Members: Rules & Bylaws
BELLOWS FALLS FARMERS MARKET ASSOCIATION RULES
The BFFM is a cooperative. The annual membership fee for joining the cooperative is $30.00. Membership is open to all Vendors participating in the Market at least 75% of the Market days. Each membership confers one vote at meetings and a permanent spot at the Market.
Fees are collected from all Vendors to cover insurance, advertising, and general market costs. Vendor members of the BFFM Coop have a choice of paying a flat rate of $250 for the entire season, or 7% of gross sales each Market. Agricultural Vendors are invited to rent two side-by-side spaces at the Farmers' Market. In order to use this option, Vendors must pay two $250 flat-rate fees ($500 in total). Vendors who will not be present at a minimum of 75% of the Markets can sell at the Market as Day Vendors. Day Vendors pay a $15.00 space fee plus 7% of gross sales each day. Day Vendor spaces are assigned on an as-available basis.
All Vendors, seasonal and day, must fill out an application to sell at the Market. Prospective seasonal Vendors who apply to the Market will be accepted as space provides. All applications must contain a complete list of products to be sold at the Market. Any changes to that list must be approved by the Board.
All spaces will be 12'x 10'. The Board will make decisions about space assignments. Day Vendors will be assigned a spot on the day of the Market on a first-come, first-served basis. Any Vendor with a physical condition that requires alternate arrangements should discuss this with the Market Manager or a Board Member in advance.
Sharing a booth will be allowed under the following conditions: 1) Each Vendor must pay the $30.00 membership fee. 2) Each Vendor must pay commissions separately.
Set Up and Market Presence
The Market will run from June to mid-September, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. All Vendors are required to be present for the entirety of these hours, unless previously granted permission from the Board. No sales may occur before 4:00 PM.
Vendors are asked to be present and completely set up 15 minutes prior to Market (3:45). Unused spots will be assigned to Day Vendors at 3:30 PM.
Appropriate parking areas for Vendors will be noted the first Market day, please see Market Manager for questions about parking.
Because empty spaces are 1) very unsightly at the Market, and 2) could be rented to Day Vendors, seasonal Vendors are asked to notify the Market Manager within 24 hours of Market if they will be absent from Market. Failure to notify the Manager will result in a $15 fee, the amount the Market could have made if the space had been rented to a Day Vendor.
Vendor Criteria and Regulations
The Market is a producers-only Market, meaning that all products sold must be grown, produced or made by the Vendor. A jury will determine the qualification of any value-added products to be sold at Market, according to its criteria.
Preference will be given to Vendors from Windham, Windsor, Cheshire and Sullivan counties. All Vendors must be from within a 50 mile radius of Bellows Falls.
To prevent product saturation, the Board shall limit future Vendors of a particular product if they deem the supply of that product to be more than adequate. Day Vendors will be allowed based on the need for a particular product at the Market.
Upon request of the Board, a visit to the Vendor's production site must be permitted. Refusal is grounds for dismissal from the Market.
Any vendor selling products by weight must use scales capable of being inspected and certified by the State of Vermont.
The Vendor will be responsible for adherence to any state or federal regulations regarding handling, licensing, permitting and inspection of prepared foods, meat and dairy items.
Vendors are responsible for reporting gross sale figures to the Market Manager at the close of each Market. Collection of any Vermont state sales tax is the responsibility of the Vendor.
The following items may be sold:
Fresh and canned produce, flowers, seeds and seedlings, honey, maple syrup, natural fibers, skins, eggs, meat, cheese, and other farm products. Canned produce must contain homegrown or local produce where possible (for example, ginger included in jam doesn't need to be local, but cucumbers, garlic and dill in dill pickles do need to be local).
Homemade baked goods and prepared foods that collectively contain at least three local ingredients. Each drink sold must contain at least one local ingredient, and be prepared by the Vendor.
All items (with the exception of non-local ingredients in prepared and baked foods) must originate in Vermont or New Hampshire and be produced by the Vendor. No product may be bought for resale at the market, except at the discretion of the Board.
Any Vendor selling prepared foods must use at least one local ingredient in each menu item on a given day. Local ingredients are grown or produced in Vermont or New Hampshire. These ingredients, and the name of the farm on which they were grown, must be visibly displayed to customers at the Market. Exceptions need to be requested at least one week in advance of sales from the Market Manager.
