Market Rules

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Rules and Regulations:

In addition to the guidelines in the vendor application, please see these rules regarding market day, vendors, and the market governance.

Market Day Rules

The market will operate rain or shine. If a vendor chooses not to come due to bad weather, the 72 hour cancellation rule is waived. Vendors should decide individually if they want to attend.

Setup will begin one hour before the market opens to the public. Break-down will begin at closing time and vendors will vacate the building within one hour. Cleaning and maintenance of each site is the responsibility of the vendor who is occupying that site. The Market Manager will inspect all sites at the close of each market. A $5 fine will be charged to all vendors who do not leave their site clean at the end of the market.

In accordance with fire codes, caution and extreme care must be taken when operating any vehicle in a covered space. All engines must be turned off as soon as the stall location is reached. Vehicles have gastanks, the contents of which could cause a severe fire or explosion. Gas caps must be securely in place, no vehicle with a leaking gas tank or line is permitted in the building, no exceptions. No vehicles are permitted in the building within fifteen minutes prior to opening.

Parking is available behind the market building; if that lot is full it is the responsibility of the vendor to arrange their own parking. Parking in the alley is not permitted. Customer parking is reserved for the front of the building.

Stall assignments are made by the market manager in April for the year. A waiting list of vendors interested in additional market days is kept to fill stall cancellations.

Each vendor supplies their own tables and any other items necessary for selling. A sign made of durable material that identifies the business is required and may be hung from the table or the rafters. Variations of booth configuration are permitted within the allotted space.

Keep your business within the pre-designated space.

A stall fee of $20.00 for a standard 10-foot stall will be collected from each vendor, each week. Vendors with permanent stalls may choose to pay for the season in advance. All prepaid fees are non-refundable.

Vendors who must cancel a previously scheduled stall are required to notify the Market Manager at least 72 hours in advance. Failure to do this makes the vendor responsible for the weekly stall fee of $20. Following three excused absences, or two unexcused absences, a vendor will be referred to the Market Governing Committee; multiple absences may result in the vendor losing their allotted space.

Customers take our opening and closing hours seriously. Vendors are subject to the following penalties, for tardiness, up to 10 minutes late, a fine of $15. Between 11-20 minutes, a fine of $30. Between 21-30 minutes, a fine of $45. More than 30 minutes late, no admittance to the market that day. After the third offense, the Market Governing Committee will determine further action. Leaving early is not permitted; vendors who leave the market early will be subject to the following fines: 1st offense is a $10 fine, 2nd offense a $20 fine, 3rd offense a $30 fine and the Market Governing Committee will determine further action. These penalties are levied at the discretion of the Market Manager.

Prices will be clearly displayed either by categories or individually so they are clearly visible to customers. Any product in violation of state law, the rules of the market, not on the vendor’s original application or deemed to be inferior quality by the Market Manager will be removed from the market immediately. Deviation from approved products listed on the vendors applications must be approved by the Vendor Selection Committee. Brokered products which are the exceptions to the rule, must be clearly marked with location of origin; it is the responsibility of the vendor to their customer.

For ceiling heaters, unless other provisions have been made, the Market Manager will be the sole operator of the propane gas heaters. Free-standing space heaters in the market are prohibited by Fire Codes.

Non-profit organizations will be admitted to the market on a space available basis only, at no charge, to promote their organization with informational materials. The sale of raffle tickets is permitted.

The Market Manager is in charge on market day. All complaints from vendors or customers should be directed to the Market Manager. Any public health concern will be dealt with immediately by the Market Manager. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached on the spot, a written account of the issue will be forwarded to the Market Governing Committee. A judgment regarding the dispute will be rendered within five business days.

Complains regarding product quality, vendor conduct, or unfair vendor practices will be handled as follows. The complainant’s name, phone number and description of the issue will be taken; a letter written by the Market Manager will be given to the vendor with the expectation that the offense will be remedied; a copy of the letter will be given to the director of Otsego 2000 to be kept on file; a second com-plaint will result in a second letter, and a warning. At the time of a third complaint the Market Committee will meet to discuss disciplinary action, suspension or permanent removal from the market.

15. DOGS
Dogs are prohibited from the market space. Well-behaved dogs may be tied to the posts outside the market.

A smoking area is designated outside, at the rear of the building.

All vendors are required to comply with any applicable state and federal regulations administered by the New York State Department of Health, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York Department of Taxation, and United States Department of Agriculture. All licenses, seals, insurance, and sales tax certificates required for the sale of any items in the state of New York are the responsibility of each individual selling such items. Vendors are required to have at their stall; proof of liability insurance, and any required licenses, seals, and permits.

