Nashville Community Farmers Market Association Rules and Regulations
Markets will be held rain or shine. In the event of closure due to severe weather, the market managers will contact the vendors by phone or text message.
If applicable, Markets will now require all vendors to tie down tents with 25 pounds of weight for each corner. Cement blocks are no longer an acceptable form of weight.
Market Manager Authority to Set Hours
Market Manager will have the authority to change the market hours at any time.
Market Opening and Closing
Vendors should be set up 15 minutes prior to the opening of each market. Vendors will not begin selling until the market officially opens.
Each vendor is required to stop selling at the close of the market and have everything loaded for removal no later than one hour after the close of the market.
Each vendor must leave his or her selling area clean and in orderly condition. All refuse and unsold goods must be removed from the market area by the vendor. All boxes and trash from each vendor must be removed and transported by the vendor. Onsite trash disposal is not provided. Vendors will be assessed a fee ($100.00-$5,000.00) for cleanup if the market has to clean up after you.
In general, vendors are required to stay until the market closes even if they have sold all of their goods. The Market Manager must approve exceptions to this policy in advance.
A Market representative is responsible for officially opening and closing the market each day.
Spaces may be reserved for all or part of a market season if paid in advance. If vendors who have reserved spaces are going to miss a particular market day(s), the vendor must notify the Market Manager 24 hours in advance of the market day they will miss. Fines for failure to notify Market Managers of your absence may charged. Vendors who continually miss the market will forfeit their rights to their booth space.
No refunds of reservation payments will be made under most circumstances. No subletting of a space is permitted. Reserved spaces that are vacated may be rented out to other vendors at the discretion of the Market Manager.
Day Vendor spaces will be assigned on a first come basis.
Vendors must supply their own tents, tables, chairs, etc. Booth space is not transferable. 1|Page
All vendors must have a sign clearly showing their name and location.
Nothing, including signage, will be allowed to extend outside the designated booth space dimensions.
All vendors must adhere to sanitary procedures for selling produce and value-added items. All vendors must dress appropriately. Shoes and shirts are required.
Vendors who provide samples and/or products that will result in waste material, such as cups, rinds, and corn cobs, must provide containers for waste disposal.
Smoking, alcoholic beverages, and firearms are not allowed at markets.
Vendors who choose to bring children to the Market are asked to ensure that the conduct of the minors is appropriate and not disruptive to customers or other vendors.
Vendors may not bring domestic pets into the market.
Fee scale information will be provided to vendors by the Market Manager. Contact each Market Manager with any questions about fees.
Pricing of goods sold at the market is the sole responsibility of the individual vendor.
Fraudulent, dishonest, or deceptive merchandising or collusion to set prices among vendors may be grounds for forfeiture of the right to do business at the Market.
All Vendors who sell items approved by the SNAP program are required to accept SNAP payments. Payments will be made in the form of $1 tokens from customers. Those tokens will be collected weekly & reimbursed by the Market Manager no later than once a month.
Market Managers will organize a food gleaning to take place at the end of each Market day. An approved community group and/or non-profit will accept donations of food and distribute it to people in the community who need it.
Allowed Vendors and Products
Market Manager’s Discretion
Acceptance of vendors will be at the discretion of the Market Manager. Acceptance is based on quality of the product(s) and the relevance of the product(s) to the overall diversification and mission of the Market.
Only producers may sell at the market. Farmers who wish to sell must submit an application to the Market manager that certifies that they grow their own produce and/or proteins or make their value-added product. Each vendor in the market must be directly involved with or knowledgeable about the production of the produce or products being sold at the market.
A producer is defined as the person who grows or makes the product. This may include the producer’s immediate family, partners, employees or a local cooperative. No more than three (3) producers may be represented in one space and only if all the producers’ farm certificates are displayed and the products are clearly marked as to their origin. Any false representation of product will be grounds for expulsion from the market. The producer’s name must be clearly displayed in each booth.
All produce and protein sold must be locally grown. Locally grown means that the product must have been grown/raised within a 150-mile radius of Davidson County, TN or within the State of Tennessee. Allegations of sidestepping this regulation will be vigorously investigated and may result in expulsion from the market.
The sale of live animals is not allowed in the market.
Farmer Value-Added Products
Farmers may sell any farm products, including value-added products. At least one ingredient or material in any value-added good sold in a farm vendor’s booth must have been grown on the producer’s farm.