Value-added products must be either made by the Vendor, or made by another party using materials grown by the Vendor, if the Vendor is legally or financially prohibited from making the product themselves. All questions will be settled by the BFFM Board of Directors, and their decision is final.
The total number of craft Vendors will not exceed 20% of total Market Vendors to ensure a reasonable percentage of crafts versus agricultural products. The exception to this rule will be on the third Friday of each month, when BF3F is taking place downtown (there will be no limit to Day Vendors on Third Fridays).
In return for adhering to the requirements of the Farmers Market, we will strive to provide the Vendor with the best possible Market experience. We offer a location with restrooms, electricity, emergency phone use and parking. We try to pack the Market full of programs to draw more people to the Market. We work to create a widely advertised and promoted Farmers Market that will consider your needs as much as reasonably possible.
The following is a list of State Agencies responsible for promoting food safety, consumer protection and vendor success at farmers’ markets
Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
116 State Street Montpelier, VT 05620-2901 Website: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/
Any vendor interested in selling dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, goat's milk cheese, etc.) must meet labeling and requirements and be licensed through the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets. Contact the Dairy Division at (802) 828-2433.
Licenses and other dairy requirements:
· Milk handler’s license: for anyone selling dairy products they produce (except raw milk see below).
· Retail milk license: to sell prepackaged fluid product and product must be kept below
· Frozen dessert license or milk handler license: for ice cream and other frozen dairy products they produce. No license for selling frozen desserts made by other licensed dealers such as pre-packaged novelties or scooping hard ice cream. If scooping ice cream into cones or cups they need a method to keep the scoop and their hand clean.
· Raw Milk – raw milk can now be delivered at a farmers market if the following steps are met:
o Farm must be registered with the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets as a Tier II raw milk producer and display the registration.
o Milk must be presold – the farmer should be able to show you a list of who they have milk for that day.
o Milk be under constant refrigeration and out of daylight – can be cooler with ice or other means to keep the milk out of the sun and 40 ⁰ F or less.
o Customers must have been to the farm at least once for a tour.
Meat and Poultry Products
Any vendor interested in selling meat products must be licensed through the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (exceptions are game birds, rabbits, and venison). Contact the Meat Inspection Section at (802) 828-2426.
· Farmer’s Market retail license: for Red meat and inspected poultry.
· For uninspected poultry: no license needed
General product requirements
· An acceptable and sanitary means of storage is required to hold the meat and/or poultry products to 40° F or less for refrigerated products and 15°F or less for frozen products.
Meat product requirements:
· Any red meat sold at Farmer’s Markets is required to be inspected- there is no exemption for red meat.
· Meat products should have a mark of inspection on the product, either a VT inspection legend or a USDA federal inspection legend.
· Meat products that have been processed at a custom processor and marked “NOT FOR SALE” cannot be sold.
Poultry product requirements:
· Poultry product requirements: Inspected poultry should have a mark of inspection on the product, either a VT inspection legend or a USDA federal inspection legend.
· Uninspected poultry can only be sold as a packaged whole bird (cannot be cut up or further processed).
· The required labelling for uninspected poultry is found in 6 VSA §3312 (b), and it is up to the producer to properly label the poultry. Specifically, this includes name(s), address, Exempt Statement, and Safe Handling Instructions.
Any vendor selling eggs at a farmers' market must comply with labeling regulations and grading requirements. Contact the Consumer Protection Section at (802) 828-2436.
Any vendor selling products across a scale must have a scale that is legal for trade and certified by the Agency of Agriculture. Contact the Consumer Protection Division at (802) 828-2436. NOTE: Beginning in 2016, the exemption from a license fee for small scales will end. All small scales will require a license from the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.
Any vendor selling a packaged product (including preserves, pickles, baked goods, etc.) must comply with the Vermont State Packaging and Labeling Law. Contact the Consumer Protection Section at (802) 828-2436.
Each container must have a grade label and a name and address (town designation is acceptable in lieu of full address). One of the following grades must be present on each container: Golden Color/Delicate Taste; Amber Color/Rich Taste; Dark Color/Robust Taste; Very Dark Color/Strong Taste; Processing Grade. Contact the Consumer Protection Section at (802) 828-2436.
Apples should be in good condition – no bruises, decay, or have stem punctures. Contact the Consumer Protection Section at (802) 828-2436.
