Downtown Farmers Market Rules

Click here to download the rules as a PDF.

Governance and Responsibilities

The Downtown Farmers Market (DFM) is a program of the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation (DWWF). The Market was founded by the DWWF in 1997 in conjunction with a Local Improvement District tax on downtown property that paid for construction of the Market structure. The Market is operated as a part of the DWWF’s comprehensive program of economic, cultural and historic development of the Downtown area.

The DWWF is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors (the Board). The Board of the DWWF bears ultimate responsibility for all programs of the DWWF, including the DFM.

The DWWF operates the DFM on property owned by the City of Walla Walla (the City) and under an operating agreement with the City. The City has interests that City property and Market related property improvements are used to the benefit of the downtown and the whole community.

The Executive Director (the ED) of the DWWF reports to the Board and supervises all DWWF staff activity related to the DFM.

The Market Manager (the Manager) is an employee of the DWWF, reports to the ED and is the primary DWWF staff person to support the program of the DFM. The Manager has additional responsibilities in support of and coordination with other programs of the DWWF.

Other DWWF staff provides DFM program support (e.g. promotions and administration). DWWF staff may fill the role of Manager from time to time as needed.

The Farmers Market Committee (FMC) is a standing committee of the DWWF and is appointed by the Board. FMC members represent the many constituents of a successful market including vendors, customers, musicians, shoppers, downtown businesses, the City, the Board and the community. The FMC establishes and administers the Rules of the DFM. The FMC is responsible for operational policies and methods of the DFM. The Board reserves the right to review all FMC rules and policies for compatibility with the overall program of the DWWF.

Vendors may pay annual fees to become Members of the DFM and enjoy certain privileges as determined by the Rules of the DFM. The DWWF bylaws may establish special membership status in the DWWF for members of the DFM.

Market Rules

The Market Rules may be modified at any time as determined by the FMC.

Basic Requirements to Sell at the Market

  1. In all cases, the vendor must be an active owner/operator of the business and may not be operating under a franchise agreement. In the case of Farm Fresh Products or Value Added Farm Foods, they must be the owner/operator of the farming operation.
  2. All crafts sold will be handmade by the vendor. All processed or prepared foods sold will be made by the vendor.
  3. The principal/majority owner of the business must be present at the market at least two (2) Markets per month. Principal farmer/producer and majority owner may send family members, partners, or employees to the Market in their place, but are responsible for having their on-site representatives aware of all Market rules and violation policies. All employees, partners, and family members may be asked to sign an agreement that states they understand and will comply with Market policies and guidelines.
  4. The vendor’s application for a permit to sell shall state what is grown/processed or prepared by vendor, and what the vendor will sell at the Farmers Market. If the vendor wants to add new product to the market mid season, this addition must be approved by the market manager.
  5. All Value Added Farm Products, Processed Foods and Prepared Foods must have the proper permits and licenses required by the City of Walla Walla, Walla Walla County Health Dept. and/or the Washington State Dept. of Agriculture. (The Washington Department of Agriculture publishes the “Small Farm and Direct Marketing Handbook”, which has a good overview of different types of farm products and the permits/licenses they require. It is available for free as a PDF download).
  6. All prepared foods and baked goods vendors must have a current Walla Walla County Health Department Food Handler’s Permit. Special Health Department guidelines and regulations must be followed by vendors for food demonstration and sampling. Please consult with the Health Department regarding these regulations. Vendors shall provide the market manager with copies of any permits and licenses applicable to the sale of their products at the beginning of the market season.
  7. All Value Added Farm Products and Processed Foods must meet Washington State and Federal labeling requirements.
  8. The DFM is a not a wholesale market or an outlet for excess produce from large producers. The market was established to provide a space for local family farms to sell their produce, processed foods, prepared foods and crafts to the community at or near retail pricing. Seconds or “culls” are not allowed.
  9. Vendors may be required to obtain business liability insurance, with the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation listed as additionally insured on the policy for $1,000,000. Vendors may contact Campbell Risk Management at 800-730-7475 for a Washington State Farmers Market Association recommended policy ($275-$425 per year), or your own insurance carrier for a quote. Vendors agree to hold the DWWF, its staff, or volunteers harmless for any damage or loss incurred by or to them (vendors) at the market.
  10. The DFM reserves the right to prohibit anyone from selling or any product from being sold.

