DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT

The Downtown Farmers Market (DFM) was founded by the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation (DWWF) in 1997 to provide a space for local family farms to sell their produce, processed foods, prepared foods and crafts to the community at or near retail pricing. The Farmers Market Pavilion was paid by a Local Improvement District tax on downtown property owners to rehabilitate downtown Walla Walla.  Today, the Market is operated as a program of the DWWF and key to its comprehensive approach to the economic, cultural and historic development of the Downtown area.

The DWWF operates the DFM on property owned by the City of Walla Walla (the City) and under an operating agreement with the City.  The City has interests that City property and Market related property improvements are used to the benefit of the downtown and the whole community.

The DWWF is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors (the Board).  The Board of the DWWF bears ultimate responsibility for all programs of the DWWF, including the DFM. The Executive Director (ED) of the DWWF reports to the Board and supervises all DWWF staff activity related to the DFM. The Market Manager (Manager) is an employee of the DWWF, reports to the ED and is the primary DWWF staff person responsible for the development and operations of the DFM.  In addition to managing the DFM, the Manager is responsible for supporting and coordinating other programs of the DWWF. Additional DWWF staff members also support the DFM (e.g., promotions and administration). DWWF staff may serve as substitute Manager from time to time as needed. (See Addendum A for a current list of DWWF Board and staff members). 

The Downtown Farmers Market Advisory Committee (DFMAC) is a standing committee of the DWWF and is appointed by the Board.  The DFMAC members represent the many constituents of a successful market including vendors, customers, musicians, downtown businesses, the City, the Board and the community. The DFMAC establishes and administers the Rules of the DFM. The DFMAC is responsible for operational policies and methods of the DFM.  The Board reserves the right to review all DFMAC rules and policies for compatibility with the overall program of the DWWF. (See Addendum A for a current list of DFMAC members). 

 

Downtown Farmers Market Rules

The Downtown Farmers Market Rules may be modified at any time as determined by the DFMAC/Manager. Vendors will be notified within two weeks of any rule change or modification via email. 

The Downtown Farmers Market is a member of the Washington State Farmers Market Association (WSFMA) and abides by its “Roots Guidelines for Member Markets”. See Addendum C. 

 

VENDOR REQUIREMENTS TO SELL AT THE DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET

The Downtown Farmers Market was established to provide a space for local family farms to sell their produce and value added products directly to consumers, as well as creating a venue for selling locally processed foods and handmade crafts to the community. To uphold this vision, the DFM has established the following requirements:

  1. In all cases, the vendor must be an active owner/operator of the business, including those selling Farm Fresh Product and Value Added Farm Foods.  Under no circumstances are vendors allowed to operate under a franchise agreement. 
  2. Vendors are only allowed to sell products identified as “Products Allowed to be Sold at the DFM” as described in Section III. All other products will not be allowed. 
  3. The owner, designated partner, or manager of the business must be present at the market at least two (2) Markets per calendar month. When the owner, designated partner, or manager is not present, family members, partners, or employees may sent to the Market in their place. All on-site representatives are responsible to know and comply with all market rules, policies and procedures and will be asked to sign a vendor agreement stating as such. 
  4. The vendor’s application for permission to sell at the Downtown Farmers Market shall state what is grown/processed or prepared by vendor, and what the vendor would like to sell at the Downtown Farmers Market. If the vendor wants to add new product to the market at any time after his/her permit is granted, then he/she must have any and additions approved by the market manager 24 hours in advance of the market. In 2017, this would be 9:00am on Friday. 
  5. All vendors must have the legally required permits and licenses from the City of Walla Walla, Walla Walla County Health Dept., the Washington State Business Licensing Service, Department of Revenue, Washington State Dept. of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, and other agency that regulates your products or business. Vendors shall provide the manager with copies of any permits and licenses applicable to the sale of their products at the beginning of market season. 
  6. All vendors selling prepared foods and baked goods must have a current Walla Walla County Health Department Food Handler’s Permit. The Health Department has specific guidelines and regulations that must be followed by vendors for all food demonstration and sampling. Please consult with the Health Department regarding these regulations. 
  7. All Farm Fresh Products, Value Added Farm Products and Processed Foods must meet all Washington State and Federal labeling requirements.
  8. The DFM is a not a wholesale market or an outlet for culls or surplus produce. Produce with condition flaws may be sold, however they must be properly labeled. 
  9. All vendors are required to obtain commercial general liability insurance, with the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation listed as the additional insured on the policy for $1,000,000.  Vendors may contact Campbell Risk Management at 800-730-7475 for a Washington State Farmers Market Association recommended policy ($275-$425 per year), or your own insurance carrier for a quote. Vendors agree to hold the DWWF, its staff, or volunteers harmless for any damage or loss incurred by or to them (vendors) at the market. See Indemnification & Hold Harmless Agreement in application for more information. 
  10. The DFM reserves the right to prohibit any vendor from selling at the Downtown Farmers Market or any product from being sold.

