A farmers’ market is a central location at which the majority of vendors are farmers or producers offering for sale their own products. Markets within Niagara are reviewed yearly by Niagara Region Public Health to determine if at least 51 per cent of vendors are farmers or producers. This ensures that the operation is by definition, a true farmers’ market.
Full compliance with the following requirements is required for all farmers’ market vendors. Niagara Region Public Health will refuse to approve your participation at the farmers’ market if full compliance is not met or observed.
You must provide the following items based on the service being provided.
Farm products are products that are grown or produced on a farm. Typically, this includes fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey and maple products.
A community market is a market where most of the vendors are not farmers, but are commercial vendors. A community market must be in compliance with all aspects of Ontario Food Premise Regulation 562.
A commercial vendor is a person that offers for sale any processed food item and is not a farmer. A commercial vendor typically prepares food, including but not limited to hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, raw or processed meats and poultry, baked goods, eggs, soups, salads, perogies, spring rolls, pastries and cookies, etc.
A hazardous food is a product that is capable of supporting the growth of pathogenic micro-organisms or toxin producing bacteria. This includes any meat, poultry, fish, dairy, cider or any other product that contains mixtures of these. All of these products must be stored and transported at or below 4°C (40°F).
All hazardous food products must be obtained from a government inspected facility and bear the appropriate stamps, tag or label. Vendors must be able to provide receipts to verify they were obtained from approved sources.
Yes. The Ontario Food Premise Regulation 562 provides certain exemptions for farmers' markets. One of these exemptions is that vendors at a farmers' market can offer for sale non-hazardous homemade products such as baked goods and fruit jams / jellies. Home prepared foods are not allowed at community markets.
Contact Niagara Region Public Health and speak with an inspector to discuss the products you wish to sell, preparation methods involved and how the product is to be stored.
If you are on a private water supply such as well or cistern, satisfactory water sample test results will be required on a yearly basis.
Water sample bottles and testing is provided free of charge and available at numerous sites throughout Niagara Region. This testing is provided free of charge. An inspection of the home based operation may be conducted to ensure that production of the product is done in a sanitary environment.
No. A special exemption is provided at farmers' markets to allow vendors to sell non-hazardous home prepared products.
This exemption is not applicable to any other commercial facilities or events. The purpose of this exemption was to allow farmers at a farmers market to sell a variety of products made from their own produce or fruit (i.e. jams, jellies, pies).
Yes. Hazardous foods are allowed to be sold at the market. All hazardous foods must be properly handled, stored, transported and prepared in an inspected facility or onsite at the market.
Inspected facilities are usually commercial kitchens (restaurants), community centres or churches that are regularly inspected by the local health department.
If you intend to lease or use a commercial kitchen, Niagara Region Public Health may ask for a copy of the agreement between the vendor and commercial kitchen.
All foods that are sold in a packaged form are to be labelled with the manufacturer's name, address, phone number and the date prepared.
Contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at 1-800-667-2657 for information regarding ingredient labelling.
This application must be submitted at least one month prior to the markets opening.