Products Saleable at the Market

A. Fresh farm products

  1. Includes fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, nuts, honey, dairy products, eggs, poultry, mushrooms, meats and fish. Also included in this category are fresh flowers, nursery stock, and plants. The DFM will allow the sale of Controlled Atmosphere (CA) or cold stored fruit and vegetables. The grower is responsible for full disclosure to the consumer using proper signage indicating that their product is not from that growing season.
  2. All fresh farm products must be grown or produced in Washington State or counties which border the state. All products must be grown or produced by the seller. Only vendors selling as farmers may sell Fresh Farm Products from this category.
  3. The vendor must propagate all plants and flowers from seed, cuttings or plugs, bulbs or plant division. All finished products offered for sale must have been grown by the vendor. Products started by another party must have been under the vendor’s control for a minimum of sixty (60) days.
  4. The DFM allows U-Pick on items that are not readily available at the market, thus providing the widest selections and longest in-season period possible for market patrons. However, U-Pick must be pre-approved and can change on a weekly basis depending on product availability.
  5. Any producer who sells produce that is not his or her own production, while claiming that it is, will be subject to discipline up to and including expulsion from the Market.

 

B. Value Added Farm Foods

  1. Fresh foods that have been personally prepared or processed to add value, where the majority of ingredients are grown and produced by the seller. Includes foods such as preserves, jams and jellies, cider, syrups, salsas, smoked meats or fish, dried fruit, herbs, teas, flours, baked goods and salad dressings. Vendors in this category must have personally cooked, canned, baked, preserved, or otherwise treated the product they sell.
  2. Value Added Farm Foods must be produced by the vendor from raw ingredients. No commercially prepared dough mixes, crusts, shells, or fillings are allowed.
  3. When selecting between a Value Added Farm Food (foods grown and then processed by the grower) or Processed Food (foods processed but not grown by the processor) vendors, priority will be given to Value Added vendors.

 

C. Processed Foods

  1. Fresh foods that have been personally prepared or processed to add value, but where the processor did not raise the ingredients themselves. Includes foods such as preserves, jams and jellies, cider, syrups, salsas, smoked meats or fish*, dried fruit, herbs, teas, flours, baked goods and salad dressings. (*In the case of Seafood vendors, product must originate from the greater Pacific Northwest, which includes Washington, Oregon, Alaska and British Columbia.)
  2. Processed foods must be produced by the vendor from raw ingredients. No commercially prepared dough mixes, crusts, shells, or fillings are allowed. It is expected that the vendor will use raw ingredients that are grown in Washington or boarding counties, as appropriate for the product, and when possible, use products from the farmers market.

 

D. Hand Crafted Products

  1. Crafters are persons or entities who craft with their own hands the products they offer for sale. To qualify as a crafter, a majority of the tools and equipment used by the crafter to produce their products must require skills, personal handling and/or guidance by the crafter.
  2. Crafters should incorporate materials produced in Washington as much as possible. Crafters must create their craft products in Washington, or in counties which border the State of Washington.
  3. All new crafts will be subjected to a jury process, and crafters will be requested to submit a sample of their work for review. Review criteria considered are: craftsmanship, quality, percentage of raw materials used, percentage of product that is hand crafted versus non-handcrafted and originality.

 

E. Prepared Foods

  1. Allowed are freshly made foods available for sale and immediate consumption on-site.
  2. When selecting prepared food vendors, priority will be given to vendors preparing food from raw ingredients and using ingredients grown and/or produced in Washington State and by participating market farmers.

 

F. Miscellaneous

  1. Any vendor who does not fit into any of the above categories or standards. Examples would be non-profit and informational booths. Allowance for these booths will rest at the discretion of the Market Manager.

