ATHENS FARMERS MARKET RULES
These rules are in effect at all times for all Athens Farmers Markets and are enforced by the Market Manager or a designated Assistant Manager or Officer.
Locally: 150 Mile radius of Athens, Ohio.
Grower: A person or an organization that raises their own agricultural products locally.
Processor: A member who uses some locally grown ingredients and locally processes those ingredients into finished products.
MARKET CALENDAR AND SCHEDULE
1) The Market year is April 1 to March 31; annual fees paid by producers cover this period. Winter Indoor Market dates are December through March. Vendors are allowed to set up inside and/or outside during the month of December ONLY.
2) Producers may sell at the Athens Farmers Market only on announced days of the market: Wednesdays from 9am to 12pm, and Saturdays from 9am to 12 pm, or other days and times determined by the executive committee.
3) The Market shall be opened for selling by the Manager, using a bell or other signal. There will be no sales prior to the opening of the market, except the managers and producers of the market may buy before the opening time. Exceptions may be made by the Market Manager.
3.1) Manager may impose a fine of $20 for selling early and $50 for not being off lot by 12:30 pm on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
4) The Saturday market operates year round. The Wednesday market begins in April and closes in December on dates otherwise determined by the Executive Committee.
5) Market days will be cancelled when there is a level 2 or 3 emergency announced by the Athens County government or for other emergency situations.
6) Membership fees are $200.00 annually, plus $200 for a single stall, $800 for one-and-one-half stalls, and $1200 for two stalls.
7) Producers holding assigned stalls must pay the annual stall fee no later than 2 weeks after the annual meeting (held in fourth quarter of the market year.) Failure to pay fees by this date will result in the producer losing the stall assignment.
8) Two producers may share one stall so long as each producer or employee is present at the market. Each pay half the fee for the stall.
9) Producers who claim financial hardship may pay the annual stall fee in three installments, with payment to be completed within two months of the initial commitment and payment. At least one payment must be made no later than two weeks after the annual meeting if the producer wishes to retain a stall assignment.
10) Associate members fees are $200 annually, plus $100 for a single stall.
ARRIVAL, SET-UP, AND DEPARTURE
11) Producers at the Athens Farmers Market are to park only in the area specified by the Market Manager. Producers with assigned stalls shall occupy only those stalls. All unassigned or vacant stalls will be assigned for the day by the Market Manager.
12) Producers shall arrive at the market in time to set up and be ready for customers at opening time. Producers arriving at the market after 8:30 am will be admitted only at the discretion of the Market Manager.
13) Each producer shall display a sign stating the producer’s name and location and shall have their prices displayed
14) Producers must remove unsold produce and clean up their stalls before leaving the market. A fine not to exceed $25 may be imposed by the Executive Committee for violation of this rule.
PRODUCTS AND SALES
15) A grower is a person or organization who raises his/her own products on his/her own land and: contracts for them to be processed, processes the products him/her self, or sells the products as harvested. A processor purchases local ingredients where feasible and locally processes them into finished products and sells them at the Market pursuant to all other Market rules and/or governmental regulations. Processor includes producers required to have a Mobile Food Service license. Producers may not sell as a franchise or use franchise trademarks, logos, etc., at the market.
15) Any processor, when asked by a customer about a product’s composition, must fully disclose the ingredients and the origins of ingredients to the best of his/her knowledge.
16) The following actions are not considered either growing or processing: packaging, aging, shaping, portioning, cleaning/washing, purchasing, transporting/distribution, coloring or decoration, aerating, or carbonating. Further, these are only examples and any other action will be judged separately and provided in writing to producers of the market.
17) Radical price cutting of top quality produce is prohibited. Poor quality or overripe produce must be labeled as such and can be sold for a discounted price.
18) Selling of dairy products, eggs, meats, canned goods, and other processed or potentially hazardous products must meet all legal requirements.
18A – A member who sells meat or meat products in which meat is the sole or primary ingredient must raise the animal from which the meat comes. These products must be sold as packaged by the state approved processing facility.
