Certified Farmers’ Market safe, direct and healthy

By From page A6 | October 04, 2013

With the increase in illegal roadside vending, the Protect Local Growers Campaign encourages the public to discover the benefits of Certified Farmers’ Markets.

At a Certified Farmers’ Market, consumers can be certain that the farmer selling the produce is the same farmer who grew the produce. The markets are certified through the county Agriculture Department. Each vendor is required to obtain a Certified Producers Certificate to be posted at the point of sale, assuring the public that the agricultural operation has been inspected. Each market must have a designated “market manager” to ensure that vendors comply with the rules of the market. Elimination of packaging, shipping and wholesale costs means both the farmer and the consumer save money.

“With roadside vending, you can never be certain where the produce was grown, or who grew it,” said County Agricultural Commissioner Charlene Carveth. “In contrast, what you see is what you get at a certified market.”

Numerous markets also have areas where other products and vendors associated with the market making them a true community event. Prepared food sellers must have a permit from the county Environmental Management Division. The Certified Farmers’ Markets in Placerville, Cameron Park, South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado Hills also accept Senior Nutrition Coupons, WIC and EBT.

More information on Certified Farmers’ Markets is available on the county Agriculture Department Website at

To report suspected illegal roadside vendors call the county hotline at 530-642-4968.

Mike Applegarth

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