Potatoes should be in good condition with no large green areas. Contact the Consumer Protection Section at (802) 828-2436.
Strawberries should be in good condition with no mold. Contact the Consumer Protection Section at (802) 828-2436.
Department of Health
P.O. Box 70, 108 Cherry St., Burlington, VT 05402
Vendors at a farmers market who are baking for the purpose of selling product may need to be licensed through the Department of Health. Contact the Food and Lodging Program at 1-800-439-8550.
· Home Baking License: covers those who wish to prepare baked goods (those whose primary ingredient is flour) such as breads, cakes, cookies, pies, etc. This license has the same requirements as the Home Catering License. An exemption does exist for individuals selling at farmers markets with gross sales less than $125 a week averaged over the entire year. Contact the Department to see if your operation qualifies for this exemption.
Any vendor at a farmers’ market who is cooking, preparing or altering food onsite for sale must obtain a fair stand license or commercial caterer's license. Contact the Food and Lodging Program at 1-800-439-8550.
· Fair Stand License: covers those who wish to do the food preparation at the Farmers' Market. This license requires hand-washing facilities with hot and cold running water at a sink; enclosed holding tank to collect the grey water from the sink; adequate refrigeration and hot-holding units; flooring; and proper garbage disposal.
· Home Catering License: covers those who wish to prepare food at home and bring it to the Farmers' Market, packaged and ready for sale. If necessary, adequate refrigeration and/or hot-holding units must be provided. This license requires an inspection of your home kitchen, including a survey of your private water supply with water sampling. If you are on a public water system, this would not be necessary.
Any vendor who prepares food off-site and brings it to the market wrapped to be sold and not reheated or altered on-site requires a Home Caterer, Commercial Baker, or Home Baker license (again, a licensing exemption exists for home bakers with gross receipts <$125 per week).
Licensed Food Processors can also sell jarred or packaged product at the market. Processors with gross receipts <$10,000 per year do not require a license.
Vendors Selling To Restaurants
A vendor selling any product to restaurants must be licensed by the Dept. of Health. Contact the Food and Lodging Program at 1-800-439-8550.
For more information:
· Health Regulations for Food Service Establishments, where the "Classification of Food Establishment Licenses" are defined on p. 2 of the document: http://www.healthvermont.gov/regs/03food_estab.pdf
· Food & Lodging Regulations: http://www.healthvermont.gov/enviro/food_lodge/food_reg_guide.aspx
Secretary of State’s Office
Redstone Building, 26 Terrace Street, Drawer 09, Montpelier, Vermont 05609-1101 Website: www.sec.state.vt.us
Any vendor interested in registering their company tradename should contact the Secretary of State at (802) 828-2366.
Department of Taxes
109 State St., Montpelier, VT 05609-1401 Website: www.state.vt.us/tax
Business Tax Number
Any vendor selling non-food items (exceptions are vegetable plants, herbs, edible flowers, etc.) must obtain a Vermont business tax number. Contact the Vermont Department of Taxes at (802) 828-2551.
Rooms and Meals Tax
Any vendor selling a prepared food should contact the Vermont Department of Taxes at (802) 828-2551 for more information.
Depending on the
goods they offer, vendors may be subject to either Rooms and Meals Tax or Sales
and Use Tax. Also, some towns have local option taxes. Farmers markets are not
responsible for making sure their vendors collect and pay the appropriate
taxes. It is the job of the individual vendor to meet these requirements of the
state. Some business tax information for Vermont is presented here. For more
information, contact the Vermont Department of Taxes at (802)
828-2551 and request the Guide to Vermont Business Taxes.
This is a tax on the receipts from the sale of taxable meals and non-alcoholic beverages. Vendors selling prepared foods and individual portions of baked goods or beverages at your market must collect this tax. The current tax is 9%. A tax chart can be found in Appendix IX or on-line from the Vt. Department of Taxes. www.state.vt.us/tax
This tax is on retail sales in Vermont. At a farmers' market, this would apply to vendors selling crafts. The tax rate is currently 6%, and a tax chart can be found in Appendix IX or on-line at the Vt. Department of Taxes, www.state.vt.us/tax.
