SEACOAST GROWERS ASSOCIATION RULES AND REGULATIONS
A. Members are defined in the SGA bylaws, Article VI, Section A. and shall be allowed to vend at the assigned market(s) as noted on their approved applications provided that they meet all the conditions of SGA bylaws, Article VI, Section I.
B. Only members, their employees and invited guests and vendors and demonstrators shall be allowed to participate in any Seacoast Growers Association market or function. Guest vendors and demonstrators shall be approved by the board and market managers. Members, invited guests, and demonstrators will not be allowed to employ expelled members of the Seacoast Growers Association at any Seacoast Growers Association market or function. Violation of this rule will result in the immediate suspension of the violating member.
D. Membership is non-transferable. E. All members, guest vendors and demonstrators shall abide by market regulations, decisions of the board, and rulings of the market manager. F. Membership and guest vendors’ status is revocable. 2. APPLICATIONS
1. Applicants shall submit a detailed application form, by the deadlines announced on the SGA website, and applicants shall submit a $60.00 application fee to be returned if not accepted.
2. An interview by the Board of Directors may be scheduled before acceptance.
3. Notice of acceptance/non-acceptance for new applications shall be returned to applicant in a timely manner.
4. An opening for membership does not have to be filled in any given year if there are no applicants who qualify for membership or if the Board decides that the welfare, balance, and interests of the markets are being maintained.
5. Space assignment will be determined by the Board of Directors or Market Manager.
6. Every effort will be made to post applications, dates and deadlines on the SGA website by December 1st.
1. Applicants shall submit a detailed application form by the deadlines announced on the SGA website, and applicants shall submit a $60.00 application fee to be returned if not accepted.
2. Notice of acceptance/non-acceptance shall be returned to the applicant in a timely manner.
3. Every effort will be made to post applications, dates and deadlines on the SGA website by December 1st.
A. Farmers: 1. Farm vendors must grow on their farm, or forage, 100 percent of what they sell at the Portsmouth Farmers Market within existing SGA borders.
2. Farm vendors must grow or forage 90 percent of what they sell at the weekday markets within existing SGA borders. The remaining 10 percent may come from a Seacoast Growers Association member in good standing.
3. Farm vendors may grow on leased land, provided that they are solely responsible for produce grown on that land. Any agreement in which the lessor is involved in the production of crops will be considered subcontracting, and will be subject to disciplinary proceedings
B. Prepared Foods: Baked goods, jams, jellies, and similar prepared foods may be sold if made by the vendor. It is the vendor’s responsibility to meet all the requirements of the Health Department and to obtain all necessary licenses. A copy of the health certificate will be submitted with the application to the Board of Directors. Prepared food vendors shall be limited to 20 percent of the membership. In no case shall more than 40 percent of the spaces assigned for the season, at any market, be used for both craft and food vendors.
C. Crafts: Craft vendors shall be defined as members who offer for sale their own locally made crafts. These crafts must be made by the vendors themselves and by made in York County in Maine, or in Rockingham or Strafford Counties in New Hampshire. Craft vendors shall be limited to 20 percent of the membership. In no case shall more than 40 percent of the spaces assigned for the season, in any market, be used for both craft and food vendors.
1. Preference will be given to crafts made of natural, local materials. Items offered should reflect fine craftsmanship, personal vision and attention to detail. They should be in keeping with the spirit of the Farmers’ Market.
D. Vendors may sell products from each of the other two categories listed above, not to exceed 1/3 of their display. Everything a vendor sells must conform to the pertinent rules and regulations of the Seacoast Growers Association.
4. MARKET GOODS
A. Preference will be given to vendors who make all reasonable efforts to source all ingredients locally.
B. Processed foods such as jams, jellies, baked goods, etc., must conform to the New Hampshire labeling laws and all other state health requirements. A copy of the current health certificate must be submitted with the application to the Board of Directors. All vendors are responsible for complying with New Hampshire room and meals tax regulations where applicable.
