Sell

 

Thank you for your interest in selling with Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA)!

PCFMA operates California Certified Farmers' Markets, which can provide farmers or food producers opportunities to sell their products directly to the public. The continued success of thriving community markets depends on the participation of people like you!

New to PCFMA and wish to apply to participate in one of our markets? Complete the Interest Form first.
Please be familiar with the PCFMA Rules & Regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Who is PCFMA and what do they do?

PCFMA is a non-profit organization operating certified farmers’ markets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Our mission is to support farmers and communities by providing farmers’ markets for our diverse Bay Area neighborhoods. You'll see us pursuing our mission every time you visit one of our farmers' markets where local farms gather to sell their delicious products. To learn more about certified farmers’ markets go to our Certified Farmers’ Markets page.

Do you accept CalFresh/EBT and Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers at the farmers’ market?

Yes! All eligible producers accept both CalFresh via an EBT card and the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program paper vouchers for families and seniors at our markets. Unfortunately, federal law does not allow PCFMA to accept the WIC EBT card, though some farms may be able to accept it as payment.  PCFMA also matches up to $10 of CalFresh per market visit with an additional $10 they can spend on fruits and veggies!  Find more information about all PCFMA programs on our Market Match page.

What farmers’ markets do PCFMA operate?

We operate farmers’ markets in 6 counties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. PCFMA's Current Market List

I have a concern about a PCFMA market, producer, or Market Manager. Who do I contact?

Farmers’ markets are a lovely place to gather, but we acknowledge that there is always room for improvement. Please visit our contact page with the full details of your complaint/concern so that we can investigate and find a solution.

Participating in PCFMA Markets

Who can sell in PCFMA Certified Farmers' Markets?

We love to support a wide diversity of products at our markets so that customers can accomplish many of their shopping needs while connecting with the people that make their food.  Keeping in line with this atmosphere, we encourage participation only from individuals that are actively involved in growing or preparing the products they sell.  This means businesses reselling and/or repackaging products will be prohibited from participating. PCFMA’s markets are food-first markets. Food products from farmers and local food businesses are prioritized over other types of products.

What are the requirements for farm and ranch products?

Farms and ranches that wish to sell in PCFMA markets must be located within California and be certified by their local county agricultural commissioner. Farms may only sell certified agricultural products they grow themselves. Non-certifiable agricultural products such as meat, milk, and cheese must be processed in a USDA facility, and producers selling these products may be required to have additional permits depending on the commodity.

What are the requirements for producers selling pre-packaged food or food prepared on-site?

Producers that sell pre-made and ready-to-eat foods are an essential part of the farmers’ market experience, and we love the unique products they bring to each market. These are the basic requirements for these kinds of producers:

  • Prepare and store food in a certified commercial kitchen.
  • Provide a copy of the county health permit for the kitchen used.  Additionally, if another party owns the kitchen, you will be required to provide a letter from the owner stating your permission to use the kitchen. Have a CA Processed Food Registration or county health permit for the kitchen you are using.
What are the county-specific health department requirements and fees for selling pre-packaged food or food prepared on-site?

PCFMA operates markets in six different counties and each county health department has its unique process for allowing food vendors to sell in farmers’ markets.  Once the Market Manager approves you to sell in their market, you may begin the process of obtaining your county-specific permits.  Visit the page linked below to learn what the requirements are for each county.

Non-Agricultural County Health Department Producer Requirements

Can I sell products prepared in my home kitchen?

PCFMA currently only permits items that are prepared in a certified commercial kitchen and does not permit products that are made with a Cottage Food Operator permit.  The exception to this is a certified farmer who makes products in their home kitchen using the produce they grow.

Where can I find a certified kitchen in my area?

A certified kitchen is defined as a fully equipped prep kitchen that has been certified by the county health department where it is located.  The type of facility can vary but the most common are shared kitchen spaces, restaurants, and food incubators.  Below are a few lists of Bay Area commercial kitchens:

This list does not reflect the only certified kitchens in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Many times, local churches, Lions Clubs, and restaurants are willing to rent out their kitchens while they are not being used.  You can use local county, city, and health department websites to help you locate certified commissary kitchens in your area

What are the requirements for artisan items?

Artisan items are defined as non-food products that are handmade.  Services such as knife-sharpening also fall within this category.  We are very selective about the type and number of artisan sellers allowed to in our markets and will always give preference to farms and to businesses selling food products.  Below is a list of a few artisan items PCFMA allows to be sold in its markets:

  • Soaps and lotions
  • Locally made ceramics and/or bags
  • Candles
  • Knife sharpening services

If your business does not fall within one of these categories, there is a high probability that you will not be permitted to sell in PCFMA markets.

