Do farm markets require a DRC membership?

| DRC

Today, many farm markets are open for business 12 months of the year but there is little question as we head into early summer and fall that these are the peak months for farm market operators and consumers alike.

As part of DRC’s outreach initiative and preparedness for the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), a series of self-assessments  was developed to assist persons in determining their need for a DRC membership to ensure compliance with the SFCR regulatory requirement. The SFCR requires that persons who buy, sell, import or export fresh fruit or vegetables be a member in good standing of the DRC, unless excepted by the regulation.

One of the business categories in the series is Farm Market Vendors & Other Direct to Consumers. When considering this category, it is important to begin with an established definition:

Farm Market Vendor: a grower or other person who conducts sales at a farm market, market stall or roadside stand directly to consumers.

In some instances, a farm or production unit may have a separate legal entity for marketing purposes. Depending on the nature of the transactions and the product’s final destination, a DRC membership may be required for the marketing entity, which could be a farm market.

The self-assessment includes a number of Q&A scenarios, including:

  • I supplement my production and/or vendor sales with produce purchased from other producers located in a province other than my place of business or farm market/stall location. (DRC membership required)
  • I supplement my production and/or vendor sales with produce purchased from other producers located within my province for sales in a province other than that of my place of business or farm market/stall location. (DRC membership required)
  • I pack, ship and sell only fresh fruits or vegetables that I have grown myself as a single business entity at a farm market or roadside stand, as well as to another province and/or internationally. (DRC membership not required)

There are numerous business and marketing frameworks for farm markets or marketing entities. To access the self-assessment to determine if your farm market or marketing entity requires a DRC membership, visit http://fvdrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/4_SFCR-DRC-Farm-Market-Direct-to-Consumers-Self-Assessment.pdf