For Current Vendors

Rules and regulations

Portland Farmers Market has created a comprehensive handbook that clearly outlines all of the rules, regulations, and other important information for vendors at our markets.  Vendors are expected to abide by all of the rules set forth in this handbook at all times.

Download our complete 2015 Vendor Handbook

As a vendor of Portland Farmers Market, it is essential to read and understand the entire Vendor Handbook.  However, we have also pulled out key portions of the handbook for your convenience below:

All PFM vendors must comply with our waste reduction program, EverGreen.  This includes
the required use of durable, compostable or recyclable food-service ware and the restriction of plastic bottled water sales.

  • Learn more about EverGreen.
  • Click here for a list of Cedar Grove Composting's accepted serviceware products.

PFM management has created protocols and procedures that allow vendors to lodge complaints against other vendors whom they think are out of compliance with market rules and policies. This helps PFM regulate food safety, products sold and operational safety.

To file a vendor concern or product challenge, use the Vendor Concern Form or Vendor Challenge Form.

Market currency policies

PFM uses several alternative currency programs at its markets. These programs take extra staff and detailed attention to provide, but we believe they are essential to create greater access to the market and to increase sales for market vendors. These programs include: Farm Direct Nutrition Program (FDNP, traditional coupons issued by the state), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, which administers benefits through the Oregon Trail Electronic Bank Transfer (EBT) system) and Debit/Credit (wooden market money in $5 denominations), and market purchase vouchers (receipts issued by PFM to purchase vendor products for promotional activities).

The token program

Shoppers can use their debit, credit, or Oregon Trail Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards at the PFM information booth in exchange for market money (wooden tokens). The tokens come in two denominations: $1 and $5. They each serve different purposes.

$5 Green tokens - credit and debit

  • Customers can purchase $5 tokens with credit and debit cards. There are no restrictions on what can be bought with the $5 token. They should be treated just like a $5 bill—give cash change.
  • Due to the cost the Market incurs to operate this program, we charge a $2 service fee to customers using debit and credit cards.

$1 Red tokens - Oregon Trail (Electronic Benefits Transfer - Food Stamps)

  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) participants receive their benefits electronically. They have a card called the Oregon Trail card, which acts like a debit card.
  • Good for: most food items, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, seeds, baked goods to be taken home, and plants intended for growing food.
  • Not good for: nonfood items (e.g. merchandise), ready-to-eat foods, hot foods, and flowers.
  • No change can be given back. The customer can add product to bring the purchase up to the dollar amount.

$ 1 Purple and Blue Tokens - Token Matching Programs

  • Token matching programs for SNAP recipients are available our King and Buckman markets. These programs offer a dollar-for-dollar match (up to $5) to SNAP participants using their EBT cards to purchase $1 tokens at these markets.
  • Good for: most food items, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, seeds, baked goods to be taken home, and plants intended for growing food.
  • Not good for: nonfood items (e.g. merchandise), ready-to-eat foods, hot foods, and flowers.
    No change can be given back. The customer can add product to bring the purchase up to the dollar amount
  • No change can be given back. The customer can add product to bring the purchase up to the dollar amount.

$ 1 tokens cannot be given as change to a customer for any reason.

Any misuse of the $1 tokens compromises our eligibility to accept the Oregon Trail EBT card. We greatly value the opportunity to offer the Oregon Trail EBT service to our customers, and we have been through a rigorous application process to get our permit. Please help us maintain our eligibility by following these guidelines. Thank you!

We would like to remind you of a couple of important aspects of the EBT program for SNAP participants, and how it operates at the market:

  • Customers can bring any unused $1 tokens back to the information booth to be refunded back to their EBT accounts.
  • Our vendors, by law, may not give cash change for purchases with $1 EBT tokens. When possible, vendors are encouraged to modify purchases so that they total a whole dollar value. Should a whole dollar not be reached, a receipt from the vendor displaying the purchase price can be brought back to the information booth for refund into the customer’s EBT account.

Reimbursement

Vendors turn in tokens to the PFM information booth at all markets.

  • Please have tokens divided by $1 and $5 and have them counted before arriving at the information booth. A receipt for your records will be provided.
  • The PFM office will recount all tokens and will send a note if there are any discrepancies.
  • PFM will reimburse vendors by check twice a month. Questions regarding token reimbursement should be directed to the PFM office.
  • Please note: tokens may not be used to pay stall fees. We will withhold reimbursement checks if there are any outstanding invoices until payment is received.

