Release date: 

At the recent VFMA workshops (held with the assistance of the Victorian Department of Primary Industries) feedback was collected about the Charter from interested growers, producers and market managers associated with farmers' markets in Victoria.

From this feedback the following VFMA Charter has been adopted.


An authentic Farmers Market is a predominantly local fresh food and produce market that operates regularly at a public location which provides a suitable environment for farmers and food producers to sell their farm origin product and their associated value added primary products directly to customers.

2.Community Ownership
Farmers Markets should ideally be community based and run on not for profit principles. The recommended structure is a management group that represents managers, stallholders and community stakeholders.

3.Produce for Sale
Farmers Markets should operate with the key objective of promoting local fresh food and farmer's products and their origins.

Vendors at the market should sell primary produce (including small livestock); fresh food and value added and processed edible produce. See above re competition of own grown and bought ingredients i.e. jam

Exceptions such as self propagated plants, compost or cut flowers may be included depending upon the individual farmers' market requirements, however the products must be sold by the person who is directly responsible for growing them.

No craft or 'bric a brac' will be accepted at a Farmers' Market.

4.1 Operations of Farmers' Markets
Farmers' Market management groups are expected to endorse and operate under the principles of an authentic Farmers' Market (as defined in the VFMA's Charter). As members of the VFMA they will be independently accredited as a Farmers Market.

4.2 Criteria of Sales at a Farmers' Market
All produce must be sold by the person, family member or farm based employee directly involved with growing, rearing, catching, or making the product.

Resellers are not permitted to be vendors at a Farmers' Market.

Pricing must be clearly displayed, weights and measures accurate and scales compliant with regulation.

The origins of the produce are to be clearly communicated, distinguishing the identity of farmer, farm, region, processor or food manufacturing business.

In exceptional circumstances (i.e. remote, regional areas where there are no alternative growers) growers and producers are allowed to sell another grower’s product from their local region. Produce must be clearly marked as supplementary and its grower and origin identified. This arrangement is only permitted in exceptional circumstances and NOT on a regular, ongoing basis. Supplementation is NOT allowed when it is in conflict with another grower. Under no circumstances may supplementary supply may be sourced from wholesale markets or through distributors.

5.Geographical Boundaries
At the discretion of individual markets, perimeters may be applied to facilitate vendor eligibility. The applicable perimeters can be defined with reference to local government boundaries, geographic features, or existing food marketing and / or economic development organisations.

Value adders and producers who grow and manufacture products within their local area should be given priority.

Markets can draw from multiple regions, however market managers must encourage vendors to participate in their regional Farmers' Market before participating in a city market to ensure the sustainability of Farmers’ Markets in regional centres.

6.Vendor Mix
VFMA promotes the predominance of fresh, local produce at a farmers' market.

Farmers' Markets should offer a broadly diverse and seasonal range of fresh produce and value added products. The specific vendor mix is the responsibility of the market management.

Regional farmers' markets should aim for more than 75% of stallholders selling local produce.

Regional producers and value adders who grow and manufacture products within their local area should be given priority at their local Farmers' Market.

7.Produce Quality
Farmers' Market stallholders are committed to offer for sale fresh, high quality, seasonal and regional produce, and artisan or high standard value-added food products.

The manufacture of all value-added products must comply with regulations applicable to food processing, packaging and food labelling.

Food cooked on the site at the market (including tasting samples) must be of high quality and wherever possible utilise the market vendor produce. Its preparation must comply with food safety requirements.

Farmers' Markets aim to educate consumers on the true value of the cost of production of food.

Vendors will offer all produce at fair, market driven prices that reflect the quality and / or speciality nature of the goods sold.

Price structure to be established that achieve profitable trading outcomes for participant vendors.

The total product price is to be clearly marked, which includes GST where applicable.

All produce to be clearly identified. All value added produce is to be labelled in accordance with prevailing food safety regulations.

Quality levels to be clearly designated.

Only certified organic produce should be labelled organic. Sellers who claim organic status should display proof of certification.

10.Policy and Information
Farmers' Market operators are to establish operational procedures and make them publicly available.

Farmers' Markets are to operate in accordance with prevailing community and government regulations including food, health and safety, weights and measures, public and product liability, and applicable local government requirements.

Stallholders and Farmers' Market management are expected to be covered by appropriate product and public liability insurance.

It is the Farmers' Market manager's responsibility to ensure stallholders have appropriate product and public liability insurance.

A copy of the VFMA Report outlining the feedback from the recent workshops is available here. If you are unable to download this file please contact Sophie O'Neil on sophieoneil [at] optusnet [dot] com [dot] au


sophieoneil [at] optusnet [dot] com [dot] au
Final Report507.05 KB