Selling Food at a Farmers Market in California: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you looking to sell food at a farmers market in California? If so, you've come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of setting up a stall and selling your products at a certified farmers market in the Golden State. The initial step is to submit an application to the county's Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture (Marin Department of Agriculture). This is followed by an on-site inspection to make sure that you are actually producing the items described in your request.

Once approved, you can start selling your products at a Certified Farmers Market. If you have an orchard or small farm, a farmers market is the ideal spot to offer homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs. Be prepared to spend a couple of hundred dollars on the stall itself, which is just a piece of land at the farmers market where you can construct your stall. Some markets provide tents and tables to their vendors, but you may also need to buy your own, particularly if you live in an area where rain is common.

If your food requires refrigeration, use refrigerators until you know if your grocery store has access to an energy source or not. According to a study conducted in food markets in 2000, customers are more likely to try something when presented with fewer options. After being at the farmers' market for some time, you can also try offering discounts. Even if you are not a producer, agricultural producer or food supplier, there are still ways for you to take part in the agricultural market.

All certified farmers markets in Los Angeles County must obtain a public health permit, regardless of location. The program responsible for conducting routine annual inspections and complaint investigations at certified farmers markets is the Division of Environmental Health. Complaints related to certified farmers markets can be filed by calling (88) 700-9995 or by filing a complaint online. The inspectors of this program act under the authority of titles 8 and 11 of the Los Angeles County Code and the California Retail Food Code (California Code).

Tricia Sweetman
Tricia Sweetman

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