdf file)
California law allows California wineries to sell their wines at Certified Farmers' Markets under limited circumstances. The winery will be required to secure a Farmers' Market Sales Permit (Type 79) and comply with all PCFMA regulations and local laws concerning alcohol sales. For more information on obtaining the proper sales permit, the winery should contact the nearest field office of the California Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
A California winery that has obtained the required permits and that wishes to sell wine of its own making in one of PCFMA's Certified Farmers' Markets should contact Max Timms, PCFMA's Direct Marketing Coordinator for information on markets at which wine sales may be permitted.
PCFMA allows the sale of crafts, jewelry or other handmade artisan items only under limited conditions and in certain markets. For artisans and other small businesses looking for outlets for their products, we suggest the following:
- The application fee for artisans is $50. This fee is a processing fee and is non-refundable and is not a guarantee that we will be able to reserve you in any of our markets.
- The markets at which artisans are accepted are indicated on the Non-Agricultural Application Market Reservation Request form which can be downloaded as part of the application from the link above.
- While PCFMA does not accept the sale of craft items at most of its markets, other farmers' market operators may allow the sale of those items. To find other farmers' markets in the Bay Area, visit the California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets.