Farmers Markets (Direct Marketing)
Farmers markets and fruit stands, also referred to as Direct Marketing, is a pathway for local producers of agricultural commodities to sell their produce directly to the public. This is a great way for growers to showcase the wonderful produce that is grown right here in Fresno County and neighboring counties. Consumers enjoy reasonable pricing and access to specialty produce while producers get to set their own prices and avoid the middleman. Check out our list of Fresno County Certified and Non-Certified Farmers markets, fruit stands, and swap meets where you can buy fresh produce, often directly from the hard-working people that grew it.
What is the difference between a Certified and a Non-Certified Farmer’s Market?
In order to sell in a Certified Farmers Market (CFM), producers must have a Certified Producer’s Certificate (CPC). The CPC, issued by a California Agricultural Commissioner (CAC, which is this agency) must be displayed in each vendor’s stall and is the buyer’s guarantee that the produce was grown by the vendor. Farmers markets are an essential part of small farmers’ livelihoods, as they may not have enough volume to sell through other commercial outlets. In contrast, in non-certified markets, vendors are not always the actual farmers and may resell produce from commercial distributors or lower-grade produce purchased from packing houses.
Interested in selling at a Certified Farmers Market?
If you are a Fresno County grower and interested in getting a Certified Producers Certificate (CPC) in order to sell at a Certified Farmers Market, you will need to make an appointment to register to become certified prior to the first sale of your product at any market. Appointments can be made by calling 559-600-7510.
To ensure a smooth registration process, please bring the following information with you to your scheduled appointment:
- A map showing where your field(s) are located; one map per location.
- A list of commodities grown, their harvest season, and the approximate size of the growing grounds for each commodity (e.g. 1 1/3 acres or 2 rows x 100 ft. long).
- The estimated production for each commodity in boxes or pounds.
- Leases for land you farm but do not own. Leases must be current, signed by lessor and lessee, and both signatures notarized.
- For leased permanent crops (e.g. oranges), the lease must be entered into prior to bloom.
- For annual or bi-annual crops (e.g. lettuce, beets), the lease must be dated prior to planting.
- The lease must also state the size and location of the property, the duration of the lease, the terms of the lease, and the dollar amount. The lessee must also assume all financial risks associated with farming the leased property, perform those activities required for agricultural production of the leased property, and be in true control of the land (e.g. list the property on a pesticide permit).
- A list of all counties where you wish to sell your produce.
CPC fees in Fresno County: Time ($87.27/hour; charged for both CPC processing time and growing grounds verification) and mileage (at the current IRS standard rate).
What are the rules when I’m selling at a Certified Farmers Market?
Remember, these are the current California laws and regulations, but farmers market owners/managers may make extra or more stringent rules on top of these. Make sure you know and follow all the laws, regulations, and rules of the farmers markets you sell at.
Interested in selling at a non-certified farmers market, farm stand, or swap meet?
While some farmers market managers/owners may require their vendors to have a CPC in order to sell at a non-certified farmers market or swap meet, it is not required by California Law. You do not have to have a CPC if you intend to sell produce you grew yourself at a non-certified farmers market, but you will need to provide proof that you grew it yourself. This can be a photo of you in your growing grounds accompanied by a utility bill with your name and the growing ground’s address.
If you intend to purchase wholesale produce or cull fruit for resale at a non-certified farmers market or swap meet, you must get a Produce Broker’s License from CDFA - Market Enforcement Branch:
What are the rules when I’m selling at a non-certified farmers market?
If you have a CPC but have a family member or employee sell your produce on your behalf, or if you are reselling greater than 25 pounds of produce that you did not grow yourself at a non-certified farmers market or swap meet, the following rules apply:
Remember, these are the current laws and regulations, but farmers market owners/managers may make extra or more stringent rules on top of these. Make sure you know and follow all the laws, regulations, and rules of the farmers markets you sell at.
Where do I find information about becoming a Cottage Food Operation (CFO)?
Please review the California Homemade Food Act and contact the Fresno County Department of Public Health – Environmental Health Division for more information on becoming a CFO in order to sell foods prepared in private home kitchens at markets and other direct marketing outlets:
Fresno County Department of Public Health - Environmental Health Division
1221 Fulton Street, 3rd Floor
Fresno CA 93775
559-600-7629 - Fax
PO Box 11867
Fresno CA 93775-1867
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
(Closed 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)