C. Produce must be sold by standard weight or volume according to standard weights and measures regulations.
D. Quality Control Guidelines:
1. No lot or container of produce that appears rotten, spoiled, moldy, improperly sprayed, or otherwise unfit for human consumption may be brought to market and offered for sale.
2. Produce that is less than top quality may be offered for sale, but must be so labeled and appropriately priced. Examples: “Apples: drops for sauce,” “Tomatoes: canning only,” or “Corn: over one day old.”
3. While members are not required to post in writing the day that produce was picked, they shall be totally truthful when questioned by customers. Employees of members are subject to the same requirements. They should know how old the produce is.
4. Produce that is labeled “organically grown” must be from a crop that is certified organic by any USDA Accredited Certifying Agent. A copy of current farm certification must be given to the Board of Directors. When talking with a customer members will not call anything organic unless it is certified.
4a. If new acreage is acquired mid season and will be in use, a copy of organic certification will be given to the board of directors before produce from said acreage may be brought to market.
5. If a member suspects that produce or products are being offered for sale that do not meet the above guidelines, a member of the Board of Directors will be notified. If the problem cannot be resolved by agreement, the President will then follow procedures for discipline as given in Bylaws, Article VI.
6. Any chemicals used in growing produce must be used according to label instructions.
7. All prices must be clearly visible to the buyer.
5. VENDOR RESPONSIBILITIES
A. Violent, disorderly, or threatening behavior at the market or at any market meeting is prohibited.
B. Presentation at the market of poor quality produce as defined in the Quality Control Guidelines is prohibited.
C. Any violation of any health laws in connection with the production or marketing of the members’ produce or goods is prohibited, including but not limited to, smoking while handling food or food products.
D. Vendors may not bring their dogs or other pets to markets.
E. There will be no hawking permitted at the markets. After the start of the market, vendors may not lower prices.
F. Vendors are expected to closely supervise their young children for the safety of the children and others at the market. G. Each vendor will be responsible for having his or her space in “broom clean” condition 1/2 hour after closing.
H. Each vendor will be responsible for setting up, displaying, and packaging their goods and providing protection from the elements.
I. Any farm vendor who acquires new property, either bought or leased, after they have sent in their application, must notify the board of directors and provide in writing, the location, acreage, possible crops (if different from those stated on application) and proof of sale or lease of new property.
6. INSPECTIONS AND JURYING
A. Inspections of farms and greenhouses will be made by members of the farm inspection committee to verify that produce is home grown. Vendors found in violation will be subject to disciplinary proceedings.
B. All crafts must be juried. All work must be original, hand crafted, and well executed. See Craft Criteria (p.2).
C. At initial application, prepared foods will be juried and kitchens will be viewed.
7. MARKET OPERATIONS
A. Market Manager, appointed by the Board of Directors, shall be assigned to manage normal market operations such as parking, collecting fees, scheduling, quality determination, and public relations. The Market Manager will settle most disputes arising from problems or disagreements; major disputes will be addressed by the Board. A report will be made by the Market Manager at the annual meeting in November.
B. All vendors shall be at the market 1/2 hour before official opening time and must stay until official closing time. The official opening and closing times shall be set by the Board of Directors. There will be no selling permitted prior to the official opening time of any market. As a courtesy to the Market Manager, notification of a planned absence should still be made by 9 a.m. on Friday for the Saturday market and by 7:30 a.m. for weekday markets.
C. Vendors will be charged a stall fee for all markets and market dates specified on a vendor’s application.
1. Stall fees for reserved spaces will be due in four installments:
1a. May 20: payment for all spaces reserved for May and June are due
1b. June 20: payment for July spaces are due
1c. July 20: payment for August spaces are due
1d. August 20: payment for September, October and November spaces are due
2. All payments are to be sent by check or money order to the SGA, PO Box 4401, Portsmouth NH 03802
3. Members who fail to pay timely will be barred from selling until payment in good funds is received. A $25 reinstatement fee will be assessed if payment is delayed more than 10 days. The reinstatement fee must be paid before vending resumes.
