7 CFR 170.12 - What are the selection criteria for participation in the USDA Farmers Market?
The selection criteria are designed to ensure a consistently high level of quality and diverse products are available at the market, while operating in the constraints of space available at the market site. The criteria are:
(a) Member of one of the three participant groups specified in § 170.4 of this part. The participant must be a producer-only farmer or producer, seller of value-added products, or specialized non-produce vendor.
(b) Participant offers a product that adds to a product mix. Market management will ensure that a balanced mix of fresh fruits and vegetables will be maintained throughout the season. Final selection of fruit and vegetable producers will be made based on their ability to ensure a wide range of fresh farm products throughout the season.
(c) Willingness to Glean. Participants should commit to supporting the USDA food gleaning/food recovery initiative. This commitment requires farmers and vendors to donate surplus food and food products at the end of each market day to a local nonprofit organization identified by USDA. Questions about tax deductions for gleaning should be referred to the Internal Revenue Service or a tax advisor. Receipts for donated foods may be obtained from the receiving nonprofit organization.
(d) Commitment to market. Participants must commit to the entire market season and be willing to participate on a regular basis.
(e) Grandfather provision. Market management reserves the right to select several farmers or vendors based on previous participation in the program, consistency in providing quality products, and compliance with operating guidelines.