Quarterly Vendor Newsletter
Multnomah County Health Department
Temp Restaurant Licenses, Food Handlers Permits
As a vendor of Portland Farmers Market, you have an account on Farmspread. It is each vendor’s responsibility to keep their information current, as this information is what displays in the Meet Our Vendors section of our website, and is also the only means we have to contact you. Log in to your Farm Spread account here!
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. As a vendor of Portland Farmers Market, it is essential to read and understand the entire Vendor Handbook 2022.
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, download the proper form below and return it to PFM management:
Vendor Concern Form
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. Please familiarize yourself with the programs below and be sure to educate your staff as well.
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.
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 $4 service fee to customers using debit and credit cards where we have an ATM available at or near the market, and $3 where there is no ATM available.
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, meats, fish, breads, cheeses and other dairy products, nuts, eggs and plants intended for growing food.
Not good for: nonfood items (e.g. merchandise), hot prepared foods, and flowers.
No change can be given back. The customer can add product to bring the purchase up to the dollar amount.
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.
Our King, Kenton, Lents International, Shemanski Park and PSU markets, as well as almost 50 others in the state, participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program. This is a program that “matches” SNAP benefits spent at participating farmers markets. For every $2 of SNAP benefits a shopper chooses to spend, they will receive up to $20 in DUFB.
DUFB can only be spent on fresh, dried, or frozen whole or cut fruits and vegetables without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt. This includes mushrooms, herbs, and dried beans.
No change may be given for food bucks. Food bucks may only be redeemed at participating markets.
Vendors turn in tokens to the PFM information booth at all markets.
Please have tokens divided by $1 EBT, $5 and $2 DUFB 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.
PFM sponsors programs such as Chef in the Market, Kids Cook at the Market and other special events 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. Market purchase vouchers are reimbursed twice per month along with the token redemptions.
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 are issued on green checks in specific denominations which may differ from year to year and are used 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.
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.
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.
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 and 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.
Please note that in 2021, we implemented Pet Crossings at our PSU market as a way to provide a space for shoppers to keep their dogs away from market vendors and shopper walkways.
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 product, 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.
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.
Many of our farms donate to Urban Gleaners, a local non-profit, that efficiently distributes unsold produce and other products to the local community through emergency food relief agencies and food to schools programs.
Donation receipts are available directly from gleaners on request. Gleaners generally arrive at the market during the last hour and check in with vendors to find out if there are any donations for the day.
In 2021, Urban Gleaners picked up produce from some of our markets, including the PSU and King Farmers Markets. If you have produce and/or products to donate, call 503-226-8061 to schedule a pickup at the end of a market.
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.
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.
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 specific markets, events and programming. Sponsor candidates are evaluated on an individual basis to ensure there is not direct conflict with the Market’s mission. In addition, PFM receives numerous in-kind donations, benefits from the support of volunteers, and cultivates community partners.
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.
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.
Please visit the Programs & Events section of our website to learn more about our current programming.
Multnomah County Health Department
Temp Restaurant Licenses, Food Handlers Permits