The Role of the Market Manager

  1. The manager is responsible for maintaining the Market as a safe, professional and cordial place for vendors and customers.
  2. The Manager implements Market Rules and policies including overseeing Market set-up, booth assignments, collection of fees, providing information on membership and Market policies, and assuring vendor compliance with all Market policies. The Manager will make booth assignment decisions based on available space in the Market and the need for specific products.
  3. The Manager is responsible for handling public concerns and vendor complaints.
  4. The Manager communicates regularly with the FMC and recommends changes to rules, policies and procedures as needed.
  5. The Manager has complete authority to interpret and implement policy on the Market site, including the authority to rescind booth/stall space for just cause. The Manager has the authority to suspend temporarily, any Market rule for the best advantage of the whole Market.

Annual Stall/Membership Fees

Vendors may pay a yearly membership fee of $40 when they submit their application. Members receive a reduced daily stall fee. Reserved space vendors pay $100 yearly fee. This fee and the completed application must be submitted to the DTFM office March 15th of the Market year. Applications received after this date will be considered on a first come basis and needs of the market.

Junior Vendors

In an effort to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs/farmers, we encourage young people to participate in the market as vendors. Parental/guardian approval will be required for junior vendors. Membership is $20 with $5 daily booth fee. Insurance is available for vendors that commit to a minimum of 13 market days.

Non Members

Short term, intermittent or new vendors may participate in the Market without being Members. Non-profit/informational booths may participate in the market without becoming members, if space is available. Please contact the Manager for information/availability and fees.

Daily Booth/Stall Fees/Sales Reporting

  1. Member daily fee for each booth/stall is $30.00 for Saturday, $20.00 for Thursday. Non-member daily fee is $40 for Saturday, $30 for Thursday. Pavilion space is $45 per day for members/ $60 per day non-members. Junior vendors are $5.00 per day.
  2. Each vendor is responsible for paying the booth/stall fee to the market manager at the end of the market day. A form will be provided for this purpose. No vendor is allowed to set up on any subsequent market day without having paid the previous market day’s fee.
  3. Depending on location, market booth/stalls average 10 by 10 ft. These booth/ stalls are intended to accommodate one vendor’s sales area. The vendor sales area (where your product is marketed) may not extend beyond the allotted boundaries of the booth/stall space. Displays and signs must allow clear visibility to adjoining booth/stalls. Display and selling techniques must not impair other vendors’ ability to sell, nor create a hazardous situation for customers.
  4. Some stalls have electricity available. There is an additional fee of $5.00 per market day for use of electricity (typical service is a single outlet, 10amp, 110v). Contact the Manager well in advance if your electrical needs exceed a typical service.
  5. Gross sales data and public reporting combined totals prove the DFM impact in the local food economy. Gross sales measures are critical to DFM allocations of State WIC funds and in grant proposals for Market expansion. You will be asked to report your gross market sales for each market day. This information is kept strictly confidential and is only reported as a combined total.

Additional Information for Reserved Vendors

  1. Reserved Vendors who are unable to attend on a market day must contact the Market Manager 24 hours prior to Market day. Reserved Vendors who do not call at least 24 hours before market day will be charged the minimum booth/stall fee for that Market day. This fee must be paid before selling at the next scheduled market.
  2. Reserve Vendors who arrive after 8:00 AM will forfeit their reserve space and will be considered on a first come basis with the Non-Reserved Vendors. If there are unavoidable extenuating circumstances, i.e. vehicle breakdown, traffic delays, please call the Market Manager promptly.

Non-Reserved and Non-Member Vendors

Non-Reserved and Non-Member Vendors will be admitted to the market on a first come basis and will be assigned a booth/stall as space and need permits.

