Certified Application Process

APPLICATION PROCESS For CERTIFIED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS

Thank you for your interest in the Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market Association (VCCFMA). As a non-profit farmers’ cooperative, the VCCFMA provides traditional farmers’ markets with an emphasis on agricultural and food items and a limited ancillary section in some market areas. Certified agricultural products are fruits, nuts, vegetables, shell eggs, honey, cut flowers and potted plants/nursery stock in their natural, fresh, or raw state. In order to sell any of these products in a certified farmers’ market, the producer/grower must be certified by their local County Agricultural Commissioner’s office. This means an inspector will come out to their property and inspect that the actual items are being grown, and then issue a certificate with the amount of crop production on it. Every certified agricultural item must be inspected and listed on the certified producer’s certificate before it can be offered for sale. Many commodities also have additional licensing required for pest monitoring, quality controls and marketing purposes. These commodities include avocados, shell eggs, honey, cut flowers and nursery stock.

A large variety of products is desired at each VCCFMA market to represent the diversity of California agriculture and provide for the customer’s needs and cultural demographics. If you have a non-certifiable agricultural product such as bakery items, canned food, olive oil, meat or cheeses, please see the non-certified agricultural section for additional application requirements.

Please save the Certified Agricultural Producer Application to your desktop, where you will be able to fill it out electronically using Acrobat Reader, or you may complete it by hand.

The following items must be received with your application (if they are applicable to your product):

  1. Certified producers certificate
  2. Detailed map of growing grounds
  3. State Nursery Stock license or nursery stock exemption license
  4. Avocado Exemption Permit (for current season)
  5. Organic Registration and documentation from Certifying Agency
  6. Egg Handlers Certification and Flock Registration
  7. Health Permits needed for any non-certified ag products (see section for non-certified producers)

Space and Displays for Certified Producers
Admission of certified market producers is granted and maintained under the VCCFMA product admission policy. The criteria used for determining and prioritizing admittance are: Product Variety, County of Production, Producer History in CDFA program, Seniority in VCCFMA, Space Limitations, and Product Demand/Shortages. The size of booth spaces are determined on an individual basis by the amount of the crops grown and varieties offered. Vehicle size, shade requirements, seniority and product mix are also factored into each space assignment. Each vendor is responsible for their display and must be completely self-sufficient. This includes cash boxes, change, canopies, signage, tie downs, weights, etc. All vendors must maintain their area in a clean and safe condition throughout the day. Canopies, umbrellas or other display equipment MUST BE SECURED DAILY from the wind. It is expected that all booths will remain for the duration of the market day unless bad weather causes early cancellation by market management.

Space Fee
The cost for all processed food vendors is 7% of your gross sales. This will be payable at the conclusion of each market day. Veracity of sales is monitored by random sales audits conducted by the VCCFMA.

Weather
All markets in the VCCFMA operate RAIN OR SHINE. It is expected that all approved participants will be in attendance unless proper cancellation notification is given. If your products may be damaged by bad weather, please note on application and it will be your responsibility for proper cancellation procedure.

CA Board of Equalization Permits
All participants must collect California sales tax at the market on taxable items and report these sales through their own tax reporting system. Your permit must be carried with you and available for inspection or display each market day.  Please enclose a copy of your permit with your application.

Application Process
You will receive notification that your initial application has been received and placed on a waiting list. All applications are held on file until there is an opening. This may at times, be an extended period of time, even up to years. A single waiting list applies to all VCCFMA markets and openings may occur earlier in other VCCFMA markets than the one you choose. When there is an opening for your products, you will be notified first by telephone to determine continued interest, asked to bring in a sampling of your products for an interview and then if accepted by formal written invitation. You will receive a copy of the current VCCFMA Market Rules & Regulations at this time.

The preferred method of application is by email with photos and documents attached.

All mail correspondence should be addressed to:
Ventura Co. Certified Farmers’ Markets
Attn: Certified Producers
P.O. Box 1050
Fillmore, CA 93016-1050

It is recommended that you first visit the market you are interested in attending and introduce yourself to the market staff and if possible bring samples of your products by for their viewing. Our staff can assist you with an idea of the market’s needs and the type of consumer demographics this market serves and whether your product might be a good fit for this market.