 

PRODUCTS ALLOWED TO BE SOLD AT THE DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET

A. FARMER: Fresh Farm Products:

  1. Includes fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, nuts, honey, dairy products, eggs, poultry, mushrooms, meats and fish. 
  2. Included in this category are fresh flowers, nursery stock, plant starts and plants. The vendor must propagate all plants and flowers from seed, cuttings or plugs, bulbs or plant division. All finished products offered for sale must have been grown by the vendor. In certain situations, the Manager may allow products started by another party. Prior permission must be granted in advance of application and must have been under the vendor’s control for a minimum of sixty (60) days.
  3. All Fresh Farm Products must be grown or produced in Washington State or counties which border the state. 
  4. All Fresh Farm Products must be grown or produced by the vendor. Only Farmer vendors may sell Fresh Farm Products. Any vendor who sells Farm Fresh Produce that he or she did not grow or produce will be subject to discipline up to and including expulsion from the Market. This includes implicit claims and the absence of clear signage such that any shopper may construe a product as being grown by the vendor when it was acquired through trade, purchase or other means. 

B. FARMER: Value Added Farm Foods:

  1. Fresh foods that have been prepared or processed to permanently change their state or enhanced the value of the raw commodity, where the majority of ingredients are grown and produced by the vendor. Includes products such as preserves, jams and jellies, cider, syrups, salsas, smoked meats or fish, dried fruit, herbs, teas, flours, baked goods, salad dressings, wine, beer, and oils (see addendum I (one) to the Farmer/Processor application for wine & beer). Products in this category must have been cooked, canned, baked, preserved, dried, infused or otherwise treated by the vendor selling it or have been directly managed by the vendor. 
  2. Value Added Farm Foods must be produced by the vendor from raw ingredients. No commercially prepared dough mixes, crusts, shells, or fillings are allowed.

 

C. PROCESSOR: Processed Foods:

  1. Processed Foods are similar to Value Added Farm Foods in every regard except that the vendor did not grow, produce, or raise the ingredients themselves. Ingredients were purchased from other sources. Processed Foods includes foods such as preserves, jams and jellies, cider, syrups, salsas, smoked meats or fish*, dried fruit, herbs, teas, flours, baked goods, oils, and salad dressings.  (*In the case of fish and seafood, all products must originate from the greater Pacific Northwest, which includes Washington, Oregon, Alaska and British Columbia.)
  2. Processed foods must be produced by the vendor from raw ingredients. No commercially prepared dough mixes, crusts, shells, or fillings are allowed. 
  3. It is expected that the vendor will use raw ingredients that are grown in Washington or bordering counties, as appropriate for the product, and whenever possible, source products from other vendors at the farmers market.

 

D. ARTISAN: Hand Crafted Products:

  1. To enhance the overall experience of the DFM, fine craft and art media are accepted. Items accepted,  but not limited to are: clay, fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, paper, wood, original painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, fiber art, clothing, accessories, weaving, pottery, carvings, sculpture, woodwork, painting and drawing or other forms of illustration, fresh floral arrangements in which all components are grown by the vendor, dried flower arrangements, and mixed media works. Work must be original and executed or supervised by the accepted artist vendor.
  2. Artisans and Crafters are persons who craft or create with their own hands the products they offer for sale. To qualify as an artisan or crafter, a majority of the tools and equipment used by the crafter to produce their products must require skills, personal handling and/or guidance by the crafter.
  3. Crafters should incorporate materials produced in Washington as much as possible. Crafters must create their craft products in Washington, or in counties which border the State of Washington.
  4. All new crafts will be subjected to a jury process, and crafters will be requested to submit a sample of their work for review. Review criteria considered are: craftsmanship, quality, percentage of raw materials used, percentage of product that is hand crafted versus non-handcrafted and originality.

