Selling produce at farmers' markets

Page last updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2017 - 1:50pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Market guidelines

Farmers’ markets, although operating under the umbrella of the Australian Farmers’ Markets Association (AFMA), may have differing rules and bylaws for stallholders.

Provided the guidelines for participation are well understood, selling produce at a farmers’ market can be a cost effective alternative to wholesaling to retail outlets.

The guidelines generally cover all aspects from site access to stallholder responsibilities and legal requirements.

MRFM Manager Kat Lombardo said the Margaret River markets have rules and guidelines in place to ensure that products sold are all freshly grown, bred or processed.

Applying for a stall

When applying for a stall many farmers’ markets will require the applicant to first read the rules and regulations.

Sometimes interviews are conducted to ensure an applicant can comply or property inspections conducted to verify local production.

For example, the MRFM only allows stallholders from outside the Margaret River region when no one is locally producing and selling that particular product.

"Some of our stallholders are growers who value-add their produce, taking it right through from growing, processing, packaging and finally selling the finished product.

“Availability of stalls is primarily based on the product to be sold.

"If demand for an item is already satisfied by one or more stalls, then no more stall allocations for that item will be approved. The greater the demand the more room there is for sellers, however absolutely no re-sellers are accepted.

"Seasonality is important in the principles of farmers’ markets, so although it sounds like a quick, profitable idea to buy out of season fruit and vegetables from another region and sell them at our market, it will not be allowed, " Kat said.

Choosing a product to sell

When choosing a product to sell at a farmers’ market, or which farmers’ market(s) to participate in, consider the following:

  • Is there a need for the product in the market place?
  • Would you buy it?
  • Do you enjoy selling and promoting the product?

Be sure there is demand for your produce and that your cost price and selling price calculations are accurate.

If an item is popular it may already be supplied by another stallholder. The more unique the product you’re offering, the better chance of less competition.

Always make sure you bring your best produce to a farmers’ market. Leave the damaged, bruised and lower grade produce for value-adding or to be sold through other marketing channels at discounted prices.

Participation in a farmers’ market can be a good opportunity to test consumer reaction to a new product or an addition to an already successful range of products.

The market stall can provide exposure via photo boards, leaflets and recipes to showcase other produce you have for sale at retail outlets or online.