Farmers' Market Managers

 
 
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Market Managers

Market Manager | Market Manager Training | Food Safety | Market Manager Resources

Market Manager

The farmers’ market manager is one of the most critical roles in the market, requiring some very specific skills and knowledge. This person is the liaison with the board of directors, the vendors, ARD, the public health inspector and other regulatory agencies. 

A job description should be developed for your market manager so that everyone is clear about duties and responsibilities. A sample market manager job description has been developed and can be customized to meet the needs of your market. It can be found here.

One of the primary roles of the market manager is enforcement. The manager enforces market rules, ensures the guidelines are adhered to and ensures vendors are compliant with legislation. AF has developed an online market manager training manual that clearly describes the roles and responsibilities of the manager as well as basic information about legislation that applies to the market and its vendors. This home study course is mandatory for all approved farmers’ market managers within one year of becoming a manager of an approved farmers’ market. It can be found here.

The safety of the food being sold at approved farmers’ markets is critical to the success of farmers’ markets in Alberta. ARD is committed to ensuring market managers and vendors have a minimum level of food safety training. Working in partnership with Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health and Wellness, a farmers’ market food safety home study course was developed and is available on the Alberta Health Services website. ARD requires that all market managers and food vendors selling at Alberta approved farmers’ markets complete this course within one year of becoming a market manager or food vendor. 

Some markets do choose to operate without an official market manager, rather dividing the responsibilities up among the various board members. While this is acceptable, there still must be a single point of contact for ARD and the public health inspector. This person will also be required to take the market manager training and food safety home study course.

Farmers' Market Manager Training

An important factor in the overall success of a farmers' market is the skills and knowledge of the Market Manager. An on-line training manual has been developed for your use. With the development of this training manual, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is committed to ensuring that approved farmers' market managers have the basic information they need in order to succeed in their roles.

As stated in the Approved Farmers' Market Program Guidelines, market manager training is mandatory for all market managers within one year of becoming a manager of an approved farmers' market. This on-line resource will enable all managers to meet that requirement.

Click here to access the manual.

Any questions regarding market manager training or the content of the manual should be directed to:
Eileen Kotowich
Farmers' Market Specialist
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
4701 52 Street, Box 24
Vermilion, AB T9X 1J9

Phone: 780-853-8223

email: eileen.kotowich@gov.ab.ca

Food Safety

Farmers' Market Food Safety Home Study Course
The safety of the food being sold at approved farmers’ markets is critical to the success of farmers’ markets in Alberta. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) is committed to ensuring market managers and vendors have a minimum level of food safety training. Working in partnership with Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health, a farmers' market food safety home study course was developed and is available on-line through Alberta Health Services. The course certificate expires after three years. To renew, the course exam must be completed and submitted again.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is requiring that all market managers and food vendors selling at Alberta approved farmers' markets complete this course within one year of becoming a market manager or food vendor.

Exception: Completion of this course is not required for those individuals who have already completed an approved Alberta food sanitation and hygiene training program and/or who are required to complete the food safety training described under Section 31 of the Food Regulation.

Upon successful completion of the course (passing grade of 80%), you will be sent a certificate by Alberta Health Services.

Managers and vendors must display their certificates at the market. For vendors who are selling at multiple markets, a copy of the certificate is acceptable for display purposes.

A food vendor is defined as any vendor selling a food product. This includes but is not limited to fresh fruits and vegetables, protein products, and all food products that have been baked and processed. Vendors of prepackaged products, i.e. vendors operating as distributors, who do not actually handle the food product are advised to take this training but are not required to do so UNLESS they are sampling those products at the market.

Market Manager and Vendor Food Safety Checklists
These simple self-evaluation checklists highlight areas of concern in food handling at the market and will help you think about the food safety risks. They will help you identify the things that you are doing right and things that need to be changed and improved. Four different checklists are available: Manager startup checklist; Manager weekly checklist; Vendor startup checklist; Vendor weekly checklist. For further information contact Eileen Kotowich for hard copies of these checklists.

Alberta Health Services Farmers' Market Information
Alberta Health Services (AHS) has compiled all their standard operating procedures (SOPs) for farmers' markets into an easy-to-read information package. These documents are provincial in nature and are used with all approved farmers' markets across Alberta. This package includes:

  • Information for Farmers' Market Managers and Stallholders,
  • Farmers' Market Manager's Checklist - Daily,
  • Farmers' Market Vendors' Food Safety Checklist ,
  • Farmers' Market Guidelines for Canning Lids and Jars.

Farmers' Market Management Resources

Promoting Your Alberta Approved Farmers' Market fact sheet Agdex 845-22
This fact sheet gives you some basic tips about how to better promote your farmers' market so as to attract more customers.

Evaluating Your Alberta Approved Farmers' Market fact sheet Agdex 845-23
This fact sheets helps managers and boards/committees understand the importance of evaluating different aspects of their farmers' market as well as some tips on how to conduct those evaluations.


Farmers' Market Manager Job Description
This information sheet was developed as a guide for markets to use when developing a job description for the market manager position. Not all the material contain within will apply to all markets and so the document should be customized for each market.

Interview Questions for Farmers' Market Manager
This information sheet was developed to provide boards and selection committees with some tips on the types of interview questions which should be asked during an interview for the farmers' market manager.

Building Better Farmers' Markets
Customers agree that farmers’ markets are one of the best sources of local food, but if the industry is to continue expanding, it is up to individual farmers’ markets to encourage patrons to visit more often and spend more money on each visit.

Check out our Alberta Approved Farmers' Market Directory


Download the Approved Farmers' Market App and experience a farmers' market near you.

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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 March 16, 2016.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 13, 2016.