GUIDELINES

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The Harrisonburg Farmers Market mission is to provide the public with easy access to fresh, nutritious, locally produced agricultural goods and crafts of the highest quality, to assist local and regional farmers and other producers in directly marketing their products to the local customer base, and to support environmental stewardship and community well-being.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS 

1.  Applications must be submitted annually at https://forms.gle/2MTTgj89ML1sBFf69 and will only apply to the year for which they are submitted. New vendors wishing to sell at the market must also submit an application and photos or a sample of their items for review at https://forms.gle/dkCG6aRwMkQf6BnZ6.  

2.  If a current vendor would like to apply for a separate space they will need to go through the regular application process.  

 

MARKET ELIGIBILITY

1.  Vending is limited to producers living in the Counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Shenandoah, Page, and any cities existing within the boundaries of these counties.  Proximity to the Market may be factored in as spaces become limited. 

2.  Producers from other regional areas with products that would broaden or enhance the diversity of the Market may be permitted upon approval of the Application Committee.

3.  Applicants with storefronts will be considered by the Application Committee on a case-by-case basis. 

 

LIABILITY INSURANCE

The Insurance Company that we use for the overall Market policy requires that all of our vendors have a commercial general liability policy of at least 1 million dollars that lists the Harrisonburg Farmers Market as an additional insured. We will need an electronic copy of your certificate of insurance along with your application for the upcoming season. If you do not have liability insurance in place upon application we will need the certificate of insurance from you no later than May of the season of your application. 

 

SALES TAX

State Law requires Market participants to register with the Virginia Department of Taxation, and to collect and report sales taxes. This responsibility rests with each vendor and documentation is required.  Information and applications can be obtained from the Virginia Department of Taxation, PO Box 1114, Richmond, VA 23218-1115.  For forms, customer service or questions call 804.367.8037or visit their website at www.tax.virginia.gov

 

PERMITS

1. Once approved to sell at the Market, vendors must also obtain a Producer's Permit from the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office in the City Municipal Office Complex.

2. Producers of handcrafts must also obtain a Retail Merchants License from the Commissioner of Revenue. There is no charge for either of these permits. Both are annual permits and must be obtained each year before beginning at the Market.  Prepared food vendors are responsible for the City meals taxes. 3.  All permits, including your sales tax permit, must be accessible at the Market at all times.
 

FEES 

1.  The annual fee for a Pavilion space is $200.00.  The four central corner spaces and the extra large (1 ½ spaces) are $350.00. 

  • This fee includes a space at the Tuesday Market if desired. 

2.  The annual fee for Overflow and/or ½ spaces is $100.00. 

  • This fee includes a space at the Tuesday Market if desired. 

3.  Pavilion spaces for the Tuesday Market only are $100.00. 

4.  Fees for the Holiday Markets only are $50.00. 

5.  Fees for the Winter Market only are $50.00. 

6.  A sales fee of 5% of gross sales is required for each day of Market attendance.  All goods transferred at the Market must be included.

7.  Sales fees are due monthly, no later than the 4th Saturday of the following month, and will be collected by the Market Management.  Monthly calculation sheets are stored in the Vendor Dropbox, emailed and hard copies are provided upon request for any vendor.  If you are late in paying fees a $10.00 late fee will also be due. 

 

PAVILION, EXTRA LARGE AND CORNER SPACES 

1.  Four extra-large spaces (1 ½  in size) and the four central corner spaces in the Pavilion will be available with the following considerations: sales revenue in the previous year, consistency of attendance, participation in the Tuesday and Winter Markets, pleasing display, and adequate product to fill the space.

2.  All Pavilion vendors must have sold $3,000 in the previous year to retain the Pavilion spot. If not, they will have the option to go to a ½ space in the Pavilion or move to the overflow.  In the case of extreme personal difficulties related to health, family etc., exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis, upon review by the Application Committee.

 

SPACE ASSIGNMENTS

The Market management has the authority to determine vendor locations based on the benefit of the Market as a whole.  Seniority at the Market will be given consideration and honored as possible.  

 

MARKET ATTENDANCE 

1.  Consistent and committed attendance during your entire Market season is expected.  You are expected to be set up and ready to sell by the opening time and to not start teardown until 1:00.  If you must leave early for some reason you need to let the Market management know ahead of time. 

2.  Equally important is consistent communication with management regarding any planned absences or last-minute emergencies.  All notifications of planned absences must be in writing, preferably in the form of an email, to both the Manager and the Operations Manager.  Emails for last-minute changes may be sent up to 5:00 PM the day before any Market day and should be sent to both the Manager and the Operations Manager.  After that, you must call or text the Operations Manager. 

3.  A 36-hour notice is required for all absences other than *emergencies – less notice will result in an absence being treated as a no-show.  After one no show you will be issued a warning and in the case there is a second one, a $50.00 fine will need to be paid before you will be allowed to vend again.

*Only last-minute circumstances completely out of your control and National Weather Service warnings one hour prior to Market will qualify as emergencies.  In the case of extreme weather such as snow, ice, flooding, etc., vendor discretion will be honored one hour prior to any Market.  You still need to call or text to let us know you are not attending.

 

MARKET CONDUCT

The success of our Market is dependent upon the integrity of the product, maintaining an atmosphere of congeniality and demonstrated respect among vendors, customers, and Market management.  This means specifically:

  • Personal and cultural differences will be respected.

  • Any issue or concern with a fellow vendor, customer or management should be dealt with by talking directly to the other party in an honest and respectful manner. Management or Board members are available for help and support if it is too uncomfortable to go directly to the other party.

  • Complaints will not be discussed with other vendors or customers.