Market Participation and Booth/Stall Location Assignments

  1. The Manager will give first priority to returning vendors who were in good standing the previous season and participated in the market either for a full season or half season (3 months).
  2. The Manager will reassign booth/stall space to Reserve Vendors in good standing from year to year in their same location.
  3. Permission to sell and booth/stall assignments are made based on the Market’s need to balance available produce with a well-rounded “market basket” for customers. The Market strives to meet the needs of participating farmers/vendors without overloading the Market with redundant products. That said, a diverse product mix brings in more consumers, and there should be no expectation of exclusivity by any one vendor. Competition, based on what the market will bear, is encouraged and expected.
  4.  Non-Reserve and Non-member Vendors are assigned a booth/stall location at the discretion of the Manager. Week to week market assignment of non-reserve and non-members are based on:
    1. Available space in the market
    2. The need for a specific product and the vendor’s ability to produce
    3. Number of booth/stalls required. The more space needed, the more difficult it may be to place a vendor. Smaller vans and pick-ups are easier to accommodate.
    4. Vendor performance at the market including:
      1. Good product quality, display and signage
      2. Ability to follow DFM rules and Manager’s directions at market. (i.e. punctuality, clean up at end of day, prompt notification when canceling, etc.)
      3. Market fees paid in full on time.
    5. Efforts are made to satisfy vendor requests. Non-reserve vendors get priority over non-members. Efforts are made to balance returning longtime vendors without closing the market to new vendors.

Vendor Vehicles and Loading/Unloading

Vendor booth/stalls and/or vehicles must not extend beyond allotted booth space. No vehicle movement is allowed in the market area after 8:00 am. In order to provide adequate parking for customers, vendors must park it at least two blocks away from the market site or at the parking site designated for vendors on Saturdays. Vehicles may reenter the market area at 1:15 for loading. On time arrival and timely set up is critical for the overall function of the market. If for some unexpected reason you are going to be late, please call the Market Manager and let them know so they can accommodate you. Anyone more than 30 minutes late should not expect to set up on that market day. Vendors who are habitually late ultimately risk expulsion from the market. See section below on Monitoring and Enforcement of Market Rules

Selling Time

The market runs from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays and 4:00-7:30 pm on Wednesdays. Vendors are required to stay until closing unless they have received permission from the market manager to leave early. Vendors who sell-out early should post a sign letting customers know they have sold out and should not leave their possessions unattended. Vendors should load up unsold merchandise; clean area/booth/stall used, and vacate the Farmers Market site no later than one (1) hour after the Market is closed. Any exceptions must be cleared with the Market Manager.

Market Tokens/WIC Checks

DFM uses several alternative currency programs at its markets. These programs are essential to create greater access to the market and to increase sales for market vendors. These programs include: WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and Wooden Token for EBT card charge.

See a separate document for detailed information on Market Currency, what vendors are allowed to accept, and how they will be reimbursed for each alternative currency.

Booth/Stall Clean-up

Vendors are required to maintain their individual selling space in a clean, safe, and sanitary manner. Each vendor is responsible for keeping his/her booth space clean during the Market and for complete clean up of their space at the close of the Market. This includes hauling away any trash that is generated in or around the booth and sweeping up any product debris left on the ground. Vendors are not permitted to dispose of produce waste, overripe or leftover produce or boxes in any on-site garbage cans. Vendors should bring their own brooms and dustpans.

Safety

Wind tossed canopies are the number one cause of farmers market accidents. All vendors who wish to erect canopies (including umbrellas) at the Market are required to have their canopies sufficiently and safely anchored to the ground with a minimum of 24 lbs per leg, from the time their canopy is put up to the time it is taken down. Any vendor who fails to properly anchor his or her canopy will not be allowed to sell at the Market on that market day, unless that vendor chooses to take down and stow their canopy and sell without it.

Vehicles, tables, and overhead canopies must be maintained and used in a safe manner. Tables must have smooth edges and remain stable when loaded with produce. Booth display must not obstruct traffic flow and care must be taken when setting up or taking down displays.

Children

Vendors need to keep a watchful eye on their children at all times during the Market day. Set-up time can be an especially dangerous time for unattended children. Small children should not be allowed to wander the grounds without a parent or guardian with them. The Market cannot take responsibility for their safety or whereabouts.

Courtesy/Conduct

Vendors and their representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a safe and courteous manner at the Market. Any language or behavior considered to be harmful to the normal operation of the Market will be grounds for termination of vendor’s permit to sell. Smoking is not allowed in the vendor sales areas.

Business/Location Signage

All vendors must post a sign identifying the name of the farm/business represented and where it is located. Signs should have an area of 3 to 12 square feet and not obstruct vision to neighboring vendors.

Price Signage

Produce and other allowable Market products should be clearly marked with their price. This can be done by individually tagging each item with a sign or by listing all produce and prices on a large sign or marker board.

