Rules and Regulations
PCFMA farmers’ markets are governed by PCFMA’s rules and regulations. Please be familiar with PCFMA’s Rules and Regulations before applying.
Inspection Program for Farms
PCFMA conducts periodic inspections to verify that all producers participating in PCFMA markets are operating in compliance with our market rules, and to help us fulfill our duties as an operator of farmers’ markets. Our rules reflect California law; they require that each producer in a PCFMA market sell only products it grows in accordance with its Certified Producer Certificate. The purpose of the law, our rules, and our inspection program is to preserve the integrity of the farmers’ market sector, maintain consumer confidence in farmers’ markets, and provide a level playing field for all producers.
New applicants who wish to sell certified agricultural products must pass a pre-admission inspection of their farm, storage facility, or other point of production by a PCFMA designated inspector before being admitted to participate in PCFMA markets.
PCFMA’s inspection program also includes inspections of existing producers. These inspections typically involve stall and on-site inspections:
- Records Inspection. A PCFMA market manager or designated inspector may request documents and records relating to current insurance coverage, permits and licenses, tax-exempt status, and other matters. Producers must provide the requested documents in a timely manner.
- Stall Inspection. A PCFMA market manager or designated inspector will visit a producer’s stall(s) at one or more PCFMA markets. The PCFMA representative will review the items offered for sale, examine the producer’s Certified Producer Certificate and other relevant documentation, talk with the producer, and record information and observations about the items offered for sale and the containers used to transport those products.
- On-Site Inspection. A PCFMA designated inspector will subsequently visit a producer’s farm, storage facility, or production site to verify that the products the producer is selling at PCFMA markets are available for harvest in the quantity and quality as represented at the stall. The inspector walks the site with the producer and may record observations in audio, video, photographic or written form, as appropriate, including recording interview conversations. PCFMA seeks to provide producers with inspection results in writing within 10 business days after the visit.
Nearly all of our producers pass these inspections. However, if an inspection indicates that a producer is violating our rules, or the producer fails to cooperate or acts inappropriately in connection with these inspections as defined in Section XIII of our rules, the producer may be subject to fines, or suspension or termination from PCFMA markets. Producers may appeal these results in a writing within 10 business days of receiving notice of disciplinary action. As provided in our rules, we may disclose to government authorities and other certified farmers’ markets inspection materials and disciplinary actions related to inspection violations. Our rules, to which all producers have consented, provide more information about PCFMA inspections, disciplinary process, and disclosures to third parties.
If you have any questions or concerns about PCFMA’s inspection program, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your cooperation and your continued support.