Non-farm vendors must also prepare an application for the Market Manager, along with a sample or photos of the product(s) they wish to sell. Non-farm vendors must make the product they wish to sell. Selections will be made on the basis of quality, originality, and space availability. The Market Manager must prescreen all items during scheduled screening days only. Priority will be given to farm vendors at a ratio determined by the Market Manager.
Inspection of Vendors
For growers, a producer certificate must be completed before selling at the market. The certificate can be obtained through your County Extension Office. A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE MUST BE DISPLAYED IN YOUR MARKET SPACE. Vendors must also bring certificates from any other farms they are selling for. If you have your certificate from last year and have not moved the location of your farm, it may not be necessary to procure another one.
Market Manager Inspections
No wholesale brokers will be allowed. All market vendors should prepare for a site visit by the Market Manager during the growing season. Failure to allow a site-visit once given reasonable notice may be grounds to revoke your right to vend.
Health and Safety Regulations
It is the responsibility of each vendor to abide by all state and federal regulations which govern the sampling, production, labeling, or safety of the product the vendor offers for sale at the market. Failure to comply may result in forfeiture of the vendor’s booth. If you have any questions on this matter, please speak with the Market Manager, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Regulatory Services, or the Davidson County Health Department.
All processed foods must comply with all applicable state and federal health and safety regulations. A copy of the commercial kitchen certificate or domestic kitchen certificate must be displayed in the booth at all times. Proper labeling must be used as defined by the proper authority. Documentation of certified scales must be displayed in the booth. Proper labeling pertaining to organically grown produce must be displayed.
All vendors must provide proof of general liability coverage at a minimum amount of $1,000,000.00 and name the market as an additional insured. A current certificate must accompany each vendor application & remain on file with the market.
The Market Manager’s job is to coordinate all of the weekly activities and to implement the market’s policies. The Market Manager also acts as a conduit of information between the vendors, customers and community partners. The Market Manager has complete authority to interpret and implement policies at the market site.
Quality control is one of the most important factors at the market. Routine inspections may be conducted. If your product is found unfit to sell at the Market, the Market Manager may ask you to discontinue sales of this item immediately. Vendors who repeatedly attempt to sell unfit items or produce may be asked to leave the market.
Any Vendor or customer with complaints regarding policy or implementation of policy can request a meeting with the Market Manager and will be contacted in a timely manner to schedule a meeting.
All complaints must be addressed in writing to the Market Manager.
Complaints against another vendor, must be accompanied by a $50 “good faith” check. The Market Manager will then conduct an investigation and/or farm inspection against the accused vendor. If the complaint is found to be valid, the $50 “good faith” check will be returned. If the complaint is found to be unfounded, the check will be forfeited and deposited in the market’s general funds with a letter of explanation sent to the complainant.
All other complaints will be reviewed by the Market Manager in an attempt to resolve the issue. If the manager is unable to resolve the complaint, then a written follow up may be made to the market’s governing body. The governing body will address the complaint at the next regularly scheduled meeting. If the complaint is of an immediate nature, the Market Manager may ask for a special convening of the market’s governing body to address the complaint. The decisions of the governing body are final.
The submission of application for admission to the market serves as the vendor’s agreement to abide by the rules of the market, as established by the market’s governing body and enforced by the Market Manager. Violations of the rules of the market may be grounds for warnings, dismissal from the market, or both.
• The first violation of the rules will result in a verbal warning by the Market Manager. Documentation of the warning will be kept on file by the Market Manager.
• The second violation of the rules will result in a written warning, given by the Market Manager. A copy of the letter will be kept on file by the Market Manager, along with any documentation of the violation. Additionally, the vendor will be barred from selling at the market for one week.
• The third violation of the rules will result in dismissal from the market.
At the discretion of the Market Manager, when a violation occurs that jeopardizes the health of a customer, another vendor, market management, or the overall health of the market, the manager may convene the market’s governing body to request a suspension of the compliance procedure and call for immediate dismissal from the market. The dismissal will require documented proof of an egregious violation. The vendor will be given an opportunity to review the documentation, prepare a defense, and appear before the governing body.
If after receiving a warning or suspension, a vendor is in disagreement with the Market Manager over the infraction, the vendor may make written application to the market governing body to be heard on the issue. Both the vendor and the Market Manager will appear before the governing body and present their sides of the issue. The decision of the governing body is final.