 

E. Prepared Foods:

  1. Allowed are freshly made foods available for sale and immediate consumption on-site.
  2. When selecting prepared food vendors, priority will be given to vendors preparing food from raw ingredients and using ingredients grown and/or produced in Washington State or bordering counties and by products procured from participating DFM vendors. 

 

F. Miscellaneous:

  1. Any vendor who does not fit into any of the above categories or standards. Examples would be non-profit and informational booths. Allowance for these booths will rest at the discretion of the Manager.
  2. The DFM allows U-Pick/Resale on items that are not readily available at the market on a PRE-APPROVED basis only. This allows us to provide the widest selections and longest in-season period possible for market patrons. Please note that this permission can change on a weekly basis depending on product availability.
  3. When selecting between a Value Added Farm Food (foods grown and then processed by the grower) or Processed Food (foods processed but not grown by the processor) vendors, priority will be given to Value Added vendors. 

 

MARKET OPERATIONS

The Role of the Market Manager

  1. The Manager is responsible for maintaining the Market as a safe, professional and cordial place for vendors and customers.
  2. The Manager implements Market Rules and policies including overseeing Market set-up, booth assignments, collection of fees, providing information on membership and Market policies, and assuring vendor compliance with all Market policies. The Manager will make booth assignment decisions based on available space in the Market and the need for specific products. 
  3. The Manager is responsible for handling public concerns and vendor complaints. 
  4. The Manager communicates regularly with the FMAC and recommends changes to rules, policies and procedures as needed.  
  5. The Manager has complete authority to interpret and implement policy on the Market site, including the authority to rescind booth/stall space for just cause. The Manager has the authority to suspend temporarily, any Market rule for the best advantage of the whole Market. 

 

Annual DFM Membership

Vendors who wish to join the market will pay an annual fee to become members of the DFM. Benefits include certain privileges as determined by the rules of the DFM.  

 

Members receive a reduced daily stall fee. A completed application, all licenses and fees must accompany must be submitted to the DFM office on/or before March 31 of the Market year. Applications received after this date will be considered on a first come basis and needs of the market. There are three membership categories:

  1. Reserved Vendors, $100 annual fee per space, $60 additional spaces
  2. Regular Vendor, $40 annual fee
  3. Junior Vendor, $20 annual fee. In an effort to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs/farmers, we encourage young people (18 & under) to participate in the market as vendors (using the above guidelines). Parental/guardian approval and oversight will be required for junior vendors. Insurance is available for vendors that commit to a minimum of 15 market days.  

 

Non Members

Short term, intermittent or new vendors may participate in the Market without being members.  Non-profit/informational booths may participate in the market without becoming members, if space is available. Please contact the Manager for information/availability and fees. 

 

Daily Booth/Stall Fees/Sales Reporting

  1. Member daily fee for each booth/stall is $30 for general market row, $35 for market corner, $45 for pavilion and premium locations. Junior vendors are $15. 
  2. Non-member daily fee is $40 for general market row, $45 for market corner and $60 for pavilion and premium locations. 
  3. Each vendor is responsible for paying the booth/stall fee to the market manager at the end of the market day. A form and envelope will be provided for this purpose. No vendor is allowed to set up on any subsequent market day without having paid the previous market day’s fee. Further, no vendor will be allowed to pay booth fees with tokens. 
  4. Depending on location, market booth/stalls average 10 by 10 ft. These booth/ stalls are intended to accommodate one vendor’s sales area. The vendor sales area (where your product is marketed) may not extend beyond the allotted boundaries of the booth/stall space. Displays and signs must allow clear visibility to adjoining booth/stalls. Display and selling techniques must not impair other vendors’ ability to sell, nor create a hazardous situation for customers.
  5. Some stalls have electricity available.  There is an additional fee of $5.00 per market day for use of electricity (typical service is a single outlet, 10amp, 110v).  Contact the Manager well in advance if your electrical needs exceed a typical service.
  6. You will be REQUIRED to report your gross market sales for each market day. This information is kept strictly confidential and is only reported as a combined total. Sales totals are due no later than Tuesday of the previous market Saturday. Gross sales data and public reporting combined totals prove the DFM impact in the local food economy. Gross sales measures are critical to DFM allocations of State WIC funds and in grant proposals for Market expansion. No vendor is allowed to set up on any subsequent market day without reported the previous market day’s fee.

