Brooding On

Farmer's Market Guidelines

Unfortunately, our small town farmer's market didn't get its start this year.  I am hopeful, though, that next year will be our year.  In the meantime, I have been intrigued by the Arkansas' Farmer's Market information that John has brought home during this whole planning process.

Specifically, I've been interested in how/if I can sell my goat's milk products in the market.  Here are some interesting things I've discovered as I've researched:

1.  Farm fresh eggs may be sold in the farmer's market IF they meet certain guidelines, the most interesting of which are that the producer must own fewer than 200 hens and that the eggs must be constantly refrigerated at a temperature of 45 degrees or below.  "Ice, dry ice, or other non-powered refrigerated containers are not acceptable." 

So, I guess you have to be able to run a power cord to a small dorm-style refrigerator at your market stand?

2.  "People who sell or label a product 'organic' when they know it does not meet USDA standards can be fined up to $11,000 for each violation."  Yikes!  You know that label gets misused a lot, too!

3.  "Potentially Hazardous Commercially Pre-Packaged Food" such as "dairy products, cheeses, juices, non-frozen meats, bakery items containing cream fillings or cream cheese based icings" can only be sold or served from an Arkansas Department of Health permitted and inspected facility.  "This is to ensure that the proper refrigeration and monitoring is present to maintain food safety."

So, I could possibly sell my cheeses, but I'd have to have my kitchen inspected by the ADH first.  That sounds intimidating!

4.  "The sale of raw goat's milk for human consumption is not allowed at a farmer's market.  An Arkansas farmer can sell up to 100 gallons of goat's milk each year directly from their farm only."

I find this a bit incomplete.  What if the milk is not raw,  but pasteurized?  Can it then be sold at market?  Or can goat milk only be sold directly from the farm, whether raw or pasteurized?

5.  There is absolutely no mention of soaps and lotions in the Vendor Guide.  I assume that they are fair game for the market. 

Anyway, the guide has lots of additional information on other items that can/cannot be sold at market here in Arkansas, but these were the highlights for me.  If you're wondering about the guidelines for any other market product, leave a comment, and I'll do my best to answer your questions based on my reading.  :)