According to research, there are more than 8,600 farmers’ markets operating in the United States. This is all thanks to the growing interest in local cuisine. Farmers’ markets are the greatest shopping places for people who want to understand where products come from and bring nutritious, fresh food to their family’s plate.
If you want to become a vendor, you need to know that there is quite some competition you have to face. Selling at a farmers’ market should be a well-thought-out and planned element of your farm management strategy, just like any other farm-based enterprise. Below are a few tips to get you started.
Prospect the market
In the ideal world, you’ll find a possible farmers’ market the year before you want to start selling and visit it numerous times during the season. Do this to get a sense of the market and the movement of people and figure out if there is enough business to make room for a new vendor.
Every market has its own personality and culture. Some markets appeal to hurried consumers looking to purchase their veggies for the week fast, while others create a more sociable atmosphere with music and children’s activities. To obtain a feel of the market, talk to other producers and those who are purchasing at the market.
Learn the rules of the market you want to sell at
Learn about the rules and regulations of the farmers’ market where you want to sell. Inquire about the market manager’s expectations and make sure you can meet them. You may, for example, enquire about the limitations on what you can sell. Some markets are producer-only, meaning you may only sell products you grew yourself, but others may enable you to resale other goods or include crafts.
One of the first things you should do as a small farmers’ market vendor is to acquire a farmers market insurance policy to protect yourself from any claims. Public liability insurance and general liability insurance are the two most popular forms of liability insurance.
Public liability coverage, which is generally the cheapest choice, is meant to protect you from consumer claims stemming from being harmed on your property. Most farmers’ market sellers choose a general liability policy since it gives more comprehensive coverage and only costs a bit more than public liability coverage. General liability insurance protects you not only against injuries that occur in your vending area, but also from consumer complaints about the quality of your products.
Design and organize your stand
Start working on your stand a few months prior to your first day at the market. Set it up at home in the exact same way you would do at the market, to make sure all products fit on the stand they way they should.
Use colorful tablecloths and clear signs to showcase your stand and draw attention to your products, but make sure what you are selling is the main focus of the stand.
As for your time at the market, keep a comprehensive checklist of everything you’ll need, such as small dollars bills and coins for change, weights for your stand in case it gets windy, and even additional clothes for potential weather changes.