 

Additional Information for Reserved Vendors

  1. Reserved Vendors who are unable to attend on a market day must contact the Market Manager 48 hours prior to Market day. Reserved Vendors who do not call at least 24 hours before market day will be charged the minimum booth/stall fee for that Market day. This fee must be paid before selling at the next scheduled market.
  2. Reserve Vendors who arrive after 8:00 AM will forfeit their reserve space and will be considered on a first come basis with the Non-Reserved Vendors. If there are unavoidable extenuating circumstances, i.e. vehicle breakdown, traffic delays, please CALL the Market Manager promptly.
  3. Reserved vendors who do not participate in at least 75% of monthly markets will forfeit their reserved space. 

 

Non-Reserved and Non-Member Vendors

Non-Reserved and Non-Member Vendors will be admitted to the market on a first come basis and will be assigned a booth/stall as space and need permits. Walk-on vendors are not allowed. You must alert the DFM within 72 hours of your request to participate in the DFM. There will be no exceptions to this rule. 

 

Market Participation and Booth/Stall Location Assignments

  1. The Manager will give first priority to returning vendors who were in good standing the previous season and participated in the market either for a full season or half season (3 months). 
  2. The Manager will reassign booth/stall space to Reserve Vendors in good standing from year to year in their same location at the Managers discretion. 
  3. Permission to sell and booth/stall assignments are made based on the Market’s need to balance available produce with a well-rounded “market basket” for customers. The Market strives to meet the needs of participating farmers/vendors without overloading the Market with redundant products. That said, a diverse product mix brings in more consumers, and there should be no expectation of exclusivity by any one vendor. Competition, based on what the market will bear, is encouraged and expected. 
  4. Non-Reserve and Non-member Vendors are assigned a booth/stall location at the discretion of the Manager.  Week to week market assignment of non-reserve and non-members are based on.
    1. Available space in the market
    2. The need for a specific product and the vendor’s ability to produce
    3. Number of booth/stalls required. The more space needed, the more difficult it may be to place a vendor.  Smaller vans and pick-ups are easier to accommodate.
    4. Vendor performance at the market including:
      1. Good product quality, display and signage
      2. Ability to follow DFM rules and Manager’s directions at market. (i.e. punctuality, clean up at end of day, promptnotification when canceling, etc.)
      3. Market fees paid in full on time.
    5. Efforts are made to satisfy vendor requests. Non-reserve vendors get priority over non-members. Efforts are made to balance returning longtime vendors without closing the market to new vendors.

Vendor Vehicles and Loading/Unloading

Vendor booth/stalls and/or vehicles must not extend beyond allotted booth space. No vehicle movement is allowed in the market area after 8am. In order to provide adequate parking for customers, vendors must park at least two blocks away from the market site or at the parking site designated for vendors on Saturdays. A map will be made available to vendors. Vendors caught violating this policy will be subject to infraction including expulsion from the market. Vehicles may re-enter the market area no sooner than 1:15 for loading. On time arrival and timely set up is critical for the overall function of the market. If for some unexpected reason you are going to be late, please call the Market Manager and let them know so they can accommodate you. Anyone more than 30 minutes late should not expect to set up on that market day. Vendors who are habitually late ultimately risk expulsion from the market. See section below on Monitoring and Enforcement of Market Rules.

 

Selling Time

The market runs from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. Vendors are required to stay until closing unless they have received prior permission from the market manager to leave early. Vendors who sell-out early MUST post a sign letting customers know they have sold out and should not leave their possessions unattended. Vendors should load up unsold merchandise; clean area/booth/stall used, and vacate the Farmers Market site no later than one (1) hour after the Market is closed. Any exceptions must be approved the Market Manager.

