[Market-farming] Pricing

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Fri May 4 15:02:58 EDT 2012


Alison and all,
Just got off the phone with a vendor wanting to know the price for rhubarb
at our market, to help figure out how to sell it at his.
Agreed that vendor education a good way to go on discussions about prices.
We have a volunteer at our market that records prices on a variety of
produce at market, then sends it into our Virginia Dept of Ag and Consumer
Services.  They organize all the material and post it weekly; we can then
see the statewide range of prices on many items we sell.
http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/marketnews/farmersmarkets.shtml

Note this is not a floor but a range.

We print this out multiple times through the market season, then pass out
to each vegetable vendor at the market.  Being careful not to tell vendors
what they should charge, but letting them know the ranges of what farmers
markets around the state are charging.

On non-produce items with significant management costs (such as honey and
eggs), where vendors sometimes sell below cost of production, I've on
occasion let a fellow vendor know that we charge more, still sell all we
bring, and leave it at that.  Would that be considered illegal in certain
jurisdictions?

While at a regional farm conference last spring, the keynote presenter
(from NC) shared this:
He warned us to avoid price fixing.  There was a recent investigation about
this in NC; he was asked for multiple records from his market sales, and he
felt the need to comply.  He was not charged, but his prices over time were
investigated.

Richard Moyer
SW VA  Picking first peas today for market tomorrow.  We charge more for
these, for grown on valuable bed space in the HT.
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