Vendor Guidelines

The Market Guidelines specify our contract with vendors and customers. Please read these carefully and ask any questions. Your application is your commitment to uphold the Mansfield Growers Market Guidelines and help provide fresh, local food at affordable prices that enable small growers/farmers to support themselves. Thank you for joining our mission.

Organization
The Mansfield Growers Market (MGM) is organized by St. James Episcopal Church and as such has nonprofit status.

Market Mission
The Mansfield Growers Market strives to increase opportunities and profitability for local farmers & market gardeners and local producers of farm, kitchen and craft products; provide fresh, local food and products to area residents and visitors; and educate the community about agriculture and food.

 2015 Market Calendar
The Mansfield Growers Market (MGM) meets outdoors on Fridays from 3:00 – 6:00 PM (May 1 – September 25, 2015) on the grounds of St. James Episcopal Church. MGM meets indoors on Fridays from 3:00-6:00 PM in April and October through Thanksgiving in the St. James Parish Hall.

Vendor Applications
Vendor applications must be completed and submitted prior to the vendors first day of market or May 1, 2015. All fees must be paid prior to setup for first day of market.

Vendor Qualifications & Responsibilities
Only producers/growers are allowed as vendors at the Mansfield Growers Market (resellers/wholesalers are not permitted, although see the Market Day Regulations below), and generally should live within 50 miles of Mansfield (exceptions apply for specialty items).  Farms/production facilities may be subject to inspection by MGM staff at any time. First time vendors should expect an inspection by a Market representative before or early in the season. All products must be produced according to applicable Pennsylvania laws in registered facilities (where applicable).

MGM strives to maintain a balance of items for sale including fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, flowers, seedlings, fresh herbs, maple products, honey, dairy products, baked goods, preserves, toiletries and farm-based or other high quality craft items.  MGM reserves the right to deny applications in order to maintain this balance, but prefers a strategy of working with producers to increase diversity of products wherever possible. When considering vendor applications, MGM will consider both seniority and when the applications were submitted.

MGM welcomes applications from craftspeople.  MGM encourages such products to be made with the highest possible percentage of local resources (home-grown wool, local wood, dried flowers, etc.).  However MGM will consider other locally made high-quality crafts for which we have space.  Craft items must be juried in advance.

Vendors need to clear with the Market Manager any items they wish to add mid-season. The Market Manager has the right to request that a vendor remove items not listed on the vendors’ application and which have not been approved. The Market Manager will conduct random inspections of farm stands to ensure that Market guidelines are being followed. If issues arise, the Market Manager will discuss the situation with the vendor. If the situation is a clear violation of Market Guidelines, the Market Manager has the authority to ask a vendor to remove items, pack up until the situation is discussed with the Market Management, or—in the most serious violations of trust—recommend to the MGM management that the vendor quit the market with no refund.

Exceptions
Vendors will be asked to verify that items on sale were grown or produced on the vendor’s farm/garden, in the vendor’s home, or at another approved facility.  However, in order to increase the variety of items at the market, MGM allows up to 15% (determined visually) of items sold to come from other local farms (must be in NY or PA, within 50 miles of your farm).  Again, the vendor must identify – with signs – all items sourced elsewhere.  These items may not be the same as items available from other vendors at the market (e. g. a vendor may not bring a neighbor’s tomatoes if there are already tomatoes at the market) and must be pre-approved by the Market Manager.  Nursery plants must spend at least 75% of their growing time on the vendor’s premises (this is a PA Preferred regulation).

Market Day Regulations
Vendors are expected to show up on time the weeks they have committed to on their application. During the outdoor season, volunteers will be available to help vendors unload from 2-3pm, but vendors may show up as early as 1:30 pm. All vendors must have and use a tent (PA Dept. of Ag regulations.) Vendors are expected to be set up by 2:45 and to remain open until 6:00. After unloading, vendors must park vehicles away from the Market, so that the street parking is left for customers. Market volunteers can help by moving vehicles while vendors are setting up. No early sales are allowed.