 

Market Currency

The DFM uses several alternative currency programs at its markets. These programs are essential to create greater access to the market and to increase sales for market vendors. These programs include: WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, wooden $1 tokens for EBT card charge, wooden $5 tokens for credit card/gift certificate charges and FreshBucks coupons.

See Addendum B for detailed information on Market Currency, what vendors are allowed to accept, and how they will be reimbursed for each alternative currency. 

 

Booth/Stall Clean-up

Vendors are required to maintain their individual selling space in a clean, safe, and sanitary manner. Each vendor is responsible for keeping his/her booth space and display fixtures clean during the Market and for complete clean-up of their space at the close of the Market. This includes hauling away any trash that is generated in or around the booth and sweeping up any product debris left on the ground. A $25 fine will be assessed on booths not left clean.Vendors are not permitted to dispose of produce waste, overripe or leftover produce or boxes in any on-site garbage cans. Vendors should bring their own brooms and dustpans. The Market dumpster is located in the northwest corner (Rose & 4th) of the market. DO NOT USE THE DUMPSTERS IN THE ALLEY NEXT TO CITY HALL.

 

Safety

Wind tossed canopies are the number one cause of farmers market accidents. All vendors who wish to erect canopies (including umbrellas) at the Market are required to have their canopies sufficiently and safely anchored to the ground with a minimum of 24 lbs PER LEG, from the time the canopy is put up to the time it is taken down. Vendors must supply their own weights. Any vendor who fails to properly anchor his or her canopy will not be allowed to sell at the Market on that market day, unless that vendor chooses to take down and stow their canopy and sell without it.

Vehicles, tables, and overhead canopies must be maintained and used in a safe manner. Tables must have smooth edges and remain stable when loaded with produce. Booth display must not obstruct traffic flow and care must be taken when setting up or taking down displays. 

 

Children

Vendors need to keep a watchful eye on their children at all times during the Market day. Set-up time can be an especially dangerous time for unattended children. Small children should not be allowed to wander the grounds without a parent or guardian with them. The Market cannot take responsibility for their safety or whereabouts.

 

Courtesy/Conduct

Vendors and their representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a safe and courteous manner at the Market. Any language, behavior or conduct considered to be harmful to the normal operation of the Market will be grounds for termination of vendor’s permit to sell. Smoking is not allowed in the vendor sales areas. Illicit activities that take place at the market or any other market will be grounds for immediate expulsion from the DFM. 

 

Business/Location Signage

All vendors must post a sign identifying the name of the farm/business represented and where it is located. Signs or banners should have an area of 3 to 12 square feet and not obstruct vision to neighboring vendors.

 

Price Signage

Produce and other allowable Market products should be clearly marked with their price. This can be done by individually tagging each item with a sign or by listing all produce and prices on a large sign or marker board.

 

Scales

Vendors selling produce by weight must provide their own scales. Scales must be “legal for trade” and are subject to inspection by the Dept. of Agriculture - Weights and Measures Program. Scale licenses must be submitted with application.

 

No Soliciting

No soliciting by political, commercial, special cause groups or individuals is permitted within the market boundaries during market hours. If you witness this kind of activity, please alert the Manager immediately. Our mission is to assist our vendors with the right to commerce and any activist engagement or commercial endeavor that inhibits our vendors from conducting regular business will not be tolerated. The DWWF and the DFM respect the First Amendment Rights of any individual or organization, therefore petitioners may gather signatures outside of the market boundaries which will allow ample contact with the public while respecting the privacy of market patrons and vendors and provide a positive experience while at the market. 

 

Organic Products

If a product is labeled “organic,” it must be certified as required by Federal Law. For those with produce sales under $5,000 seeking exemption from certification, a notarized affidavit attesting to how organic procedures are followed must be filed with the market manager each year. Consumer queries regarding farming practices must be answered factually. Verbal or written declarations of organic status not certified or verified will result in expulsion from the market. When an organic producer is also selling non-organic produce at the same stand, the non-organic produce must be clearly separated from the organic produce and clearly labeled as non-organic or conventionally grown.

