We’ve been getting a lot of questions about Senate Bill 304 and what the current requirements are for the Farmers Market Vendor Permits. We hope this will give you a good idea about what this means for your market! You can always reach out to your local Health Department for questions.
Senate Bill 304 was enacted during the 2015 Regular Legislative Session. The bill requires persons who desire to sell farm and food products at a farmers markets to hold a uniform farmers market vendor permit. Under current law, there is no uniform regulation of farmers markets, but instead, each local health department regulates farmers markets within its jurisdiction. The bill provides uniform procedure for vendors to obtain a state-wide permit. The permit is valid for one year and the annual permit fee is to be paid to the local health department in the jurisdiction in which the farmers market is located. However, the permits is also valid in all 55 counties of the state. Consequently, vendors are not required to apply to more than one local health department for a uniform farmers market vendor permit. You can view the current draft of the law here.
It is possible these requirements will change after the public hearing period. If you are interested, the WVFMA’s submitted comments are available to look through here.
•Permit is issued by a county health officer. A sample of the Vendor Permit can be found here.
•The vendor must post the permit in a conspicuous place, and make it available to a health officer upon request.
•The health officer approving the application for the permit will notify all other health departments in the jurisdictions listed on the application.
•Any changes in the types of food and farm products the vendor intends to sale must be submitted to the health officer for prior approval.
•A permit is subject to unannounced on-site periodic review by a health officer or his or her designee.
•At a farmers market(s) within the jurisdiction of one local health department, the fee is $15.00
•At farmer markets within he jurisdiction of more than one local health department, the fee is $25.00
Products that WOULD NOT require a Uniform Farmers Market Permit, and DO NOT require a vendor to register with the Local Health Department include:
•Whole, uncut fruits and vegetables
•Commercially harvested mushrooms
•Prepackaged foods that do not require temperature control and that are produced in and approved food manufacturing facility.
Products that WOULD NOT require a Uniform Farmers Market Vendor Permit, but require a vendor to register with the Local Health Department. Food Items that are NON-POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS and may include:
•Non-dietary James, Jellies, and Preserves
•Apple butter, Molasses, and Sorghum
•Undiluted Honey and Undiluted Maple Syrup
•Dehydrated fruits and vegetables
•Vinegar – Plain, Herb, or Flavored
•Cakes, cookies, and candies
•Yeast Breads, nut and fruit breads
Products that WOULD REQUIRE a Uniform Farmers Market Vendor Permit include:
•Commercially raised and harvested fish
•Products produced in an approved food manufacturing facility which require temperature control
A food establishment permit is required for cooking demonstrations, and sampling of potentially hazardous foods.