For the indoor markets, vendors are expected to be set up and be ready to sell at 3 pm. No tents are needed and tables are provided by the church. Vendors are asked to wipe down their tables before putting them away. There is no scheduled volunteer help during the indoor season. If a vendor sells out before 6 pm, it is okay to pack up early. 

If a change to the schedule needs to be made, vendors should notify the Market Manager a week in advance so customers can be made aware. If an emergency occurs close to or on the Market Day, vendors are expected to make every effort to contact the Market Manager.

Farm Stand locations (approximately 12 ft x 12 ft) are allocated by the MGM management.  At the Pre-Season Potluck Meeting requests will be taken from vendors who have made an application for the season.  All efforts will be made to meet these requests, with priority given to previous season vendors.  Once the location has been established, changes may occur only through formal request of MGM.

Each vendor accepted at the Mansfield Growers Market is required to display an attractive sign or banner identifying him/herself and/or farm stand (and identifying items that fall under the “Exceptions” clause) and to have a tent/covering. In addition, vendors who are members of FMNP need to identify their stands as participating. Other identifications such as members of PA Preferred and Buy Fresh Buy Local are encouraged. Information concerning your farm or production methods that educate customers is strongly encouraged as well. Be sure to have copies any and all PA Dept. of Ag licenses and permits on hand because David Lundy, Regional Food Sanitarian, may request to see it.

Individual display areas are expected to be neat and attractive and no trash is to be left at the site at the end of the day.  All vendors agree to keep the market atmosphere positive and upbeat and to cooperate with each other.  The MGM philosophy is to attract customers and keep them coming back through positive experiences.  Any problems or concerns should be brought to the Market Manager and not discussed with customers. Vendors may also contact members of the MGM management directly with concerns.

Sales Tax and State Regulations
Vendors are responsible for collecting sales tax when required (non-food items), and following any regulations concerning weights and measures, proper labeling, and health regulations.  Vendors should note that Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture regulations prohibit on-site food preparation at the Mansfield Growers Market.  All prepared food items must be prepared off-site in registered kitchens.  Vendors who wish to sell baked or other processed goods are required to submit a copy of a PA kitchen registration form along with the application. Eggs, meat and other items requiring refrigeration must be maintained at a temperature no higher than 41 degrees F.  Ice chests are acceptable.

The Mansfield Growers Market is not liable for violation of state or federal laws with regard to sales by individual vendors.  More information about regulations and permits is available at the PA Dept of Agriculture (570-433-2640).

Insurance
The Mansfield Growers Market and its vendors are insured through Farm Market Services, LLC.  The policy covers up to $1 million per incident with a $2 million aggregate for liability and legal fees associated with market products and any personal or material injuries occurring on the premises.  The premium is $200 (paid by the Mansfield Growers Market) plus $45 per vendor (paid by individual vendors). Vendors that submit an appropriate certificate of insurance with their application will be exempt for this fee if their insurance is approved by the MGM policy provider.

Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)
MGM strongly encourages all fresh fruit and vegetable vendors to register to accept Farm Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons.  Applications are available by contacting Sandy Hopple at 800-468-2433 or 717-772-2693 or Shopple@state.pa.us

PA Preferred
The Mansfield Growers Market is a member of PA Preferred. Please consider applying to be a member of PA Preferred yourself, a partnership with the PA Dept. of Ag. and regional food producers to provide support and promotion. Membership is free. Check out their website at papreferred.com.

Mansfield and Wellsboro Food Pantries
We encourage producers to donate food to the Mansfield and Wellsboro Area Food Pantries.

Contact
Questions, concerns and completed applications should be addressed to:

Dan Styborski
Mansfield Growers Market
PO Box 285, Mansfield, PA  16933-0285
Phone:  570-337-0088
Email:  dstyborski@gmail.com
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s