 

Production and Product Claims

The market strongly discourages the use of any production or product claims that cannot be independently verified. This includes terms such as: Unsprayed, Pesticide-Free or Low Spray. Consumer queries regarding farming practices must be answered factually. If a vendor is found to be out of compliance, additional steps or an affidavit may be required to remedy the situation. 

 

Farm, Processing Facility Commercial Kitchen, and Studio Visits

The DFM reserves the right to visit and contract with third party inspectors to evaluate all sites where products sold at the DFM are grown, raised, stored, and transported as part of the routine application process or in the event of product challenges.

 

Vendor Music

As part of our partnership with the City of Walla Walla, the DFM hires musicians to play at each market. Vendors may play music quietly in their booth space while setting up, but must turn off all personal music at the start of market, so as not to compete with the local live musician. Vendors WILL NOT approach the musicians with issues to content or loudness. Please address any concerns directly to the market manager. 

 

Taxes

Retail sales taxes, Business & Occupation taxes and all other business taxes are the responsibility of the vendor. 

 

Licenses and Permits

  1. Vendors must have a Washington State Master Business License Number and provide an active and open UBI number to sell at the Downtown Farmers Market. 
  2. Vendors selling produce by weight or measure must have a Specialty License for “Weighing and Measuring Devices” also known as a scale license. 
  3. Vendors are responsible for having the legally required licenses or permits to sell each of their products. This may include a application a Washington State Nursery License, Washington State Dept. of Agriculture Food Processors License, Egg license, Grade “A” Dairy Permits, Pesticide Applicator’s License or Department of Fisheries Wholesale License. When applicable, sellers of plants, bulbs or seeds for planting must have a Nursery License, available from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. 
  4. All vendors shall provide at the time of application, copies of any licenses and permits applicable to the sale of their products. If a vendor’s required licenses and permits are missing or out of date, he/she will not be allowed to sell at the DFM. If licenses or permits expire mid-season, the vendor must provide the Manager with the updated license/permit. 

 

Other 

  1. The DFM is not responsible for loss of property or damage. 
  2. There shall be no discrimination according to race, color, creed, sex, religion, sexual orientation, age, or nationality. 
  3. The market is not a forum for political or religious groups.

 

Vendor Rule Compliance

On-Site Vendor Compliance Checklist 

On market day, use this checklist to help remind you of some of the basic market operation rules and policies. All rules previously listed also apply. 

  • Vendor sets up where assigned
  • Vendor unloads and removes vehicle before 8:00 am
  • Vendor parks 2 blocks away from market to allow adequate parking for customers
  • Vendor returns vehicle and loads after 1:15 pm but before 2:00 pm
  • Vendor does not leave booth unattended
  • Vendor maintains booth space in safe, clean and sanitary manner and keeps products and displays within booth confines 
  • 24+ lb canopy weights on each leg if canopy used
  • Children are supervised
  • Signage with the name and location of the business is clear and visible
  • All product prices are posted
  • Product claims are truthful/verified
  • Any scales used are “legal for trade”
  • Vendor conducts themselves in a courteous manner, including not smoking

 

Compliance Monitoring 

  • The Manager frequently monitors market activity to ensure that vendors are complying with the rules. 
  • For “At-market” compliance, the Manager uses a form that mirrors the vendor compliance checklist. 
  • The Manager also keeps records of “Non-market” violations (customer complaints, late payment of fees, expired licenses etc.) that will put a vendor out of compliance. 

 

Rules Enforcement

  1. All rules of the market are enforced by the Manager or his or her designee, who has ultimate on-site authority. Complaints or problems should be directed to the Manager in a written and timely manner. 
  2. The Manager or designee will regularly evaluate vendors using the on-site vendor compliance checklist. The Manager or his/her designee will indicate any violation(s) on the form with the compliance actions noted, and then both the Manager and the vendor’s on-site sales personnel will sign and date the form. A copy of the form will be mailed to the vendor. 
  3. Violations not included in the on-site vendor compliance checklist may lead to other disciplinary action. 
  4. Customer complaints will be forwarded to vendors and kept on file. Complaints may result in disciplinary action including removal from the market. 
  5. Market management reserves the right to make exceptions to the DFM rules and guidelines for the benefit of the market as a whole.

