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Download the Approved Farmers' Market App
The Alberta Farmers’ Market mobile app will link users to up-to-date information about all the Alberta approved farmers’ markets including location, dates, times and contact information. Download the Approved Farmers' Market App and experience a farmers' market near you.

Check out our Alberta Approved Farmers' Market Directory


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What is an Alberta Approved Farmers' Market?

In Alberta, there are two different types of markets – Alberta approved farmers’ markets and public markets. Both types of markets involve a gathering of vendors who sell their products directly to consumers. The difference lies in the ownership/management of the market and the privileges accorded to each type of market. One is not better than the other – they are simply different.

An Alberta approved farmers' market is one that has been approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) and as such meets the requirements of the program guidelines that have been approved by the Minister. These include:
  • being sponsored by a not-for-profit community group, local Chamber of Commerce, municipality or agricultural society or forming their own not-for profit society under the Societies Act. Privately owned markets are not eligible to operate under the banner of an Alberta approved farmers' market.
  • operate under the direction of an advisory body or board of directors depending on the nature of the sponsoring body. Public markets typically have for-profit ownership and there is no requirement for an advisory body or board of directors in that situation.
  • 80 per cent (80%) of the vendors meet the "make it, bake it, grow it" criteria; the remaining 20 per cent (20%) of the vendors are selling products that complement the market mix
  • sale of any used good or flea market products are prohibited
  • must operate for no less than ten (10) days per year and for two (2) hours per market day
  • have at least one vendor meeting per year
  • have developed a set of rules which govern the operation of the market.
    • A copy of these rules must be made available to AF and all the vendors at the market.
  • adhere to the administrative requirements of the program
  • As an approved farmers' market, it receives the following benefits:
  • All markets follow the same guidelines that set minimum standards thereby strengthening the markets across the province.
  • Approved farmers’ markets are recognized as such in Part 3 of the Alberta Public Health Act Food Regulation
  • Only Alberta approved farmers’ markets can use the official mark - Sunnygirl - in their advertising and promotion and can make arrangements to use the Sunnygirl logo on highway signage.
  • Alberta approved farmers’ markets can take advantage of the free promotion provided by AF including being listed in the annual brochure and onwww.sunnygirl.ca.
A public market is generally one that is privately owned and includes all types of operations including flea markets. As a public market, each food vendor must have an individual food establishment permit and be operating in a health approved facility. Some municipalities also have bylaws that are applied to public markets. Most municipalities require each vendor at a public market to have a business or peddler's license, whereas often only a single license is required for the approved farmers' market because of its nonprofit status. A public market does not receive any of the above noted benefits enjoyed by an approved farmers' market.

Email: ab.approvedfarmersmarket@gov.ab.ca
Newsletters
  • Field Notes e-newsletter - Field Notes is the quarterly e-newsletter of the Explore Local Initiative. It targets producers who are currently selling or who are interested in selling through local market channels - farmers' markets, u-picks, on-farm retail, community shared agriculture, ag tourism operations with a food component or selling directly to restaurants. The newsletter contains project spotlights, tips on how to improve your local market business, upcoming events and contacts.
  • Hort Snacks Newsletter - Hort Snacks is a monthly newsletter targeted at direct market horticulture crop producers and related industry. It contains timely articles and topics related to all aspects of horticulture crop production operations, including production, business and marketing. Upcoming conferences and workshops (regional, provincial, national and international) are listed. There are also thought provoking items, as well as monthly interactive questions and answers.
  • Direct Currents - Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association quarterly newsletter containing helpful information related to farm direct marketing your products. Become a member and receive this valuable benefit of membership.
 
 
 
 
For more information about the content of this document, contact Eileen Kotowich.
This document is maintained by Abby Verstraete.
This information published to the web on May 20, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on April 28, 2016.