Market Rules and Regulations

The mission of the Crescent City Farmers Market (CCFM) is to benefit farmers and fishers, consumers and neighborhoods in the fertile crescent of Greater New Orleans by operating thrice-weekly, year-round markets where food producers and harvesters market the fruits of their labor directly to consumers in a public setting.

The CCFM has established rules and regulations that guide vendors in understanding what their responsibilities are as members of the market community. Understanding and complying with these guidelines helps the market operate smoothly and efficiently so that all participants may benefit.

I. Joining the Market as a vendor

A.  Applying to join the market: Persons who produce food and agricultural products that they wish to sell at the Crescent City Farmers Market may apply to Market Umbrella (marketumbrella.org) for admission to the Market, using the online Vendor Application Form. Applicants must pay a $25.00 vendor application fee in order to be considered. If a vendor is accepted into the Market, the $25.00 fee will be applied toward the annual $50.00 vendor fee.

B.  Annual renewal/acceptance: All vendors must be approved annually for participation in the market. This process includes attending a vendor meeting, completing all renewal paperwork, submitting farm/ownership updates, and completing site visits (as deemed necessary by Market staff).  The annual vendor fee is $50.00 per vendor. It must be paid before a vendor’s first market of the year.

II. What may and may not be sold at market

The Crescent City Farmers Market is a producer-only food market. All products sold must be grown or produced by the vendor.

All persons or businesses wishing to become a vendor at the Crescent City Farmers Market must file with Market Umbrella (marketumbrella.org) an application verifying that they are the actual grower or producer of the specific items that they wish to sell at the market. All vendors are required to allow Market Umbrella representatives to inspect their production facilities at any time, with or without notice, so as to maintain the integrity of a producers' market.

A. Definition of vendor and farm/production facility: Vendor shall be defined as the producer of goods sold and shall include the spouse, siblings, children, parents, and employees of the applicant who assist in the cultivation of the same property listed in the application under "name of the farm/production facility." Note, however, that farmers may sell limited amounts of products on behalf of neighboring farms on a temporary basis, with advance approval of and at the discretion of Market staff.

One of the market's key objectives is to help small entrepreneurs develop their businesses; therefore, vendors who already maintain retail operations in New Orleans are not invited to participate.

B. Products permitted for sale: Items allowed for sale shall include raw vegetables and fruits; edible plants; eggs; honey; shelled peas and beans; cut, washed and unwashed, bagged vegetables; nuts; garlic; spices; grains; herbs; bedding plants; herbal vinegars, pastries, cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, chocolates, fruit syrups, jellies, jams, herbal and vegetable spreads, vegetarian focaccias and sandwiches, pies, stuffed breads, fresh pasta, fresh juice and cider; raw and frozen meats (beef, lamb, mutton, pork, goat); raw and frozen small poultry; raw and frozen game bird and rabbit; raw and frozen fin fish and seafood (crustaceans, fish, turtle, alligator); live seafood (shellfish, crustaceans, oysters); fluid milk and fresh dairy products; cheese; canned and pickled products; cured sausage and meat are eligible.

Remember, vendors are permitted to sell only items that Market Umbrella has approved for sale.

Products not permitted

  • Prepared frozen entrees and appetizers, fresh or frozen meat pies, canned or frozen meat stews
  • Produce grown or produced at a location not listed on the application
  • Items not approved in advance by market staff
  • Items purchased by the vendor for resale
  • Crafts (inedible products such as art, candles, jewelry, textiles)

C. Health considerations: Products in the Crescent City Farmers Market are categorized according to the level of consumer risk of contracting a food-borne illness from eating food purchased at the Market. These are the categories:

Category 1, fresh produce: Products in category 1 include foods that historically have NOT been identified as sources of food-borne illness: raw vegetables and fruits; edible plants; eggs; honey; shelled peas and beans; cut, washed and unwashed, bagged vegetables; nuts; garlic; spices; grains; herbs; bedding plants. The Market works with Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Cooperative Extension Services to verify vendors’ status as growers in the region.

Category 2, value-added/prepared foods: Products in category 2 have been identified as the source of few outbreaks of food-borne illness. They are usually packaged in plastic bags or glass/plastic bottles or in jars/bottles and include herbal vinegars, pastries, cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, chocolates, fruit syrups, jellies, jams, herbal and vegetable spreads, vegetarian focaccias, sandwiches, pies, stuffed breads, fresh pasta, fresh juice, and cider.

