Texas Farmer's Market
Farmers’ Market Rules
Texas farmers’ markets provide another option for farmers, food producers, and other vendors to sell their products to the public. Farmers’ markets also present an option to shoppers for food products from farmers and other producers. Regulations for Texas farmers’ markets are contained in Title 25, Chapter 229.701-704 of the Texas Administrative Code (25 TAC 229.701-704). Directly below are links to the Farmers’ Market regulations and Frequently Asked Questions regarding farmers’ markets.
229.701-229.704 Farmer's Market Rules
Senate Bill 617 (87th Legislature, 2021) made several important changes to Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 437, which is the underlying statute for Retail Food Safety, to include Farmers’ Markets and Cottage Food, in Texas. The changes required an update to the Farmers’ Market regulations. Key changes are below.
§229.702(3) contains an amended definition of “farmers’ market”: “A designated location used for a recurring event at which a majority of the vendors are farmers or other food producers who sell food directly to consumers. A farmers' market must include at least two vendors who meet the definition of "farmer" as defined in paragraph (2) of this section and may include vendors who meet the definition of "food producer" as defined in paragraph (6) of this section. In addition, a farmers' market may include vendors who are not "farmers" or "food producers," provided that "farmers" and "food producers" constitute the majority of vendors who participate in the market throughout the year.
§229.702(2) contains a new definition for “farmer”: “A person or entity that produces agricultural products including, but not limited to, fruits, vegetables, fungi, grains, fiber, honey, dairy products, meat, poultry, or eggs, by practice of the agricultural arts upon land that the person or entity owns, rents, leases, or to which the person or entity otherwise has access.”
§229.702(6) contains a new definition for “food producer”: “A person who grew, raised, processed, prepared, manufactured, or otherwise added value to the food product the person is selling. The term does not include a person who only packaged or repackaged a food product.”
The department or the local health department may issue a permit to a farmer or food producer who sells food at a farmers' market. Regardless of what the permit is called, the following parameters from Texas Health and Safety Code §437.0065(c) apply. The permit:
- must be valid for a term of not less than one year;
- may impose an annual fee in an amount not to exceed $100.00 for issuance or renewal; and
- must cover sales at all farmers' markets, farm stands, and farms within the jurisdiction of the permitting authority.