4. All payments for reserved spaces are non-refundable.
D. After initial year of membership, each returning member is expected to serve on a standing committee as assigned by the Board of Directors.
E. Spaces at all markets shall be assigned on the basis of application and space available. Every Effort will be given to place applicant in the same relative location in the market to which they were previously assigned.
1. Spaces at each market will be determined by the following priorities:
1a. returning members fill in the first spaces
1b. new requests from returning members will be given the next priority
1c. new members 1d. guest vendors and nonprofits
2. A waiting list will be maintained for each market where there is not enough space to accommodate all the vending members who wish to attend.
3. Waiting list spaces shall be filled according to the above priorities, at the discretion of the Board and Market Managers, to maximize the quality and diversity of the market.
F. Each vendor is entitled to one space in the market to which they are assigned. One space consists of 10 feet of frontage in which to display and sell. When a space at any market includes a vehicle and a tent, a second tent may be used in lieu of a vehicle. The Board has a list of current grandfathered members who maintain a double space. When these grandfathered double spaces are released, they revert to single spaces.
G. Market Managers must authorize any use of space other than a vendors' allocated space.
H. Every year the board, in conjunction with the advice of the market managers, may grant up to three new double spots at the Portsmouth market. To be eligible for the double stalls, vendors must have completed at least two full seasons with the market. If approved, vendors must pay for stalls at twice a single stall fee. If granted the opportunity to use two stalls, vendor may continue to do so for subsequent seasons or until he/she rescinds the additional space. If more vendors meet the eligibility criteria, apply for double spaces than the market has room for, a simple lottery will determine who receives the space. Vendors may apply for multiple years in a row.
I. Market cancellation will take place only in extreme weather conditions or their anticipation. The Market Manager will enforce market cancellation on site. Markets may also be rescheduled to open at a later time.
8. BOARD MEMBERS
A. Board members must hand over to the Board, all information pertaining to SGA within two weeks after they have left. ADOPTED: January 6, 1994
SIGNED: January 20, 1995
AMENDED: March 24, 1995
SIGNED: March 31, 1995
AMENDED: March 22, 1996
SIGNED: February 27, 1997
AMENDED: March 20, 1998
SIGNED: April 29, 1998
AMENDED: March 27, 1999
SIGNED: March 30, 1999
AMENDED: March 24, 2000
SIGNED: April 3, 2000
AMENDED: April 6, 2001
SIGNED: April 11, 2001
AMENDED: March 25, 2002
SIGNED: March 25, 2002
AMENDED: March 6, 2013
SIGNED: March 6, 2013
AMENDED: March 26, 2014
SIGNED: March 26, 2014
AMENDED: March 6, 2017
SIGNED: March 6, 2017
SEACOAST GROWERS ASSOCIATION BYLAWS
Section 1. Name:
The name of this organization shall be: “The Seacoast Growers Association.”
Section 2. Seal:
The seal of this organization shall consist of a flat-faced circular die, with the words and figures cut or engraved thereon.
The association has been organized on a non-profit basis for the following:
Section l. To provide markets for seacoast area growers to sell their products directly to the consumer, thereby strengthening the local farm economy and the viability of small scale family farms. Seacoast growers are defined as those in York County, Maine and Rockingham and Strafford Counties, New Hampshire;
Section 2. To establish and maintain operating standards that will inspire public confidence in the farmer’s market concept;
Section 3. To provide the organization with publicity and by other techniques to assist in promoting the sale, at the market, of Seacoast Growers Association members’ products;
Section 4. To engage in such other mutually beneficial activities as the membership may desire;
Section 5. To carry out educational and promotional activities among seacoast area citizens for the support of local agriculture.
