A well run Farmers’ Market can provide a great opportunity for consumers to access fresh, wholesome farm goods and for farmers to make a good profit by eliminating the middle man. Most markets are known for in season fruits, veggies, flowers and plants, as well as homemade baked goods, canned goods and hand crafts. What about meat? Is it legal for farmers to sell meat at the Farmers’ Market? Is it safe to buy? How to sell meat at a Farmers Market?
In this article, we explore the subject of selling meat at the Farmers’ Market. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
- Safety is Key to Successful Farmers’ Market Meat Sales
- Farmers’ Market Rules, Guidelines & Regulations Vary
Safety is Key to Successful Farmers’ Market Meat Sales
It is possible sell meet at the Farmers’ Market, but you must make sure that the market you have in mind will allow it. Check to find out what all of the rules and regulations surrounding meat sales with the market are.
Here are the most pertinent questions to ask:
1. How must meat be transported and stored?
You may be able to simply bring the meat that you produce at home to the market in a chest cooler and offer it for sale; however, there are some markets that require you to use an electrically powered chest freezer.
Additionally, some markets allow you to sell fresh meat while others insist that the meat must be frozen.
2. Must the meat you sell come from your farm?
Some Farmers’ Markets require that items sold be locally produced. Others will allow vendors to purchase produce and other items wholesale and resell them.
In most markets, if you are going to sell poultry and rabbit meat, you must have raised the animals yourself and you must have the meat processed by a certified facility.
3. What kind of certification is required?
Sale of Meat products may require federal inspection and stamping before sale. It’s very important that farmers contact the county board of health to determine exactly what they need in order to sell their goods.
At certified Farmers’ Markets, all meat sold must be processed by a federally inspected facility. It must also be clearly labeled as having been processed at that facility.
4. Will my market fees be higher if I sell meat?
In some markets, there is a certified section that is especially intended for the sale of fresh, homegrown meat that has been properly processed by a certified facility.
At Farmers’ Markets where this is the case, you would sell your meats in the certified section the Farmers’ Market, and your fees may be higher.
5. Must all meat products be certified?
There may also be a community section of the market where meat products that contain other ingredients, such as the spices and other dry ingredients included in sausage may be sold without certification.
This would be sausage that is produced from livestock that has been raised by the seller, but it might include powdered ingredients that are commercially prepared. This type of meat product is called a “value-added” meat product and must be produced in an acceptable facility.
6. Can I offer samples of my meat products at the Farmers’ Market?
If you offer samples, you may be required to obtain a temporary food facility permit.
Farmers’ Market Rules, Guidelines & Regulations Vary
Most of the information contained here is gleaned from guidelines presented by Sonoma County, California. Requirements vary from state to state and county to county. Be sure to check with your local authorities for the most up to date information pertinent to your location.