Local Option Taxes
Currently Manchester, Rutland, Williston and Stratton have a 1% local tax that is charged in addition to the state sales tax. Other towns may adopt such a tax in the future. Check with the Vt. Department of Taxes about filing these taxes. Tax charts including these local option taxes are also available at www.state.vt.us/tax.
Federal Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN/EIN)
If your farmers' market does not have a TIN/EIN, you should apply for one in the name of the farmer's market. Use Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, to apply for an ITIN, or Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, to apply for an EIN. You can apply for an EIN online by accessing the IRS website at www.irs.gov/businesses and clicking on Employer Identification Number (EIN) under Starting a Business. You can get Forms W-7 and SS-4 from the IRS by visiting www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676)
BELLOWS FALLS FARMERS MARKET COOPERATIVE BY-LAWS
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative and it shall be a non-profit cooperation, organized and existing under the laws of the State of Vermont as a marketing cooperative.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
- To educate the community about local agriculture, and the advantages of buying locally.
- To provide farmers a venue where they can sell directly to the consumer and get a better price for their products.
- To provide consumers a venue where they can buy directly from the farmer and know where their money is going and where their food is coming from.
- To gather the community in one place on a regular basis in order to share good food, music, laughter and friends.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative shall be a community organization with a membership consisting of Vendors who have paid their annual membership dues in full, and other interested residents of the 4-county region (Windham, Windsor [VT], Sullivan, Cheshire [NH], and shall be governed by a Board of Directors. Non-Vendors who pay the membership fee may also vote at the Annual Meeting. Board and Committee members fulfill the membership requirement in their work on behalf of the Market Cooperative. The fees for membership shall be established, from time to time, by the Board of Directors [and may include Time Trade, up to 1/2 of the membership fee, or by serving on Market Committees, helping at the Market, and/or benefiting the Market in other ways, at the discretion of the Board]. Members of the Board will be elected at the Annual Membership Meeting.
ARTICLE IV: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Responsibilities and Duties:
Performance of any and all duties imposed by the law, the Articles of Association , or these By-laws.
Appointing and removing, prescribing the duties and fixing the compensation for employees, contractors and agents of the Cooperative.
Setting financial policy, raising funds, approving budgets and overseeing the financial management of the Cooperative.
Setting the policies and overseeing the programs and activities of the Cooperative.
Qualification: Directors must be members of the Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative in good standing.
Number: The Board of Directors shall consist of five to twelve members and shall be so arranged that in a given year the terms of no fewer than two Directors shall expire.
Term: The term of office of the initial Board of Directors shall be two years for three members and one year for two members, or until their successors are duly elected. Thereafter, Directors shall be elected for two-year terms. A Director shall not serve for more than two consecutive terms and may be eligible to serve thereafter following the lapse of one-year from the conclusion of the last service, at the Board's discretion.
Election: Directors shall be elected at the Annual Membership Meeting by a majority of members present and in good standing, providing there is a quorum.
Resignation: A Director may submit his/her resignation in writing to the Board at any time during his/her term.
Removal: A Director may be removed from the Board at any time by a two-thirds vote of the Directors at a duly constituted meeting.
Vacancies: Should a vacancy arise, the Board may fill the slot for the remainder of the term by a majority vote of the Directors at a duly constituted meeting.
ARTICLE V: OFFICERS
Election: The Officers of Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative shall be elected annually by the Board of Directors from their number. The Officers shall be: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Term: The term of office for the Officers shall be two years, or until their successors are duly elected.
Duties of the Chair: The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Board and generally perform all acts incident of the office of Chair, and shall have such additional powers and duties as may from time to time be assigned to her/him by the Board. The Chair shall also chair the Executive Committee and the Annual Membership Meeting and be an ex-officio voting member of each Board Committee.
Duties of the Vice Chair: In the absence of the Chair, or in the event of her or his inability to act, the Vice Chair shall have all the powers of the Chair and shall perform all duties of the Chair. The Vice Chair shall have such additional powers and duties as may from time to time be assigned to him/her by the Board.
Duties of the Secretary: The Secretary shall be the custodian of the records of the Corporation, and shall keep minutes of all full Board meetings, Executive Committee Meetings, and the Annual Membership Meeting, and see that they are distributed promptly after the meetings.
Duties of the Treasurer: the Treasurer shall be responsible for the funds of the Corporation and shall keep accurate and adequate records of the assets, liabilities and transactions of the Corporation. He/She will approve a written financial report for each Board Meeting and an annual financial report for the Annual Membership Meeting. The Treasurer will work with the Finance Committee on an annual budget and other budgets as may be required.