Section 6. To do all that is legal in obtaining its objectives that the Board of Directors in its discretion deems appropriate or consistent with the above stated purposes.
Farmer: is an individual or production unit who operates a farm.
Farm: is an agricultural enterprise that produces farm products.
Farm Products: are defined as vegetables, fruits, herbs, berries, and other items grown for human food; natural fibers such as wool and linen; seedlings, plants, greenhouse or nursery stock, houseplants, perennials and ornamentals; livestock and their products; products from the woodlot, poultry and bees.
Production unit: is a family or other group of two or more people who operate the same farm.
Craft vendor: is a member, who offers for sale, their own locally made crafts.
Prepared food: baked goods, jams, jellies, and similar prepared foods made by the vendor.
Concessionaries: Seafood vendors, meat or fiber co-ops. Vendors in these categories will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
A. Active Membership: Active members shall consist of farmers, prepared foods, and craft vendors who have been granted acceptance by the Board of Directors, have passed any necessary jurying, who pay the membership fee established and shall abide by these bylaws, rules and regulations. One vote per entry is allowed. Active membership shall expire on January 15th of each year if no application for renewal has been received. (The intent of expiration in no way constitutes automatic approval if application has been received by January 15th)
B. Patron: A patron shall consist of person(s) who would like to contribute to the Association in a monetary or volunteer form and wish to support the purposes and goals of the Seacoast Growers Association. There shall be no voting privileges extended. Patrons shall fill out a “Patron Form”, pay the patron fee established, agrees to abide by the bylaws, rules and regulations of the Association.
Section 2. Annual Meeting: The annual meeting of the members shall be held within the month of March at such location as specified in the notice as provided in “Section 5” hereof. In the event that such annual meeting is omitted by oversight or otherwise on the date herein provided for, a substitute annual meeting maybe held in place thereof and any
business transacted or elections held at such meeting shall be as valid as if transacted or held at the annual meeting. Such substitute meeting shall be called in the same manner and as prescribed for special member’s meetings. Except when otherwise required by law or by these Bylaws any business may be transacted at the annual meeting irrespective of whether or not the notice of the meeting shall have contained a reference thereto.
Section 3. Special Meetings: Special meetings of the members shall be held whenever called by the President. The president must call a general meeting of all members when presented with a petition signed by not fewer than one-quarter (1⁄4) of the members of the association.
Section 4. Place of Meeting: The annual meeting and any special meeting of the members shall be held at such place within or without the State of New Hampshire as shall be designated in the notice of such meeting.
Section 5. Notice: Notice of all members’ meetings, stating the day, hour and place and the agenda and purpose for which such meetings are called, shall be given by the clerk in writing to each member or record entitled to vote, at his or her registered address at least thirty (30) days and not more than fifty (50) days prior to the date of the meeting. Any
notice of meeting may be waived by a member by submitting, before and after the meeting a waiver, signed either in person or by proxy or by attendance at the meeting, either in person or by proxy.
Section 6. Quorum and Required Vote: At any meeting of the members, a majority of the members entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may adjourn any meeting to a future date at which a quorum shall be present or represented. No notice of the adjourned meeting need be given if the time and place are announced at the meeting at which the adjournment is taken and the adjournment is less than thirty (30) days. When a quorum is present at any meeting, a majority of votes cast by these entitled to vote on the subject matter shall decide any questions unless some greater vote is required by law, the Articles of Incorporation, or these Bylaws. In elections of the directors, those receiving the greatest number of votes, even though not receiving a majority, shall be deemed elected.
Section 7. Consents: Any action required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the members may be taken without a meeting if written consent, setting forth the action so taken is signed by all the members entitled to vote on such action and are filed with the clerk of the corporation as part of the corporate records. Such written consent shall have
the same effect as a unanimous vote of the members and may be stated as such in any certificate or document required or permitted to be filed with the Secretary of State, and in any certificate or document prepared or certified by any officer of the corporation for any purpose.