Category 3, dairy/meat/seafood: Most common sources of food-borne illnesses, some of which are life-threatening. Clean process, transportation, and storage environments are required. These include raw and frozen meats (beef, lamb, mutton, pork, goat); raw and frozen small poultry; raw and frozen game bird and rabbit; raw and frozen fin fish and seafood (crustaceans, fish, turtle, alligator); live seafood (shellfish, crustaceans, oysters); fluid milk and fresh dairy products; cheese; canned and pickled products; cured sausage and cured meat.

Facility inspections: A new vendor’s farms, production facilities, or boats will be visited for inspection before the vendor joins the market.

D. Product considerations: Additionally, the Market is pledged to achieve a balance of products. The Market’s ideal balance is

  • 60% category 1 (majority fresh produce)
  • 20% category 2 (value-added products such as tofu, canned foods, pastries)
  • 20% category 3 (dairy, meats, seafood)

Samples: New category 2 and 3 producers must submit product samples for tasting at scheduled gatherings of the CCFM Market Management team. Potential new market item(s) to be sampled/sold should

  • include at least one locally grown ingredient and/or demonstrate a link to the Greater New Orleans region’s cultural heritage
  • be a product that can be marketed during more than one season
  • be submitted to the review committee in the exact form they will be offered for sale. They must be packaged, labeled with ingredients, company name, address, and telephone. Products must also be labeled with the intended price
  • preferably, be healthful and nutritious

Product approval: Vendors are allowed to sell only the products that are listed on their vendor application form and that market staff have approved. This measure helps ensure a sustainable product mix in a small market and the safeguards the CCFM’s mission as a growers’ market. Should you wish to expand your line of products, please contact Market staff about new additions for approval and submit your product to the next scheduled Market Management meeting.

Products are approved based upon the Market’s stated criteria and specific needs for a balanced product mix. Some products that are delicious may not be a good fit for our market. Outdoor conditions at the Market, for instance, make it difficult to vend homemade ice cream.

III.  General rules and guidelines

The Crescent City Farmers Market operates

  • Tuesdays, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., in the Uptown Square parking lot at 200 Broadway Street
  • Thursdays, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., in the parking lot of the American Can Company at 3700 Orleans Avenue
  • Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. – noon, in the William B. Reily parking lot at 700 Magazine Street

A. Health and safety regulations: All vendors participating in the Crescent City Farmers Market must comply with its food-handling procedures (from the Field to the Table) distributed to each vendor upon acceptance into the Market. 

All tents, umbrellas and canopies are required to be flame-retardant, and all vendors should submit annually a copy of each tent’s fire certificate to Market Umbrella staff. Vendors must also keep a copy of the fire certificate at their stall and furnish it upon request.

B. Hold harmless clause and insurance: All authorized vendors participating in the Crescent City Farmers Market shall be individually and severally responsible to Market Umbrella (marketumbrella.org), the Crescent City Farmers Market, its board, officers, and members for any loss, personal injury, deaths, and/or any other damage that may occur as a result of the vendors' negligence or that of its representatives, servants, agents, and employees; and all vendors hereby agree to indemnify and save Market Umbrella harmless from any loss, cost, damages, and other expenses, including attorneys' fees, suffered or incurred by Market Umbrella by reason of the vendors' negligence or that of its servants, agents, and employees; provided that the vendors shall not be responsible nor required to indemnify Market Umbrella for negligence, its representatives, servants, agents, and employees. Because no insurance is provided to participants in the Crescent City Farmers Market, each vendor must carry his/her own product and/or general liability insurance as applicable and must be prepared to present it upon request. All vendors are required to have vehicle liability insurance for any vehicle used for business at the Market and must be prepared to present proof of insurance upon request.

C. Rent: All approved applicants who sell goods in the market are required to pay rent for the space that they use. This rent shall be paid to Market Umbrella (see the rent schedule, below). An annual packet of vendor reservation forms are distributed by the Market Staff to each vendor once a year. The Market's records of rent due and rent paid shall be open for inspection at all times at the Market Umbrella office.

D. Space assignment: The Market Manager shall assign spaces on a rotating basis on or before Market day. Vendor sales slots are assigned according to availability and retail considerations. Vendors may display produce on tables facing the public or on back bar or truck bed (if needed), but not on the ground. Flame-retardant canopies and umbrellas are allowed.