Market purchase vouchers

PFM sponsors programs such as Taste the Place, Chef-in-the-Market, Kids Cook at the Market and special events such as The Great Pumpkin and Thanksgiving FEASTival to educate our customers, generate media coverage, and help vendors increase sales. Market representatives will use purchase vouchers to acquire vendor products for these programs and events. Of course, vendor donations are always appreciated to help keep costs down. Market purchase vouchers are reimbursed twice per month along with the token redemptions.

Farm Direct Nutrition Program

The Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program (FDNP) is a state-administered federal nutrition program. FDNP funds go to low-income, nutritionally at-risk pregnant women and young children enrolled in the Women Infants & Children (WIC) program and to eligible low-income seniors and people with disabilities. These federal funds will be distributed as $2 or $3 checks specifically to purchase locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables directly from authorized farmers at farm stands and farmers markets. This program provides funds for tens of thousands of clients and provides over a million dollars directly to farmers who participate.

To become an FDNP authorized farmer, you must own, lease, rent or sharecrop land to grow, cultivate or harvest crops on that land AND grow fresh fruit, vegetables or cut herbs in Oregon or a bordering county to sell at your farm stand or at a farmers market. All farmers must fill out an application and sign an agreement with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Department of Human Services.

For an FDNP application packet, please contact the ODA at 503-872-6600.

Please honor all forms of market currency. If you are not going to be at the market yourself, inform your employees about these programs and request that they graciously accept the coupons, tokens, and vouchers.

Vendor resources

Government Agencies

Certification Organizations

Liability Insurance

Marketing Resources

Additional Resources

Market policies

Part of what makes our markets unique and successful is that they also serve as community gathering places and sources of education about the local food movement. Below please find details concerning our market policies, including community partnerships, on-site issues, and events and programs at the market.

Buskers/Peddlers

Music buskers are permitted when space allows. They are asked to check in at the market information booth and wait for the Market Manager who will assign them an area if available. Buskers are asked to move after one hour to a new location. Electronic amplification is not allowed, nor is playing/singing in a loud, disruptive manner such as to impede communication between vendors and customers. Peddlers are not allowed to set up within the market or within ten feet of its perimeter.

Community Booths

PFM is proud to offer the market as a resource to other community-based nonprofits. Space is held for groups conducting educational outreach related to agriculture, sustainability & preservation of open space. There is no charge for tabling or using the market stage. No sales are permitted from community booths. Pre-approval from PFM staff is required.

Dog and Pet Manners

Please note, as of 2009 the Saturday PSU and Wednesday Shemanksi Park Markets are no longer pet friendly. For the remainder of the markets the following rules apply.

In the interests of health and safety, a farmers market is not the best place to bring a pet. If customers do choose to bring a pet, we ask them to abide by these six rules to make a pet’s visit to the market a good experience for everyone:

  • Dogs must be kept on a short leash.
  • Dogs must be under control and by the owner’s side at all times.
  • Keep dogs away from produce, plants, and other food products.
  • Dogs must be friendly with other dogs and children to earn the right to be at the market.
  • Be considerate—not everyone loves dogs and some customers are allergic to animals.
  • Don’t forget to clean up after your dog!
  • PFM management reserves the right to request that owners remove pets from the market.

Gleaners

PFM works with local social service agencies to establish the gleaning of food contributions at the end of each market day. These agencies are a great resource for distributing your unsold product to the local community in need. Gleaning agencies will provide receipts to donors. We have preprinted receipts so the agencies can provide you a receipt of product donated for your use in tax purposes. Some vendors take the extra step and put out a labeled box for customers who purchase product to contribute.

Gross Sales Reporting

PFM recognizes the sensitivity around gross sales reporting by vendors, but believes the compiling of market sales statistics is essential to the financial management and efficient operation of the Market. In order to maintain the highest vendor confidentiality, PFM market staff follows these procedures:

Vendors are requested to submit completed gross sales forms by product:

  • Category for each market day attended and to represent themselves with honesty and integrity.
  • To avoid requiring vendors to tally sales at the market, forms are collected each week for the previous week.
  • Forms may be submitted anonymously.
  • Forms are collected in a closed container.
  • Only the Market Manager, Market Coordinator or Executive Director are privy to the original forms and they are not permitted to discuss the sales tallies for individual vendors.
  • Raw data is incorporated into a spreadsheet by category grouping and not by vendor name.
  • Forms are destroyed after they are compiled into a spreadsheet.
    Signature Gatherers
  • PFM sites that operate as a licensee of the City of Portland recognize the injunction entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in the case of Gathright vs. City of Portland that limits PFM authority to control the activities of members of the public attending the market. The text of this decision is available for review at the PFM information booth.