ARTICLE VI: STAFF
The Board of Directors, at its discretion, may engage a paid support staff, including members of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEES
Each Director is expected to serve actively on at least one standing committee of the Board and attend meetings of that committee. The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all the committees.
Executive Committee: The Executive Committee shall include the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the Board. The Executive Committee shall, during intervals between the meetings of the Board, exercise all the powers of the Board in the management of the business and affairs of the Corporation. The minutes of the Committee shall be distributed to the Board, and all actions of the Committee shall be reported to the Board at its next meeting.
Other Committees: There may be other committees as may from time to time be appointed by vote of the Board of Directors. Membership on these committees shall be open to all, members and non-members, and they shall act in an advisory capacity to the Board.
ARTICLE VIII: MEETINGS
Annual Membership Meeting: The Annual Membership Meeting of the Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative shall be held during the month of April, or on such other date as may be fixed by the Board of Directors. The purpose of this meeting is to elect Directors, present the Annual Report, the Annual Financial Report, and conduct any other business that should properly be brought before the meeting. The quorum for the Annual Membership Meeting shall be 35% of the members in good standing. Each member shall have one vote, which shall be cast in person or by alternate, but not by proxy or otherwise. Written notice of time and place, and business to be brought before the meeting shall be sent to the members not less than seven calendar days prior to the meeting.
Board of Directors Meetings: Board meetings shall be held monthly, with the April meeting held concurrently with the Annual Membership Meeting. A majority of the Directors presently in office shall constitute a quorum. Written notice of time and place and business to be brought before each meeting shall be sent to the Directors not less than seven calendar days prior to the meeting. In lieu of notice, the Board may establish a regular schedule of monthly meetings at any regular or special meeting.
The Directors shall elect Officers at the April meeting.
Quarterly Meetings: Special Meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the Chair, or in his/her absence, the Vice Chair, the Secretary, or any two Directors. Written notice of the time, place, and purpose of the meeting shall be sent to the Directors not less than five calendar days prior to the meeting.
Special Meetings: Special Meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the Chair, or in his/her absence, the Vice Chair, the Secretary, or any two Directors. Written notice of the time, place, and purpose of the meeting shall be sent to the Directors not less than five calendar days prior to the meeting.
Special meetings of the membership may be called by the Chair, or in his/her absence, the Vice Chair, the Secretary, any two Directors, or 25% of the membership not less than five calendar days prior to the meeting.
ARTICLE IX: RULE BOOK
The Board of Directors shall publish a rule book, which states in detail the criteria for admission to the market, for members. Rules may be made and changed at any regular or special meeting of the Board by a majority vote of a quorum.
ARTICLE X: FISCAL YEAR
The Fiscal Year of the Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative shall be from January 1 through December 31.
ARTICLE XI: DISCRIMINATION
Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative admits members of any race, national and ethnic origin, religion (creed), age, color, sex, disability or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities sponsored by Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative.
Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative does not discriminate on the basis of race, national and ethnic origin, religion (creed), age, color, sex, disability or sexual orientation in administration of its policies, programs or activities.
In addition, Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperatives ensures equal employment opportunities, as well as equal opportunities to its Members, Officers, Board of Directors, and committee membership to people regardless of race, national and ethnic origin, religion (creed), age, color, sex, disability or sexual orientation.
ARTICLE XII: INDEMNIFICATION BY CORPORATION OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
The Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative shall indemnify and reimburse each former, current, and future Board member and officer for any claim or liability (including expenses and attorney fees actually and reasonably incurred) to which such person may become subject by reason of her or his acts (of commission or omission) as a Board Member or officer. Such indemnification shall be made only if it is determined by the Board of Directors that the Board member or officer acted in good faith and reasonable belief that her or his action was in the best interests of the Bellows Falls Farmers' Market Cooperative. The foregoing shall not be exclusive of any rights to which the Board members or officers may be lawfully entitled.
ARTICLE XIII: BY-LAWS
To adopt and/or amend these By-laws will require a 2/3 vote of all members. Amendments may be made at any regular or special membership meeting providing that all members have been notified in writing at least 14 calendar days in advance, and a copy of the proposed changes included in such notification.
Created on 10/24/09