What equipment do I need to sell at a farmers’ market?

This all depends on what you’re selling.  Producers preparing food on-site are required to follow all California fire and health code regulations and may need to bring more equipment (fire extinguishers, chlorine test strips, etc.).  Below is a list of essentials all producers should bring with them when selling at the market:

  • Fire retardant, canopy, tent, or covering for product display
  • Weights to anchor your canopy
  • Banner with the following information:
    • Business name
    • Business address
    • Business phone number and email address
  • Table and tablecloths
  • Price signs
  • Safe storage for food that is at least 6 inches off the ground
  • Equipment for washing food and utensils
  • Weights and tie-downs

Please speak with the Market Manager about additional equipment requirements that may be needed for a specific farmers’ market before attending it.

What type of insurance do I need to carry, and how much does it cost?

PCFMA requires that all vendors have general liability insurance for $1,000,000 with PCFMA listed as additionally insured.  You can get general liability insurance through your home insurance provider, or you can search for insurance providers on the internet.  The cost of general liability insurance coverage varies, but it can cost anywhere from $200 - $800 annually.

What is PCFMA’s application process for becoming a vendor in a market?

Before beginning the process of selling in farmers’ markets, we encourage you to visit the market you are interested in and speak with the Market Manager. Market Managers are continuously looking for unique additions for their markets to give a variety of goods and services to their customers.  This is the time to give your elevator pitch and tell the Market Manager why your product would benefit the market. It is also the time to observe the market and see if it would be a good fit for your product.

If the Market Manager believes your product would be a positive addition to the market, they will ask you to complete an interest form, if you have not done so already. 

Once we confirm that you’re still interested in the market, you will receive an application from PCFMA. The following items need to be obtained before you can begin selling:

  • PCFMA Application submitted with electronic signature agreeing to PCFMA’s Rules and Regulations.
  • Application fee.
  • All required state and/or county agricultural or health permits depending on the product you are selling.
  • General liability insurance for $1,000,000 with PCFMA listed as additionally insured.
  • Any market-specific permits (will receive details about this from the Market Manager).

Once each of these items is received and processed by PCFMA, you will receive a status letter listing the markets you can attend.  Then you can follow up with the Market Managers for those markets to set your start dates. Always be in contact with the Market Manager to determine if any other items are needed.

When are producer applications due and what is the application fee?

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year for new producers.

Returning producers are expected to complete the application annually. Applications are provided to these producers each December for the following year. They are expected to complete these applications before their reservations for the previous year expire, typically in early February.  Returning producers that do not complete the application before this date may lose their reservations for their markets.

The application fee is $200.  There is a $50 discount for producers that submit the application fee before the application discount date, set in early January.

How long does it take to start participating in a market?

Getting into a market can take anywhere from two weeks to three months depending on what you’re selling, where you’re selling, and how established you are as a business.  Businesses just starting may be required to obtain state and county health permits before selling at a market.  Some counties will only issue market-specific permits at the start of each quarter. Communication with Market Managers is key in determining what requirements are needed for each market.

I’m a florist, can I sell my floral arrangements in the market?

If you are growing your flowers yourself, and not selling them in anything that increases their value, such as a decorative pot, you can sell your arrangements in the agricultural section of a farmers’ market if the Market Manager agrees to allow you to participate. If you would like to sell plants in decorative pots or preserved flowers, then you would be applying to participate in our markets as an artisan.

Can I sell beer or wine at the market?

Most PCFMA markets do not allow the sale of alcohol. The markets that permit alcohol sales may have more restrictions than what is listed below.  Please contact the Market Manager by visiting the market you desire to sell in to confirm if alcohol sales are permitted.

To sell either of these items, PCFMA requires that the business be involved in the production of the beverage.  PCFMA does not authorize the buying and re-selling of any items in the farmers’ market.

Wine:
Wine production is not limited to grapes.  Hard ciders made with apples, pears, or any other fruit fall within the wine category.  The basic requirements for selling wine in the market are:

  • Obtain a certified producer’s certificate for the fruit being grown.
  • Obtain Winegrower’s license (ABC Type 2).
  • Obtain a Certified farmers’ market sales permit (ABC Type 79).
  • May only sell wine produced entirely from agricultural products grown and bottled by the Wine Seller.
  • May not sell more than 5,000 gallons of wine annually pursuant to all certified farmers’ markets permits it holds.