 

Failure to Comply With Rules

Disciplinary action may take the form of a verbal warning or a written notice of non-compliance that may include a fine.  Further non-compliance may lead to probation, suspension or termination.

If a vendor does not abide by the rules of the DFM or comply with federal, state, and local regulations applicable to market participation, the Manager or designee may take any action deemed appropriate, including assessing fines or barring the vendor from selling at the market for that day and any future market days.

 

Enforcement Sequence

  1. Verbal warning.
  2. Written warning of non-compliance (may include fines as established by the DFMAC).  
  3. After two written warnings, the DFMAC will consider and may administer appropriate sanctions including:
    1. Probation (written notice that any further violation will lead to suspension)
    2. Suspension (not allowed to do business at the market for a specified period of time)
    3. Termination (not allowed to do business at the market ever again).
  4. The enforcement sequence may be altered or shortened in the event of actions that place other vendors or shoppers at risk, or represent violations of laws and regulations.
  5. The application of fines, probation and suspension may occur simultaneously while the vendor works to correct a specific or combination of non-compliance actions.

 

Vendor Response to Enforcement

The vendor must correct the verbal warning or notice of non-compliance immediately or by the following week, whichever is most appropriate. If the situation has not been remedied by the following week, the following disciplinary actions may be taken: 

  • Vendor may lose reserved space privilege. 
  • Vendor may be suspended from the market for a week and forfeit their stall fee. 
  • Vendor may be issued a fine.

 If a vendor is issued a fine due to non-compliance, the vendor must pay the fine promptly; preferably on the day issued or absolutely 48 hours before setting up on their next market day. 

If the vendor feels that a notice of non-compliance is unwarranted, they may file a written complaint with the FMAC by filling out the Vendor Concern form and mailing (or emailing) it to the DWWF.  The vendor is still required to pay fines and come into compliance to the best of their abilities during the appeal process.

 

Protocols for Vendor Grievances and Product Challenges 

DFM has created protocols and procedures that allow vendors to report concerns against other vendors whom they think are out of compliance with market rules and policies. Vendors may also file concerns or suggestions regarding the Market Manager, or make suggestions for improvements that affect the market as a whole.  

To file a vendor concern, suggestion or product challenge, use the Vendor Concern Form or Vendor Challenge Form. No grievances, complaints or challenges will be handled verbally under any circumstance. 

 

Grievance procedures 

  1. Complaints or problems should first be directed to Manager in a timely manner that is not disruptive to the market. 
  2. Vendors who have concerns regarding other vendor compliance, market staff, safety, or policies should complete a Vendor Concern Form. Forms will be available at the DFM Information Booth. The DFMAC will review each concern form and the concerned vendor will receive a specific written response within two weeks. 
  3. A vendor may appeal any decision of the Manager concerning violation of market rules within 30 days. An appeal must be presented in writing to the DFMAC. A decision by the DFMAC shall be issued within 30 days of receipt and constitute a final and binding decision. 

 

Product Challenge 

  1. Product challenges may be made for misrepresentation of product by a vendor. Vendors can submit a written Product Challenge Form when they believe another vendor is misrepresenting his/her product. 
  2. A product challenges must be signed by the person bringing the challenge and preferably be supported by physical evidence of the offense. The product challenge must be made on the day of, or within the week, the violation is observed. Challenges alleging wrongdoings on past occasions will not be accepted. 
  3. The vendor receiving the product challenge must respond to the challenge in writing. Failure to admit or deny a challenge may result in a determination that the challenge is valid. 
  4. The Market Manager and the DFMAC will conduct a farm site visit in a timely manner to make a determination on the product challenge. If Market Management deems it necessary, a third party farm inspector will be employed. 
  5. Product challenge forms are available at the DFM Information Booth. Because of their sensitive nature, they must be returned directly to the Manager. 
  6. If the vendor is found in violation, the vendor may by fined, placed on probation, suspended, or evicted from the market at the discretion of the Manager and DFMAC.