E. Setup times: The setup of the Market may begin according to the following schedule.

  • Tuesdays: 7 a.m.–8 a.m. vendors arrive. They are required to be in their assigned space and ready to sell no later than 9 a.m. Since vendors work from the backs of their vehicles, there is no need for offloading.
  • Thursdays: 1 p.m.–2 p.m. vendors arrive. They are required to be in their assigned space and ready to sell no later than 3 p.m. Since vendors work from the backs of their vehicles, there is no need for offloading.
  • Saturdays: 6:00 a.m. and no earlier. Producers are required to be in their assigned space no later than 8 a.m. and ready for selling. For offloading, enter open lot at Girod St. and leave at Magazine. Offloading begins at 6:00 a.m. and ends at 7 a.m. No vehicles are allowed on the lot after 7 a.m. After 7 a.m., vendors are required to offload from the indoor lot. No exceptions.

F.  Selling times

  • No selling to the general public before opening bell (9 a.m. on Tuesdays, 3 p.m. on Thursdays, and 8 a.m. on Saturdays)
  • No selling after the closing bell (1 p.m. on Tuesdays, 7 p.m. on Thursdays, and noon on Saturdays)
  • Vendors may sell to other Market vendors before and after the bell.

G.  Cleanup

  • All vendors shall be responsible for the cleanliness of their selling areas.
  • All vendors agree to bring a broom and trash can and keep the Market area free of debris generated by Market activity.
  • Vendors shall not use public trash receptacles for disposal of produce boxes and unsold produce.
  • All vendors shall clean up their areas at the end of each Market.
  • All vendors shall load their vehicles and shall be clear of the parking lot within 30 minutes of the closing bell.

H.  Sales taxes, licenses, and permits

Each vendor is responsible for collecting his/her own sales taxes, where doing so is applicable.

  • Farmers and fishers are exempt from collecting sales taxes.
  • Value-added producers (for example, bakers) are required to collect sales taxes and pay them to the City of New Orleans.
  • Seafood vendors are required to have (and display) a current commercial fishermen license.

Additional permitting information based on vendor’s parish of origin, business location, product, and certain other selling circumstances is available upon request.

I.  Miscellaneous: No firearms. No alcoholic beverages. No drugs. No pets, with the exception of seeing-eye dogs or other service animals.

IV. Violations

A. Complaints: Any complaint against any vendor regarding the origination of their produce or goods, or any other matter, must be directed to the attention of the Market Manager in writing. Complaint resolution of matters of this nature is the responsibility of the Market Manager and the CCFM committee of Market Umbrella. Together they shall determine, in their sole discretion, what type of investigation, if any, shall be conducted in response to written complaints; whether or not the written complaints shall be provided to the vendor against whom the complaint is directed; what type of response (written and oral) a vendor against whom a complaint is made shall be entitled to make; and the time frame in which such a response shall be made.

It is solely the Market Manager’s responsibility to determine whether a vendor has violated any Market rule or regulation or otherwise undermined the smooth operations of the Market. Such violations may include, but are not limited to

1. Arriving late: After the opening bell rings (Tuesdays 9 a.m., Thursdays 3 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m.), vendors must be at their table prepared to sell, so as to prevent disruptive carrying of products across the Market. The Market lot opens for setup at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays, 1 p.m. on Thursdays, and 6:00 a.m. on Saturdays.

2. Not showing up: Defined as not notifying the Market Manager (at least 24 hours prior to Market) that vendor is not coming to Market. The Market allows for "acts of God" (dangerous roads, equipment failure, weather, etc.). In those cases, the CCFM mobile phone's voicemail can be reached at 504-495-1459.

3. Selling to the general public before the opening bell or after the closing bell

4. Leaving before the closing bell: Vendors who sell out of goods before the closing bell may not leave early. Vendors must stay till the closing bell.

5. Failing to pay rent: Vendors who fail to pay rent cannot return to the Market until payment is made.

6.  Selling produce not grown or harvested by the vendor. The resale of items is not permitted at the market. Note, however, that farmers may sell limited amounts of products on behalf of neighboring farms on a temporary basis, with advance approval of and at the discretion of Market Staff.

