*To understand how the Seacoast Growers Association functions as an organization please review both the Rules / Regulations and the Bylaws.
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.
1. Applicants shall submit a detailed application form, by the deadlines announced on the SGA website, and applicants shall submit a $60.00 non refundable application fee.
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 non refundable $60.00 application fee.
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 9am on Friday for weekend markets 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 paid via the PayPal link in the invoice.
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.
J. Prepared Food Vendors must each have a 13 gallon or larger trash can available to market guest. Trash cans are to be located in the front of the booth and easily seen and accessed.
8. BOARD MEMBERS
A. Board members must hand over to the Board, all information pertaining to SGA within two weeks after they have left.