Section 8. Conduct of Meetings: All meetings of this organization shall be conducted in an orderly fashion and in substantial conformity with Roberts Rules of Order. All matters shall be decided by a simple majority of members present unless stipulated elsewhere in the Bylaws.
Board of Directors
Section 1. Board of Directors: The business of the Association shall be managed by a Board of Directors which shall consist of not less than five active members and one alternate to be elected by vote of the active membership each year at the annual meeting. Tenure of the office is three and one half years. From the directors, a President, a Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be chosen. Each of these offices shall be for a one-year term. The officers shall be subject to the general direction and control of the Board of Directors. A vote may be passed by the support of three Directors.
Section 2. Vacancies in the Board of Directors: Any vacancy on the Board of Directors shall be filled as follows: The remaining Board members shall name a person to fill the vacancy until the next annual meeting.
Section 3. Composition of the Board of Directors: At least three of the five members should be actively engaged in farming.
Section 4. Board members shall receive a $200.00 voucher each year that they serve. The Treasurer shall receive and additional voucher for up to $300.00. This voucher may only be used toward the membership fee and stall fees.
Section 5. The Association shall indemnify any Director, Officer, or former Director or Officer of the Association against expenses actually and necessarily incurred by him/her in connection with the defense of any action, suit or proceedings in which he/she is made a party by reason of being or having been such Director or Officer, except in relation to matters as to which he/she shall be adjudged in such action, suit or proceeding to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of a duty. The indemnification provided by this Article V shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which such Director or Officer may be entitled under any Bylaw, agreement, vote of the Board of Directors or otherwise.
Section 6. At any meeting of the Board of Directors, a majority of the Directors as fixed by the Bylaws shall constitute a quorum. Provided a quorum is present, the votes of a majority of the Directors attending a meeting shall be sufficient for the conduct of business.
Section 1. Violations of any Bylaws or Rules and Regulations will be dealt with by a Market Manager or Board Member. The Manager or Board Member may give a verbal warning notice to a producer for an infraction of the Bylaws or Rules and Regulations. If a producer receives two verbal warning notices, the President shall call a meeting of the Board. The Board will then take a formal vote giving the Manager or President the power to take appropriate action if a third violation of the Bylaws or Rules and Regulations occurs. Actions may include fines, site inspection, suspension or expulsion.
Section 2. Upon the Board members’ determination, the President shall give written notice to the violating member of the dates, the nature(s) of the violation(s), and any corrective action to be taken should a third violation occur.
Section 3. Any member receiving such verbal and/or written notice of a violation must correct the violation immediately, or at the latest, by the next market day after such notice is received.
Section 4. Any member may bring forward a product challenge when they believe that another vendor is misrepresenting his/her product. Product challenges must be signed by the person bringing the challenge and preferably be supported by physical evidence of the offense. Product challenges shall not be anonymous. The product challenge must be made on the day of, or within the week the violation is observed.
Section 5. The vendor receiving the product challenge must respond to the challenge in writing. Failure to admit or deny a challenge may result in a determination that the challenge is valid.
Section 6. The Board shall determine if a site visit is necessary, and if so, shall conduct the visit in a timely manner to make a determination on the product challenge. If the vendor is found in violation, the Board will then take a formal vote giving the Manager or President the power to take appropriate action. Actions may include fines, site inspection, suspension or expulsion.
Section 7. A member may appeal any disciplinary action taken against them by providing to the Board a petition of support signed by at least two-thirds of the voting membership.
Section I. These Bylaws shall be amended by a two-thirds vote of those members in good standing in attendance at the annual meeting. Proposed changes of the Bylaws shall be in writing and provided to all members at least twenty-one days prior to the annual meeting.
ADOPTED: January 6, 1994
SIGNED: January 20, 1994
AMENDED: March 24, 1995
SIGNED March 31, 1995
SIGNED: February 27, 1997
AMENDED: March 14, 2013
SIGNED March 14, 2013