Signature Gatherers

PFM sites that operate as a licensee of the City of Portland recognize the injunction entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in the case of Gathright vs. City of Portland that limits PFM authority to control the activities of members of the public attending the market. The text of this decision is available for review at the PFM information booth.

Sponsors

PFM’s Board of Directors is dedicated to consumer education as a critical component of building sales for local agriculture. Vendors’ fees at PFM cover the basic cost of operating the markets, including site rental, permits, advertising, insurance, and staffing. In order to keep vendors’ fees as low as possible and still fund educational outreach, PFM solicits sponsors for special events, including market festivals, the Chef-in-the-Market series, and the music stage. Sponsor candidates are evaluated on an individual basis to ensure there is not direct conflict with the Market’s mission. In addition, PFM holds annual fundraising events, receives numerous in-kind donations, benefits from the support of volunteers, and cultivates community partners.

Test Market Sampling

On certain occasions PFM allows test sampling of new products. These products must meet strict criteria and align with the mission of the Market. They provide an additional fundraising opportunity for PFM. Items that directly compete with the regular market vendor’s products are not allowed. Sampling product booths are separated from the general traffic flow and are limited to one area of the market. Each of these vendors is limited to no more than one appearance at the market per month.

Vendor Roster Publication

PFM supports an open policy in regards to publishing the vendor roster (with pre-approval by the vendor). The roster is posted on the PFM website and individual names released upon inquiry by the press or potential customers. Vendors are asked to indicate on their applications if they want PFM to release their personal information. No vendor’s name will be posted or given without signed permission by the vendor. The vendor roster will not be shared or sold by the PFM staff or Board members to prospective markets or competitors for the purpose of soliciting vendors.

Market Programs and Special Events

Market programs and special events are the vehicles for enacting PFM’s educational goals. PFM believes if the markets are to continue to grow and flourish it is critical to educate consumers on the value of supporting regional agriculture. We annually review and evaluate all our programs in terms of costs and benefits, deleting and adding programs where appropriate. Funding for these activities is raised through sponsors and in-kind donations. In addition, volunteers give countless hours of their time to ensure the success of these events.

Chef-in-the-Market

Aromas and expert advice draw crowds to the market throughout the season for cooking demonstrations. Curious cooks watch chefs and cookbook authors from Portland and around the United States as they turn the market’s seasonal produce into simple, delectable dishes. Chef demonstrations take place at the PSU Market every Saturday at 10 am June through September.

EverGreen

EverGreen is Portland Farmers Market’s EverGreen is Portland Farmers Market’s initiative to encourage more recycling and less waste at the markets. The program was launched at the Saturday PSU market in 2010 and has since exapanded to encompass all of our markets.

In a nutshell, EverGreen includes every good faith effort to eliminate single use and non-recyclable/biodegradable packaging available to customers at the markets, with exceptions as necessary to comply with health and food safety laws. EverGreen requires the use of durable, compostable or recyclable food-service ware and restricts the sales of plastic bottled water.

Portland Farmers Market requires all hot food vendors and vendors who sample products to use compostable serviceware.  For a list of Cedar Grove Composting's accepted serviceware products, please click here.

The ultimate goals of EverGreen are to divert the maximum amount of waste generated at markets to composting and recycling streams, cement PFM’s commitment to becoming the most sustainable market in the U.S. and to educate the public about consumption and disposal habits.

Food Education & Celebration Events

PFM celebrates seasonal products at the market with tastings, children’s activities, contests, preservation classes, recipes, and other fun, educational activities. They serve as both promotional and educational opportunities, drawing record crowds to the market to learn firsthand the benefits of supporting regional agriculture and eating local.

Local Lunch Box is designed to encourage school-aged participants to connect with local food, farming and seasonal eating through hands on activities, including a drop in kids cooking class, make-your-own lunch box and a market scavenger hunt. This event takes place at the King Market location.
 
Preserving classes, offered at our Buckman Market location throughout the season provide shoppers with an opportunity to stock up on prime produce and extend the harvest well beyond the market season.

