Becoming a Member of Thames Valley Farmers’ Market Co-operative Ltd
Who can join?
We welcome applications from local producers who would like to trade at one or more of our markets.
Membership of our co-operative will allow you to sell your produce at professionally managed, well promoted markets that are part of an organisation that is owned and run by its members. All the money we raise is ploughed back into the organisation for the benefit of our stall holders.
We believe that Thames Valley Farmers’ Markets are some of the best in the country and we take great care to maintain high standards so that our customers can be certain of the quality and provenance of everything they buy. By joining us, you can benefit from high levels of customer confidence that we have built up over many years.
To safeguard our standards we generally only consider applications from:
- Local producers (we define local as being within 30 miles of one of our markets).
- Who are only permitted to sell produce that they have grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed themselves.
If you are a secondary producer you will need to be able to demonstrate that your ingredients are as local as possible and, as a minimum, we ask that:
- Any meat in your products (for example, in pies, pates or prepared dishes) is locally reared.
- Every product you make contains at least 25% locally grown/produced ingredients.
- All your ingredients are as local as they can be.
- Imported ingredients are only used when there is no home-grown alternative.
We visit all new applicants so that we can be certain these standards are being met.
The majority of our members are local and our markets are principally for producers in the Thames Valley. However, we recognise that some produce is not readily available locally and in certain circumstances we will consider applications from producers who are over 30 miles from our markets or fall below our 25% rule. Speciality Traders are full members of TVFMC and have to meet the same standards. If you are outside our local area or are producers who do not meet our 25% criteria and you are interested in joining our co-operative, please speak to someone in the office.
The Application Procedure
If you think you meet our standards and you would like to apply for membership, fill in the Application Form and return it to the office by post or email.
If it looks as though you do not meet our standards we will tell you. If it is unlikely that we will be able to offer you space at any of your local markets (because they are already full or because they are not looking for more producers of your particular products) we will let you know and, if we can, give an indication of when space might become available.
If you proceed with your application, this will be reviewed by our Committee. Once your application has been approved by the Committee at their monthly meeting, we will ask our market managers to get in touch with you to agree when you can start to trade. This may be straight away or, if you will be selling products that are already available at that market, you may need to wait for two months while we inform the existing stall holders.
After an initial six month period is complete, you will be offered full membership of Thames Valley Farmers’ Market Co-operative – you will need to pay a one-off payment of £1 for your share certificate (all members are voting shareholders) and £2 per market as a membership fee.
If you accept stall space at a market you will be expected to be there every month and you will pay £30 each time for a standard 3 metre pitch, unless otherwise advised. If, however, you request Small Producer status (average takings of £150 or less at markets), you will receive a reduced stall fee of £20 per market. Alcohol sellers need to pay an additional £7 per market to help cover the costs associated with licensing. We advise all new applicants to give any market at least three to six months before deciding whether it is going to be profitable as it can take a few months to become established and build up your customer following. If you are unable to attend due to pre-planned holidays or sickness, we ask that you inform the respective Market Manager as soon as possible, so customers are aware of your absence in promotions and the layout of the market can be planned accordingly
To become a member you will need to demonstrate that:
- You have Public Liability Insurance for at least £5 million and Product Liability Insurance for at least £5 million.
- Your insurance covers you for production and sale to the public at markets.
- Your premises are registered with your local Environmental Health Office (legally you are required to register your premises at least 28 days prior to trading).
- That all persons coming into contact with food have appropriate training.
- That you have a documented food hygiene management system based on the principles of hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP).
- That you are aware of and meet all statutory requirements regarding food labelling and food safety.
Please contact us for further information on Tel: 01235 227266 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. or download the application form or read the documents below.