7. Not participating in token system or Market community development projects

8. Harassment, including sexual harassment

9. Discrimination

10. Violation of safety or health rules

11. Disposing of product in public trash receptacles

B.  Citations: The Market reserves the right to expel, at any time, a vendor who is in violation of any of the Market’s guidelines and eligibility requirements. A vendor who cannot operate as a member of the Market community in good faith will be asked to leave. If violations occur, the Market management will take the following actions. The Vendor receives an oral warning from Market staff.

First violation or minor infraction: The Vendor receives a spoken warning from Market staff.

Repeat violations or major infraction: The Vendor receives a written notice to discontinue the violation/infraction. Vendors may, if they wish, respond in writing.

In case of vendors who continue to disregard the Market's rules, the Market Management Team will be informed and asked to make recommendations to the Market Umbrella (marketumbrella.org) Board of Directors. Consequences may include vendor suspension or expulsion from the Market or, in extreme cases, legal action.

V.   Finances

A.   Rent schedule: Rent is due to the Market Manager by the 25th of each month, to get the discounted rate. Vendors reserving a stall after the 25th of the month will pay the day-stall rate. The Market needs a stable group of vendors at the Market; the Market's tiered rent rate rewards vendors who attend regularly and commit in advance.

1. Rent can be paid in the following two ways:

• Reserve a Market stall a month at a time. We provide each vendor with a book of reservation forms for prepayment. Most vendors use the Market's wooden tokens to pay rent, but cash and checks are also accepted. For advance reservations (and the discount rate), payment must be in the hands of the Market Manager by the 25th of the previous month. Each stall is $25/day.

• Reserve a day-stall: For those vendors who cannot commit a month ahead, we often have a few slots left open for "day vendors." It's not a sure thing, but if we can include you, we will. Here's how it works. Each vendor is given a book of day-stall forms. The rate is $30/day. The vendor must telephone or email the Market Manager to confirm attendance at least 24 hours prior to Market day. Vendor must arrive at the Market with the day-stall form filled out and payment in hand before the opening bell rings.

2. Cancellation policy: Vendors who consistently fail to show up for reserved/paid Market stalls will be asked to reconsider whether the Market is for them. We cannot keep spaces open and unused while prospective vendors languish on the waitlist. We no longer credit vendors for missed days. All paid reservations are final.

B.  Token system

The Crescent City Farmers Market uses a wooden token system to facilitate credit/debit/EBT card use at our markets and generate more wealth for our vendors. For consistency of experience and the convenience of our shoppers, vendors at the Crescent City Farmers Market are required to accept wooden tokens. Market Umbrella collects tokens twice monthly and sends reimbursement checks to vendors. Training on token use and restrictions occurs at orientation.

C. SNAP/FMNP/WIC

The United States Department of Agriculture manages the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) for Seniors and recipients of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). For the benefit of both vendors and shoppers, vendors are required to accept SNAP/EBT tokens for eligible products and are reimbursed by Market Umbrella twice monthly. No change may be given for EBT (SNAP) tokens or FMNP coupons. Other restrictions apply for these federally funded programs. More information is provided during vendor orientation and annual renewals. In order to accept FMNP vouchers a vendor must apply and be approved for eligibility by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

D. W-9 form

Market Umbrella is liable for taxes incurred via wooden token system. Therefore, each vendor at the CCFM must provide a W-9 form verifying tax-identification numbers or social security numbers, as applicable. This information is confidential and is used only for token reimbursements.

E. Sales taxes, licenses, and permits

Each vendor is responsible for collecting his/her own sales taxes, where doing so is applicable.

  • Farmers and fishers are exempt from collecting sales taxes.
  • Value-added producers (for example, bakers) are required to collect sales taxes and pay them to the City of New Orleans.
  • Seafood vendors are required to have (and display) a current commercial fishermen license.

Additional permitting information based on vendor’s parish of origin, business location, product, and certain other selling circumstances is available upon request.

F. Modifications to rules and regulations

Market Umbrella’s CCFM Management Committee reserves the right to revise the Crescent City Farmers Market rules and regulations at any time they deem appropriate. These rules are adopted and valid as of September 10, 2012.

VI. Non-discrimination and sexual harassment policy

Market Umbrella (marketumbrella.org) and the Crescent City Farmers Market are equal opportunity organizations that prohibit discrimination in all programs, events and activities on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, age, disability, gender, marital status, familial status, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or socio-economic status. All vendors accepted into the Market must adhere to this non-discrimination and sexual harassment policy.