Certified Farmers' Markets
A Certified Farmers’ Market (CFM) allows certified producers to sell their agriculture products directly to consumers. A CFM may only be operated by one or more certified producers, by a nonprofit organization, or by a local government agency. Both the market and the certified producers must be certified by the State of California through the County Agricultural Commissioner. There are currently 19 CFMs that operate in the County of San Mateo and each market is permitted and inspected by San Mateo County Environmental Health Services.
Vendors who would like to sell non-agricultural foods or drinks at a CFM within San Mateo County must obtain a CFM Temp Event vendor permit from San Mateo County Environmental Health Services. Before applying, vendors must obtain approval from the market manager for each market they would like to attend.
*PLEASE BE ADVISED – in addition to the CFM Temp Event permit, all CFM vendors must have a valid retail food permit. Vendors who wholesale are exempt from this requirement but must obtain a Processed Food Registration from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). For more information, please visit the CDPH website.
CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET: TEMPORARY EVENT VENDOR PERMITS (Site Specific):
Risk Category 1 CFM Temp Event Vendor – No Preparation
- Pre-packaged foods only, cold holding and hot holding allowed.
- No open foods/drinks, no prep, and no cooking allowed.
- Sampling must be pre-portioned off-site at an approved facility and cannot require temperature controls.
Risk Category 2 CFM Temp Event Vendor – With Food Preparation
ONLY 10 TOTAL RC2 VENDORS ALLOWED AT EACH MARKET
- Open foods and drinks allowed.
- On-site food prep and cooking allowed.
- Samples can be prepared on-site.
For current Certified Farmers’ Market permit fees, click here.
HOW TO OBTAIN A CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET VENDOR PERMIT
For Risk Category 1 permit
1. Complete the CFM RC1 application for each market you would like to attend.
2. Submit applications and permit fees for each market directly to San Mateo County Environmental Health Services. Please submit the permit applications at least 2 weeks before your anticipated start date.
For Risk Category 2 permit
1. Complete the CFM RC2 application for each market you would like to attend.
2. Submit your applications with the permit fee to the Market Manager/ Coordinator for the market you want to attend. The Market Manager/Coordinator must submit the applications at least 2 weeks before the anticipated start date.
MARKET MANAGER / COORDINATOR
How to apply for a New Certified Farmers’ Market:
- Obtain approval from County of San Mateo Agriculture/Weights & Measures Department.
- Submit a San Mateo County Environmental Health Services permit application, and the San Mateo County Ag approval and applicable permit fee for the CFM permit at least 2 weeks prior to the event start date. Include a site plan showing locations of producer booths, food booths, toilet facilities, all waste disposal booths, toilet facilities, all waste disposal locations, etc.
- Ensure food vendors and certified producers have the required permits and/or certifications and follow all food safety requirements.
- Provide greywater disposal systems and garbage receptacles on-site for TFFs and certified producers.
- Provide toilet facilities for food vendors and their employees within 200 feet of all Temporary Food Facility and Certified Producer booths.
- A minimum of one toilet per 15 Temporary Food Facility food handlers is required.
- Submit your event packet (applications, forms, site plan, list of Mobile Food Facilities, and payment) at least 2 weeks before your event to San Mateo County Environmental Health Services.
How to permit a RC2 applicant at your CFM:
- Submit the CFM Coordinator application with the current permit fee.
- Include all RC2 applications from vendors (up to a maximum of 10 RC2 vendors allowed for each market per year).
- Provide a list of any Mobile Food Vendors at the market and include the San Mateo County Environmental Health Services permit number. (If the Mobile Food Vendor does not have a San Mateo County Environmental Health Services permit, then they will be counted towards the 10 allowable RC2 vendors at the market).
- Submit all information needed at least 2 weeks before event start date for permit(s).
For more information or questions regarding CFMs contact:
Any other questions or to be directed, call Environmental Health Services at (650) 372-6200.