Along with the mission statement, rules serve as the foundation of a market.
The Starting a New Farmers Market: Farmers Market Management series, Vol. 1 Chapter 13 from the University of California's Small Farms Program (download available below) shares this following:
Market rules have a tradition in America that is as old as the markets themselves. William Penn’s markets in Philadelphia opened in 1693 under a proclamation that the market would open with the ringing of a bell twice a week and that there would be no buying or selling on the way to market or before opening. Other rules at colonial markets stated that all producers were guaranteed equal access and that attempting to create a monopoly to control the price of an item and buying items to resell them at the same market were punishable offenses. Today, market rules cover similar issues, though, fortunately, the vendor who breaks a rule is no longer locked into a pillory for public ridicule.
Rules are important to a successful market, but using the K.I.S.S. theory, organizers should strive to avoid overly complex or restrictive guidelines.
The following resources offer several perspectives on developing effective guidelines for farmers markets.
To download a publication PDF, click on the cover image.
Farmers’ Markets Rules, Regulations and Opportunities
Neil D. Hamilton, a National AgLaw Center Publication
For this study, rules from more than thirty farmers’ markets currently operating in fifteen states were examined in order to determine the most common provisions, to identify important legal and operational issues, and to understand how markets are typically administered. Farmers’ market rules are as varied as the types of markets found in the United States. Market rules may be referred to as regulations, guidelines, or policies and can range from simple one-page lists of guidelines to 24-page books of policies.
49 pages. 134 kb PDF
Starting a New Farmers Market
Farmers Market Management series, Vol. 1
Chapter 13: Creating Market Rules
University of California Small Farm Program
One of the most concrete and enduring legacies of the first board of directors and manager is the creation of a set of rules for the market. Market rules play an important role in defining and positioning the market and in establishing its character. They cover such issues and concerns as stall fees, membership requirements, allowable and desirable products, and the times and dates of operation.
6 pages. 429 KB