  • Vendors and Management will behave professionally at all times. Any difficult, upsetting, or potentially conflictive conversations are to be conducted outside of  Market Hours.

Failure to adhere to proper Market conduct could result in a Vendor losing the privilege of being a part of the Market.

 

If any incident is threatening, either physically or verbally, to management, another vendor, or a customer, the offending party or parties will be asked to leave the Market immediately.

In the case of unresolved difficulties between fellow vendors, vendors and customers, or vendors and management, the Personnel Committee (consisting of three Board members, appointed by the Board) will hear the concerns and attempt to resolve them.  If resolution is not possible, the personnel committee will report to the Board.  At this point all involved parties will be invited to present their views before the Board for a final decision. 

 

COMMUNICATION

Good communication is essential for the Market to run effectively and to provide the best experience for you as a vendor as well as our customers.  Email is the best method for Market wide communication and is our primary means of communication.  As a vendor you are responsible for staying current on Market information by checking emails, and the Vendor Dropbox regularly, reading all PLEASE READ messages and/or checking in with Management or other vendors related to current information.  It is your responsibility to communicate all pertinent Market information to the employees/staff representing your business at the Market. This includes, but is not limited to, the proper use of the different tokens, gift certificates and any special vouchers etc. that come up related to partnerships with other groups, the rules of good customer service and general product knowledge. It is important that your Market staff is informed on your products, practices, etc. and can answer the customer questions that come up. 

 

PRODUCT GUIDELINES

1.  The Harrisonburg Farmers Market was founded on the Producer-only principle: Vendors agree to sell only products that they have raised or produced (also mandated by City Ordinance).  Selling of items purchased from, or provided by, another producer, wholesaler or market is not permitted. Producers found in violation of this rule will be asked to remove the item(s) in question and/or relinquish their space and forfeit any fees paid to the Market. Complaints of suspected violations must be formally submitted to the Market Manager. Complaints will be kept confidential and a site visit may be scheduled. All producers agree to random unannounced site visits. 

2.  Products may not be represented as organic unless the producer/farm can provide certification papers. Terms such as “minimal chemicals,” “no pesticide or herbicide” or “free-range” may be used as long as they accurately reflect farming practices.

3.  Handcrafts at the Market must be your own creation.   The use of pre-printed fabric cut outs, kits or pre-assembled parts is not acceptable, and vendors are to create products that are uniquely theirs and represent the term “handcrafted” in every way. 

 

ADDING A NEW PRODUCT 

Vendors wishing to add a product during the year that is not on their application must fill out a New Product Application Form and turn it in to Management for consideration by the Application Committee. 

 

PREPARED FOODS AND MEATS AT THE MARKET

1.  All food items are subject to Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and/or Health Department regulations.  It is the responsibility of each producer to be knowledgeable of, and abide by, all regulations pertinent to their individual operation. For any questions or to get the packet for setting up a kitchen inspection, contact Lisa Ramsey at VDACS.  Her email is: lisa.ramsey@vdacs.virginia.gov and her phone number is 540.562.3644  Vendors must have all applicable inspection certificates available at the Market.  

2.  If 25% or more of your annual Market income is from prepared food sales you must have a VDACS inspected kitchen.  

You can go to http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/va-food-handbook.pdf  for the VDACS Handbook For Small Food Manufactures. 

 

COOKING AT THE MARKET

Cooking is permitted at the Market on a case-by-case basis with prior approval from the Manager and/or the Application Committee.  All applicable inspection certificates must be in place and available at the Market.  For on-site food preparation inspection contact Ken Hurst at 540 332-7830, ext 350. His email is kenneth.hearst@vdh.virginia.gov 

 

SCALES

Scales used at the Market are subject to inspection by the Bureau of Weights and Measures and must be legal for commercial use. The Virginia Weights and Measures Association contact information: 804.786.2476 or felicia.shelton@vdacs.virginia.gov.

 

CANOPY WEIGHTS

All vendors using canopies are required to secure all four corners of their canopy every Market day. (Even if it is not windy, the worst gusts can come out of nowhere!) A secure anchor or weights of at least 30 pounds, on or near the ground, are required.

 

BOARD OPERATION

The Board generally meets on a monthly basis. Any vendor is welcome to observe any meeting or come with a topic they would like to discuss. In either case, the member needs to contact the manager or Board president at least one week in advance of the meeting and indicate their desire to observe or their topic of input/concern.

 

USE OF ELECTRICITY AT THE MARKET

Electricity at the Market is for scales, calculators and other direct selling aids. Use of electric space heaters will NOT be permitted.  Small propane heaters, etc., that are not electric are acceptable. Exceptions to this due to health issues/special needs will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Any vendor needing the use of more than one receptacle will need to have permission from Management.  

 

STOREFRONTS and SIGNAGE 

Vendors are asked to refrain from large signs that promote sales off-site. It is fine to have fliers, business cards, and other information to share with individual customers. Vendors with other business locations are allowed to promote their business at the Market only if they are willing to promote the Market equally at their businesses.

 

LIVE ANIMALS AT THE MARKET

Vendors are not allowed to have pets or live animals of any kind at the Market. 

 

INDIVIDUAL LOGOS AND PROMOTION 

Any vendors wishing to sell items such as t-shirts, bags or other items with their individual logo are required to submit their logo design and products to the Manager for approval.  All vendors are invited to post on the Market Facebook page, please note the listing of prices is prohibited.  All posts will be subject to approval by management.

 

SOLICITATIONS AT THE MARKET

Given that we have a broad range of vendors as well as customers, it is critical that the Market be a place where everyone feels welcome, safe and not judged. Therefore, our policy strictly prohibits solicitations of any sort including but not limited to political, religious or other potentially divisive issues.


 

REV 09/2020

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228 South Liberty Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801