Vendor Rules & Responsibilities

Vendors gain seniority based on the number of years they have attended the market. Full-time vendor status is based on seniority, space availability, and the criteria established by the Vendor Selection Committee. Full-time vendor status entitles a vendor to a permanent stall and the right to hold office. There are 27 permanent stalls that have been assigned to 27 of the most senior vendors. A part-time vendor can be considered for full-time status if an existing full-time vendor stall becomes available, if the market benefits from the vendor’s products, if the vendor exhibits consistency of product quality, appearance of stand, and readiness to fill available spaces when offered.

As an ongoing program of Otsego 2000, the Market Governing Committee is made up of Otsego 2000 staff, board representatives, and full-time farmers’ market vendors. All vendors may vote at the annual meeting on matters affecting the market and full-time vendors may hold office.

Grower-producers will have their farms inspected on a three year rotating basis or in response to complaints filed by other vendors or the public.

Vendor businesses are promoted on the website, in signage, advertising, emails and at public events.

All vendors are required to assist with market operations.

The market is a public retail space. Any inappropriate or illegal behavior is prohibited.
Removing property from the Farmers Market Building that is not the vendor’s own is prohibited and subject to immediate dismissal.

Governance of the Organization

The Cooperstown Farmers’ Market is a vendor-run entity operated under the aegis of Otsego 2000, Inc., a 501(c)3 public charity dedicated to protecting and preserving the his-toric, agricultural, and environmental assets of the Otsego region. The Market Governing Committee is the management team for the organization. The Vendor Selection Committee is charged with monitoring the balance of products for sale in the market as well as jurying new vendors and new products. The membership votes on how to resolve the issues of the day, and gets involved in the activities of the market.

The Market Governing Committee is comprised of FIVE vendor representatives, two Otsego 2000 board members, and one Otsego 2000 staff member, with two vendor alternates; non-staff Market Committee representatives and alternates are to be selected by the vendors, by vote, at the Annual Meeting (staggered terms of three years). The Chair of the Market Governing Committee, who also serves as the vendor liaison to the Market Manager, is to be selected by the vendors, by vote, at the Annual Meeting for a one-year term.

The VSC is a permanent committee of one Otsego 2000 representative, the CFM Manager, the CFM chair(s), three agricultural advisors (produce, meat, cheese) one craft advisor, one processed food vendor and one baker advisor. Advisors will be elected by the vendors and serve staggered three year terms. They will have full voting rights for the area of expertise to which they have been elected. Decisions are made by super-majority vote; and the details of these decisions will be recorded in writing.
The VSC shall be responsible for determining product quality, eligibility and identifying saturation issues for all new products. Priority is given to agricultural vendors. Vendors grow or produce 100% of the goods they plan to sell at market; exceptions to the 100% rule are granted on a case by case basis by the Vendor Selection Committee.

The exceptions to the 100% rule are products that are not sufficiently available in the market, are not produced by the vendor themselves, are not available within the specified radius. However, only products produced or made in New York State will be considered for approval, with the exception of stone fruits, which may come from neighboring states. Exceptions must maintain a healthy balance within the market to meet our customers’ needs and support the growth and prosperity of the market vendors. They must be of direct advantage to the market as a whole. The vendor must list anticipated brokered items on each year’s application. The integrity of the market demands full disclosure of brokered produce and products. If a situation arises during the market year, the vendor may make a written application specifying the need for an exception to the Market Committee and Vendor Selection Committee. If an exception is approved, it cannot exceed the volume of 20% of a vendor’s daily offering. The vendor will assure accurate signage identifying all brokered items and the location of origin for their customers. If there is a doubt whether an item being sold is brokered, the market manager shall perform a farm inspection.

Each year all vendors submit an application. All complete applications are referred to the VSC for the acceptance process. Permanent vendors receive automatic acceptance of past products. First, applications are reviewed to identify any overall saturation issues.
Their relation and value to the market as a whole is evaluated. Second, the committee meets with vendors to jury new products. Any member of the VSC who has a product being juried will recuse themselves.
The VSC decisions for product inclusion are based on both qualitative and quantitative factors, the mission of the market, product quality, product saturation, availability, presentation, and longevity of the vendor. All VSC discussions and decisions regarding applications or prospective vendors are confidential. All applicants will be notified of the VSC’s decision. Deviations by any vendor from approved products, those products listed by each vendor on the annual application, must be approved by the VSC.

Failure to comply with the market rules may result in expulsion from the market. Vendors found to be in violation of the market rules will be written up by the Market Manager, action will be taken based on documented violations submitted to the Market Committee. The Market Committee will convene to discuss the matter, meet with the vendor in question, after which the Market Committee will vote on disciplinary action.
Notification of the board’s decision will be sent by mail to the vendor within five business days. In the event that a vendor is expelled from the market, any/all fees paid in advance are nonrefundable.
Market Manager: Shannon Kirch, 607.547.6195,