The Great Pumpkin Event is a Halloween harvest celebration including an annual pumpkin carving contest and children’s costume parade.

Taste the Place is a regular educational event held at PFM neighborhood markets aimed at boosting vendor sales by introducing shoppers to under-appreciated produce. Periodic tastings educate shoppers about the diversity of local agriculture and seasonal eating through recipe sampling and tips on simple preparations, storage, and preservation. Taste the Place is staffed by Market volunteers.

Thanksgiving Feastival has become the premier shopping destination for holiday feasts. In addition to shopping for all the Thanksgiving meal necessities—from turkeys to cranberries to the sweetest pumpkin for pie—customers enjoy an entire day of chef demonstrations offering holiday cooking tips, free seasonal recipes, and a festive beginning to the holiday season. (is this really an “event” anymore?)

The Thanksgiving Reunion Market lures shoppers and vendors to our Buckman location the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in anticipation of farm-to-table holiday dinners.  Market goers enjoy complimentary hot cider while they shop for winter produce, baked goods, artisan cheeses, and holiday décor.

Kids Cook at the Market

Kids Cook at the Market is our summer series of cooking classes taught by local experts for children age 7 – 11. Classes include a market tour and the opportunity to meet the farmers and artisans who produce their food. Classes are intended to encourage children to try new vegetables and fruits, like asparagus pizza or fig tarts. Many students return year after year, bringing new friends each time.  Kids Cook classes take place at the Saturday PSU Market in June, July and August.

Market Tours

Market tours are a fun educational program where small groups of students, tourists, and civic groups take guided tours of the market complete with talks from local producers and product tastings. Tours create the perfect opportunity to learn about how food is produced, why it is important to make good food choices, and to meet the farmers and artisan food producers from our market community.  Tours are conducted on a pre-arranged basis and are customizable based on the interest of the visiting group.

Musicians

Live music at the market provides enjoyable entertainment, creates a festive atmosphere, and builds community. PFM hires musicians for the PSU, King, Buckman and NW 23rd markets. Whenever you find yourself tapping your foot or dancing in your booth, think about giving the musicians a tip in trade. Musicians report that their favorite part of playing at PFM is the generous gifts of produce and market goodies they receive. Tables and chairs are provided as market goers enjoy taking a break from shopping to sit and relax or to catch up with friends and neighbors.

Oregon Trail / Credit / Debit Services Token Program

PFM launched its market token program with great success in 2005, giving customers access to their Oregon Trail, credit, and debit accounts to shop at the market using wooden tokens. The Oregon Trail EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card is used by SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) participants in place of paper food stamps.  The SNAP Program is a federally funded USDA Food and Nutrition Services program and operates on similar technology as credit and debit cards.

Taste the Place

Taste the Place is a PFM education program aiming to increase vendor sales by introducing shoppers to under-appreciated produce. At the Taste the Place booth, consumers learn about seasonal eating, simple preparations, storage, preservation, and the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. The “Food Squad” is the dedicated groups of volunteers that chops, dices, shreds, and sautés market produce for Taste the Place. In addition to tasting something new, visitors to the Taste the Place booth can pick up recipes, tips on selection and storage for the item of the day, and simple serving suggestions.

Veggie Valet

PFM offers a parcel pick-up service for our shoppers at the PSU Market. Customers can leave their purchases at the PFM information booth. When they are finished shopping, they can drive up to the booth to load their purchases. Market volunteers staff the booth and help customers load their purchases as time allows. If you see customers struggling with armloads of flowers and veggies, be sure to let them know about this great service.

Volunteers

Volunteers are very special folks—we love them and we couldn’t operate the market with them! Volunteers donate their personal time to support our vendors and help the market by staffing the information booth, preparing mailings, supervising kid’s classes, working at festivals, organizing market tastings, and with many, many other activities. You can’t miss them—they will be wearing a red apron and a giant smile!

Find Your Market

Portland Farmers Market includes six markets serving your community; select a market for more information:

Portland State University - Saturday

NOW OPEN YEAR ROUND!
**Closed December 27, 2014**

Mar-Oct: 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Nov-Feb: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

SW Park Ave & SW Montgomery St
Portland, OR 97201

Visit PSU Market Page »

Pioneer Courthouse Square - Monday
Shemanski Park - Wednesday
Buckman - Thursday
Northwest - Thursday
Kenton - Friday
King - Sunday

Not only do you get a better product but the impact on the environment is less and you can connect with the source of your food.