Recent Changes to Farmers Markets . . . 

With the passage of Assembly Bill 1871 and the resulting changes effecting farmers’ market producers.  These changes become effective January 1, 2015. Full text of the bill AB 1871.

If you have any questions regarding the new legislation, please contact Agricultural & Standards Inspector Shanna Vickers at (559) 852-2830 or Shanna.Vickers@co.kings.ca.us

Requirements for Selling Produce in Kings County        
Small Farm Food Safety Guidelines
Fresh Produce Container Labeling, Ownership

Farmers Market Insp 

Summary of Assembly Bill 1871

New Section 47000.5 defines "agricultural product" for the purposes of what may or may not be sold in the area designated as a Certified Farmers Market.  An “agricultural product” is a fresh or processed product produced in California, including fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, dairy, shell eggs, honey, pollen, unprocessed bees wax, propolis, royal jelly, flowers, grains, nursery stock, livestock meats, poultry meats, rabbit meats, and fish, including shellfish that is produced under controlled conditions in waters located in California.  

This section further specifies that products characterized as services, arts, crafts, bakery, candies, soaps, balms, perfumes, cosmetics, pottery, clothing, fabrics, pastas, compost, fertilizers, candles, ceramics, foraged foods, and types of wares are not agricultural products for the purposes of this chapter.

Section 47004 requires all producers participating within a CFM to post conspicuous signage stating the ranch name, production county, and a statement that clearly represents that the producer is only selling product which they have grown or raised.

The Section also requires that all processed product shall be identified by a registration number or other identifying reference to the facility where the food was processed or another required labeling statement in accordance with California Health and Safety Code.

In addition, no sale of fresh whole fruits, nuts, vegetables or flowers shall be allowed to be sold in an area adjacent to the area known as a CFM.

Section 47020 requires that applications for CFM certificates to include a declaration by the producer that they are knowledgeable and intend to produce in accordance with Good Agricultural Practices as outlined in the Small Farm Food Safety Guidelines published by California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

Section 890 now makes it unlawful to misrepresent the sale or availability of agricultural products with regard to the area of production, the identity of the producer selling product, or the methodology of production. Penalties for misdemeanor violations of this section are six months in jail, a fine not to exceed $2,500 or both.

Section 891 allows for civil penalties up to $5,000 to be levied in lieu of prosecution.

Section 892 allows either CDFA or the county agricultural commissioner to take separate action if warranted for violations specific to a particular license or permit.

Section 894 states that actions for violations of Section 890 preclude any concurrent proceedings for the same act.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When do the changes take effect?
A. The bill's provisions became effective January 1, 2015.

Q. What kind of signage will producers need to post?
A. Producers will be required to post a conspicuous sign that contains the farm or ranch name, the county or counties of production, and a statement that they only sell what they grow or similar representation. They will still be required to post their certified producer's certificate.

Q. Can produce not grown in California, such as bananas or papayas, still be sold in the community events section of the farmer's market?
A. No. The new law states no fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables, or flowers may be sold in an area adjacent to the CFM.

Q. Mushrooms are not a fruit or vegetable. Are they approved for sale in the area adjacent to the CFM?
A. Yes. AB 1871 specifically states fresh whole fruits, nuts, vegetables, and flowers as not allowable for sale in the area adjacent to the CFM. Other agricultural products, such as eggs, honey, grains, mushrooms, and herbs would be allowed for sale in the area adjacent to the CFM.

Q. What does the new definition of "Agricultural Products" mean?
A. It clarifies what may or may not be sold in the area designated as a CFM. Products such as soaps, candles, crafts and others are now defined as non-agricultural and may not be sold in the area designated as a CFM. Nonagricultural products may still be allowed to be sold in the community events section.

Q. What does the new definition of "practicing the agricultural arts" mean?
A. The new definition states the producers must encompass the various phases of producing the agricultural product. This would eliminate individuals that purchase a plant, water it once and declare that they have practiced the agricultural arts in order to get that product certified.

Q. Will certification costs rise?
A. The county agricultural commissioner is now allowed full cost recovery, but they are required to provide a cost estimation prior to certification. Here in Kings County, we don't expect costs to increase as we have been providing certificates under full cost recovery charges.

Q. Can producers still be suspended and/or fined?
A. Yes. Anyone caught misrepresenting the area of production, the producer's identity, or methodology of production is subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and an 18 month suspension.