18B – State licensed processing facilities are not permitted to sell at the market.
19) Producers must comply with all laws, ordinances, and regulations of the United States, State of Ohio and City of Athens. Producers must obtain all licenses or certifications so required, and these must be displayed at the market.
20) The Market Manager has discretion to allow solicitation, entertainment, informational and advocacy activities, but such activities must not obstruct customer aisles or occupy stalls needed for selling by market producers. Producers may use their own stall for advocacy or informational displays.
21) With the exception of disability service animals, pets are not allowed in the market area.
NON-FOOD AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST ITEMS
22) The selling of Non-food agricultural and forest items is permissible at the Athens Farmer’s Market. These items are defined as a handmade product produced personally by a member of the Athens Farmer’s Market which has primary components of an agricultural nature grown or produced by the member. Examples include: beeswax candles, brooms, and flower arrangements. Items made primarily from purchased components are not eligible for sale at the market.
23) Wood products must meet the above criteria but are limited to products which are intended for use in the preparation or consumption of food. Examples include rolling pins, cutting boards, bowls, and serving spoons.
24) In order to preserve the Athens Farmer’s Market as primarily a farm market venue, the board may—at its discretion—limit the number of new Non-food agricultural and forest items which may be sold at the market.
25) Non-food agricultural and forest items currently being sold at the market as of the date of the adoption of this rule are considered eligible and are allowed for sale at the market.
STALL ASSIGNMENTS AND SENIORITY
26) Producers may hold an assigned stall space at the market. Stall assignment shall be made by seniority in market membership. The treasurer shall maintain a list of all producers by seniority and make this list available at the annual meeting.
27) Producers shall have the right to retain an assigned stall space the next year provided they participate in the market at least twelve times during the year, notify the Treasurer of their intent to continue by the annual meeting and pay fees as provided in these Rules. The Executive Committee may waive the attendance requirement for hardships such as crop failure, prolonged illness, or other good cause.
28) Producers holding assigned stalls who wish to change location or size must notify the Treasurer. Further assignment of vacant stalls shall be made by the Executive Committee by seniority from the list of unassigned producers who have paid the full fee.
29) Producers’ seniority shall date from the first date on which the producer attended the market, providing the full membership and stall fees were paid at that time. Seniority for producers who elect to pay in installments shall date from the date of the last installment payment. A producer retains seniority by paying the full membership and stall fees each year.
Producers who joined the market prior to 2003 shall be considered to hold equal seniority with all other producers who began in the same year, since past market records do not permit us to ascertain actual dates on which members began.
In the event two or more producers have equal seniority and sufficient stalls are not available for assignment, the executive committee shall select the producer for assignment randomly.
ENFORCEMENT AND VIOLATIONS
30) Producers or customers who suspect that another producer is violating any market rules should report the matter to the Market Manager. Producers should not attempt to address violations themselves. Suspected violations of rules governing product eligibility will be handled according to the Procedure of Violations of Product Eligibility at Market, which appears in the Member Handbook.
31) Violations of any market rules will be dealt with by the Market Manager or, in the absence of the Manager, a designated officer. A complaint form may be submitted to the manager along with a $30.00 inspection fee. The Manager will give a verbal warning notice to the producer for an infraction of the rules. If a producer receives two verbal warnings, the president shall convene the Executive Committee to vote on the question of giving the Market Manager the power to expel the producer if a third violation of the rules occurs.
32) An expelled producer can be reinstated at the next annual meeting by receiving a 2/3 vote of the members present. The producer forfeits any assigned stall and seniority upon expulsion and may rejoin the market as a new member.
33) Vendors are required to provide liability insurance listing Athens Farmers Market as additional insured for at least one million dollars coverage.
WAITING LIST/PRODUCTS SOLD
34) Current Vendors: continue with current products.
Waiting List: list of prospective vendors to be maintained by the Market Manager.
Products Sold: the board will decide additional processed products that may be sold.
35) These rules may be amended by a majority vote of members attending any regular or special meeting of the Athens Farmers Market Association.