Farmers Markets Rules and Policies: Content and Design Suggestions (From a Lawyer)

13 J. Food Law & Pol'y 181 (2017) (Forthcoming)

13 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2017

Date Written: August 18, 2017


Farmers market rules and policies can do a lot for a market. They can set out what products can be sold, how vendors are selected, what’s expected of vendors from growing practices to signage to paperwork, and how vendors are disciplined or removed from the market. Rules and policies can do even more. They can describe a market’s history and philosophy, educate consumers, signal compliance with regulatory requirements, and reinforce tax-exempt status or organizational form. Rules can also operate as contracts, with meaningful legal protection and risk management value. One consequence of this functionality is that rules and policy documents can get pretty long. The landscape gets even more complex when the rules are accompanied by separate vendor applications, hold-harmless agreements, and membership materials, and the market has a website providing additional information. All this can put a quite a reading burden on vendors and quite a management burden on the market. This article is about ways to both maximize the value to a market of its rules and minimize the load on the user.

Keywords: farmers markets, direct marketing, contract design, farming

JEL Classification: K12

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, Jay A., Farmers Markets Rules and Policies: Content and Design Suggestions (From a Lawyer) (August 18, 2017). 13 J. Food Law & Pol'y 181 (2017) (Forthcoming) , Available at SSRN:

Jay A. Mitchell (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-724-0014 (Phone)
650-723-4426 (Fax)

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