[Market-farming] Limiting vendors at the farmers market

Del Williams delannw at dlogue.net
Tue Jan 28 12:40:06 EST 2003

Our market went through several rounds of discussions about who could sell.
I live in a different county than the market.  So, originally, my
eligibility was in question.  That went to a vote.  We ended up allowing one
out-of-state vendor.   A Michigan fruit grower who later diversified their
offerings of vegetables, jellies and flowers.  That really ticked off the
flower people and some of the vegetable growers.

In fact, the flower vendors are the most adamant about limiting competition.
We voted in a new vendor who wanted to sell perennials.  After the vote, one
of the flower vendors told her, "You aren't going to sell bouquets are you?
This market can't support any more flower vendors.

I thought that was ridiculous.  Why shouldn't a vendor be able to diversify
their offerings whenever they like?

I wonder, though, if it is legal to limit competition by limiting vendors?

I think our market does a terrible job of limiting the sale of out of state
produce.  Unbelievable to see Arkansas/Florida tomatoes at an Illinois
market.  Same for out of state apples and potatoes.

Well, a lot of issues mentioned in here and many we have talked about before
on this list.

Is it legal to limit competition at a farmers' market?

Del Williams
Farmer in the Del
Clifton, IL

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