Scales

Vendors selling produce by weight must provide their own scales. Scales must be “legal for trade” and are subject to inspection by the Dept. of Agriculture - Weights and Measures Program.

Organic Products

If a product is labeled “organic,” it must be certified as required by Federal Law. For those with produce sales under $5,000 seeking exemption from certification, a notarized affidavit attesting to how organic procedures are followed must be filed with the market manager each year. Consumer queries regarding farming practices must be answered factually. Verbal or written declarations of organic status not certified or verified will result in expulsion from the market. When an organic producer is also selling non-organic produce at the same stand, the non-organic produce must be clearly separated from the organic produce and clearly labeled as non-organic or conventionally grown.

Unsprayed, Pesticide-Free or Low-Spray

Written and verbal declarations regarding pesticide use which cannot be certified such as “Unsprayed” “Pesticide free” or “Low Spray” will need a notarized affidavit attesting to how these procedures are followed. This affidavit must be filed with the market manager each year. Consumer queries regarding farming practices must be answered factually.

Farm Visits

The DFM reserves the right to conduct Farm visits as part of the routine application process or in the event of product challenges.

Vendor Music

As part of our partnership with the City of Walla Walla, the DFM hires musicians to play at each market. Vendors may play music quietly in their booth space while setting up, but must turn off all personal music at the start of market, so as not to compete with the local live musician.

Taxes

Retail sales taxes and Business and Occupation taxes are the responsibility of the individual vendor. Vendors who are required by law to have a Washington State Master Business License Number must supply this tax number when application is made to sell at the Market.

Permits and Licenses

All vendors shall provide, at the time of application, copies of any permits and licenses applicable to the sale of their products. These will include the vendor’s Washington State tax number, and where applicable, the Washington State Nursery License, Washington State Dept. of Agriculture Food Processors License, Egg license, Certification for Organically Grown Produce, Grade “A” Dairy Permits, Pesticide Applicator’s License or Department of Fisheries Wholesale License. When applicable, sellers of plants, bulbs or seeds for planting must have a Nursery License, available from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. No vendor is allowed to sell at the market if their permits and licenses are missing or out of date. If permits/licenses expire mid season, the vendor must provide the Manager with the updated permit/license.

Other

  1. The DFM is not responsible for loss of property or damage.
  2. There shall be no discrimination according to race, color, creed, sex, religion, sexual orientation, age, or nationality.
  3. The market is not a forum for political or religious groups.

Vendor Rule Compliance

On-Site Vendor Compliance Checklist

On market day, use this checklist to help remind you of some of the basic market operation rules and policies. All rules previously listed also apply.

  • Vendor sets up where assigned
  • Vendor unloads and removes vehicle before 8:00 am /Saturdays.
  • Vendor parks away from market to allow adequate parking for customers
  • Vendor returns vehicle and loads after 1:15 pm but before 2:00 pm /Saturdays
  • Vendor does not leave booth unattended
  • Vendor maintains booth space in safe, clean and sanitary manner and keeps products and displays within booth confines
  • 24+ lb canopy weights on all legs if canopy used
  • Children are supervised
  • Signage with the name and location of the business is clear and visible
  • All product prices are posted
  • Product claims are truthful/verified
  • Any scales used are “legal for trade”
  • Vendor conducts themselves in a courteous manner, including not smoking

 

Compliance Monitoring

  • The Manager frequently monitors market activity to ensure that vendors are complying with the rules.
  • For “At-market” compliance, the Manager uses a form that mirrors the vendor compliance checklist.
  • The Manager also keeps records of “Non-market” violations (customer complaints, late payment of fees, expired licenses etc.) that will put a vendor out of compliance.

 

Rules Enforcement

  1. All rules of the market are enforced by the Manager or his or her designee, who has ultimate on-site authority. Complaints or problems should be directed to the Manager in a timely manner.
  2. The Manager or designee will regularly evaluate vendors using the on-site vendor compliance checklist. The Manager or his/her designee will indicate any violation(s) on the form with the compliance actions noted, and then both the Manager and the vendor’s on-site sales personnel will sign and date the form. A copy of the form will be mailed to the vendor.
  3. Violations not included in the on-site vendor compliance checklist may lead to other disciplinary action.
  4. Customer complaints will be forwarded to vendors and kept on file. Complaints may result in disciplinary action including removal from the market.
  5. Market management reserves the right to make exceptions to these DFM rules and guidelines for the benefit of the market as a whole.