Beer:
Locally made beer is huge in the Bay Area and PCFMA understands the draw of wanting to serve beer at the market.  Unlike winegrowers, beer manufacturers are not required to grow their hops to sell at the farmers’ market.  PCFMA only requires that the company selling the beer is the company manufacturing the beer and preference is given to those who use ingredients derived from agricultural products grown in the state of California. The basic requirements for selling beer in a market are:

  • Obtain a certified farmers’ market beer sales permit (ABC Type 84).  This allows beer manufacturers to sell beer at certified farmers’ markets in the same county or adjacent county to the licensed beer manufacturing facility.
  • Obtain a beer manufacturer license (ABC Type 1) or a small beer manufacturer license (ABC Type 23).
  • Cannot sell more than 5,000 gallons of beer annually pursuant to all certified farmers’ markets permits it holds.
Can I sell cannabis or cannabis plants in the market?

Products harvested from or derived from cannabis are banned from farmers’ markets under California law. Products intended for human consumption (through eating, drinking, smoking, inhaling, or other means) or intended for external use (such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, salves, or similar products) containing CBD harvested from or derived from hemp may not be sold in a PCFMA farmers’ market. This includes both raw, unadulterated products and products for which CBD is added as an ingredient.

Can I promote my business in the farmers’ market without selling anything?

Farmers’ markets can be a great way to promote your business and get your business name out to your community.  At most PCFMA markets, there is space for local businesses to promote their goods and services, but many times there are market-specific guidelines for this.  Visit the Market Manager at the market to learn what it takes to promote your business there.

Can political or religious groups table at the market?

PCFMA does not affiliate with any political or religious organizations or groups and strictly forbids these groups from setting up a booth or table in a farmers’ market. Please talk to the Market Manager on site for more details.

Some markets provide space for local government officials to hold “office hours” within the market area where they can directly talk to residents about developments or events occurring in the city.  If you are a local elected official, speak with the Market Manager about how you may participate either within or outside of the market area.

I started the application, but I can’t commit to the market at this time. If I want to start later, what do I need to do?

Constant communication with PCFMA is a key component of your admission into our markets.  We understand that things come up and you may not be ready to participate in the market as soon as you thought.  Estimate your start date and email your Market Manager to determine if there will be an available space for your product in the future.  We will re-open your application when you reach out to us about participating again and confirmation of available space.

What is the stall fee?

The stall fee is the amount PCFMA charges per 10’ x 10’ booth space at the market and is collected during the market via cash or check.  The fee varies depending on the market, producer type, and the number of stalls being used by the individual producer.  The stall fee also decreases from December – March during the winter. In addition to the stall fee, all producers must pay a $2 state-mandated fee per market day. A detailed breakdown is listed in Exhibit G of our Rules and Regulations.

What is the CDFA fee?

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) requires a $2 fee for every producer at every farmers’ market.  PCFMA is required to report all producer attendance and pay these fees to CDFA quarterly.

Can I perform music at a PCFMA farmers' market?

If you wish to perform music at our farmers' markets, please fill out the interest form.  Be sure to include a link to a sample where our staff can hear a sample of your performance.  If we think your sound would be a good fit in our markets, we will contact you to coordinate performing dates for the markets you select. 

Current PCFMA Farmers' & Producers

Where is my custom application link?

If you participated in any PCFMA market within the last two years and have not received an email containing your business’s custom application link, please send us an email and we will be more than happy to help you out.

What if I can't make it to the market?

We understand there may be times you’re short-staffed, have family obligations, or simply don’t feel well.  So that we can create the best market experience for customers, we ask for at least a 48-hour advance notice when you are unable to attend.  Please email us so the Market Manager is aware of your absence.  Producers who do not provide proper notice will be charged a “no-show” fee equivalent to the stall fee.

How do I add information to my business page on PCFMA.org?

A large part of what PCFMA does is promote the producers in their markets.  PCFMA’s Marketing Team is continuously updating information on behalf of our farms and businesses through our website, social media platforms, and other media outlets.  Please email us about marketing for your business so that PCFMA can highlight and promote what is special about your company and what you have to offer!

There is a new primary contact for my business. Who should I notify?

Email us with the details of who is taking over as primary contact and why the primary contact is changing. List the new contact’s name, email address, and phone number.  PCFMA will review the request and communicate how to proceed to participate in PCFMA.

If your primary contact information for your business is changing because your business is changing, PCFMA cannot guarantee that the new owner will be accepted into the markets the previous owner had reservations in. The new business owner will be treated as a new producer at PCFMA.  There is a waitlist for every market, and PCFMA will go through the producers who have been on the waitlist for each market before accepting the new business owner.