We’ve all seen it: the word “farmers markets” in the signage for such venues as an airport convenience store or a fancy supermarket. Farmers market sales are down across the country, and Maryland Farmers Market Association believes that specialty retail stores, grocery stores, online outlets, and street markets that call themselves “farmers markets” are a disservice to local farmers and shoppers.
The Farmers Market Integrity Act (Senate Bill 0351) is bipartisan legislation aimed at protecting the integrity of farmers markets and protecting Marylanders from deceptive advertising by creating a legally binding definition of a “farmers market,” that prevents other retail venues from misusing the term. The legislation also prohibits a person from selling farm and food products at a farmers market unless 75% of the products offered were grown or processed by the person or under the supervision of the person. Moreover, the Act establishes a Farmers Market Review Panel to oversee these new regulations.
This legislation is before the MD State Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee and will hopefully move through the Maryland General Assembly and be adopted into law.
We are looking for Marylanders to support this legislation with written testimony. We have drafted the testimony, and if you support this Act, please fill out this form, and we will submit it for you on your behalf.
Of course, you are welcome to submit your own; if you choose to do that, you can email it to us, and we can submit it at any relevant hearings.
Learn more about the legislation here and sign the written testimony here.