Do I need a license to sell eggs at the farmers market?

Understand the rules for becoming a Michigan farmers market vendor.

Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes farmers market season. Purchasing food from your local farmers market is a fantastic way to enjoy fresh products and support local farms and businesses. Michigan State University Extension recommends supporting Michigan agriculture through the purchase of local food. For vendors, farmers markets are a simple way to exhibit their products and connect with the community, but many vendors ask a similar question: what can I sell at a farmers market?

Many different food items can be sold at a Michigan farmers market, but some need extra licensing and approval. Vendors that grow and process their own foods can sell any of the following common farmers market items directly to consumers without a license:

  • Fresh, whole fruits or vegetables that have not been cut or processed
  • Shell eggs, which must be labeled that they are produced in a facility not inspected by MDARD
  • Honey or maple syrup from a farm grossing less than $15,000 annually
  • Products operating under the Cottage Food Exemption

Although farmers market vendors can sell these foods without a license, there are still some requirements and recommendations to be followed. If a vendor would like to sell products that have been produced an outside party, they will need to acquire a food establishment license. This includes vendors that send their produce to be milled, processed or pasteurized by an outside licensed company.

Some of these items also require specific labels and FDA approved warning statements. Foods should always be held at proper temperatures to prevent spoilage and maintain food safety. This includes holding cut leafy greens and eggs below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, reminding the consumers to wash fresh produce before eating is always a good idea!

To learn more about farmers market regulations and how to obtain certain licenses, call (517) 284-5771 or visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development website.

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