 

Failure to Comply With Rules

Disciplinary action may take the form of a verbal warning or a written notice of non-compliance that may include a fine. Further non-compliance may lead to probation, suspension or termination.

If a vendor does not abide by the rules of DFM or comply with federal, state, and local regulations applicable to market participation, the Manager or designee may take any action deemed appropriate, including assessing fines or barring the vendor from selling at the market for that day and any future market days.

 

Enforcement Sequence

  1. Verbal warning.
  2. Written warning of non-compliance (may include fines as established by the FMC).
  3. After three written warnings, the FMC will consider and may administer appropriate sanctions including:
    1. Probation (written notice that any further violation will lead to suspension)
    2. Suspension (not allowed to do business at the market for a specified period of time)
    3. Termination (not allowed to do business at the market ever again)
  4. The enforcement sequence may be altered or shortened in the event of actions that place other vendors or shoppers at risk, or represent violations of laws and regulations.

The application of fines, probation and suspension may occur simultaneously while the vendor works to correct a specific or combination of non-compliance actions.

 

Vendor Response to Enforcement

The vendor must correct the verbal warning or notice of non-compliance immediately or by the following week, whichever is most appropriate. If the situation has not been remedied by the following week, the following disciplinary actions may be taken:

  •  Vendor may lose reserved space privilege.
  •  Vendor may be suspended from the market for a week and forfeit their stall fee.
  •  Vendor may be issued a fine.

If a vendor is issued a fine due to non-compliance, the vendor must pay the fine promptly; preferably on the day issued or absolutely 24 hours before setting up on their next market day.

If the vendor feels that a notice of non-compliance is unwarranted, they may file a complaint with the FMC by filling out the Vendor Concern form and mailing it to the DWWF. The vendor is still required to pay fines and come into compliance to the best of their abilities during the appeal process.

 

Protocols for Vendor Grievances and Product Challenges

DFM has created protocols and procedures that allow vendors to report concerns against other vendors whom they think are out of compliance with market rules and policies. Vendors may also file concerns or suggestions regarding the market manager, or make suggestions for improvements that affect the market as a whole.

To file a vendor concern, suggestion or product challenge, use the Vendor Concern Form or Vendor Challenge Form.

 

Grievance procedures

  1. Complaints or problems should first be directed to Manager in a timely manner that is not disruptive to the market.
  2. Vendors who have concerns regarding other vendor compliance, market staff, safety, or policies should complete a Vendor Concern Form. Forms will be available at the DFM Information Booth. The FMC will review each concern form and the concerned vendor will receive a specific written response within two weeks.
  3. A vendor may appeal any decision of the Manager concerning violation of market rules within 30 days. An appeal must be presented in writing to the FMC. A decision by the FMC shall be issued within 30 days of receipt and constitute a final and binding decision.

 

Product Challenge

  1. Product challenges may be made for misrepresentation of product by a vendor. Vendors can submit a written Product Challenge Form when they believe another vendor is misrepresenting his/her product.
  2. A product challenges must be signed by the person bringing the challenge and preferably be supported by physical evidence of the offense. The product challenge must be made on the day of, or within the week, the violation is observed. Challenges alleging wrongdoings on past occasions will not be accepted.
  3. The vendor receiving the product challenge must respond to the challenge in writing. Failure to admit or deny a challenge may result in a determination that the challenge is valid.
  4. The Market Manager and the FMC will conduct a farm site visit in a timely manner to make a determination on the product challenge. If Market Management deems it necessary, a third party farm inspector will be employed.
  5. Product challenge forms are available at the DFM Information Booth. Because of their sensitive nature, they must be returned directly to the Manager or a FMC member.
  6. If the vendor is found in violation, the vendor may by fined, placed on probation, suspended, or evicted from the market at the discretion of the FMC.
109 East Main Street, Suite 302T, Walla Walla, WA 99362   |   509-529-8755

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