FAQ: How to Handle Problems with Market Managers

First there are some things you need to know:

An Alberta approved farmers’ market is one that has been approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) and as such meets the requirements of the program guidelines (keep in mind these are guidelines not legislation) that have been approved by the Minister.

These include:

  • being sponsored by a not-for-profit community group, local Chamber of Commerce, municipality or agricultural society or forming their own not-for profit society under the Societies Act. Privately owned markets are not eligible to operate under the banner of an Alberta approved farmers’ market.
  • operate under the direction of an advisory body or board of directors depending on the nature of the sponsoring body. Public markets typically have for-profit ownership and there is no requirement for an advisory body or board of directors in that situation.
  • decisions are made at the local level (i.e. boards, managers) which strengthens market rules overall
  • 80 per cent (80%) of the vendors are Albertans who meet the “make it, bake it, grow it” criteria; the remaining 20 per cent (20%) of the vendors are selling products that complement the market mix;
  • sale of any used good or flea market products are prohibited;
  • must operate for no less than ten (10) days per year and for two (2) hours per market day;
  • have at least one vendor meeting per year;
  • have developed a set of rules which govern the operation of the market.
  • A copy of these rules must be made available to AF and all the vendors at the market.
  • adhere to the administrative requirements of the program

Steps on how to settle a disagreement:

  1.   Discussion with the person you are having the disagreement with is always the first step!  Most things can be worked out with a calm discussion over coffee. 
  2.  Review of the policy and procedures manual or bylaws of the society.  If the market is run by a non-profit society you can get a copy of the bylaws by going to any Registries office and requesting them by using the official name of the Society.  
  3.   A written complaint to the society or non-profit board outlining your concerns.