If you are interested in having a stall at the Growing Communities farmers' market please look at our guidelines below. If your product meets the criteria, please contact us telling us what you are interested in selling.

Growing Communities believes that if we are to create a sustainable, re-localised food system then we need to work with communities and farmers to take our food back from supermarkets and agri-business. We set up the Growing Communities Farmers' Market in May 2003 to support and promote food production that is:

* Environmentally sustainable (which we define as produced through organic or biodynamic farming)

* Part of a small-scale operation

* Locally sourced

* Seasonal

* Fairly traded

The market rules outlined below have been created with all the above in mind. 

1.    Only local producers and processors are eligible for the Growing Communities Farmers’ Market.  Growing Communities defines local as those producers and processors within a 70 mile radius of the market. If all factors such as (2) below are taken into account, preference will be given to the most local producers.

1a.  In special circumstances, which currently only apply to organic dairy products, fish and meat, the maximum distance from which producers may travel is 100 miles from the market.

2.    All producers will be required to be certified organic or biodynamic. Growing Communities will require copies of up to date certification. We will accept producers in conversion to organic status.  We also welcome producers selling sustainably harvested wild produce.

 3.  All processors will be required to be certified organic or biodynamic if they source less than 70% (by volume) of their ingredients from producers at the market or from Growing Communities, this is to ensure that the food on sale at the market is predominantly locally sourced. We have some exceptions for small-scale artisan producers – see 3a, 3b and 3c below.

3a. Processors who source 70% or more of their ingredients from producers at the market will not require organic/bio-dynamic certification but they will be required to show evidence of the purchase of ingredients from producers at the market or from Growing Communities and to follow organic processing procedures.  The ingredients that are not sourced from producers at the market must be certified organic. If you cannot source a minimum of 70% of your ingredients from the market, then you will be required to have full organic certification with the exception of the following categories below.

3b. All processors using flour must use organic flour sourced from the UK. If they are not certified they must either source the flour from the market, Growing Communities or provide receipts to show the flour is organic. We have adapted this rule to enable small, locally based bakers to sell at the market. This exception only applies to stallholders with a turnover of less than £25,000 per year.

3c. We want to support local artisan producers for whom the cost of certification is too high and who are using ingredients that cannot be sourced from the market – such as chocolate. All processors using chocolate must use organic Fairtrade chocolate in addition to ensuring that all other ingredients are organic. If they are not certified they must retain receipts showing the origin, organic and Fairtrade nature of their ingredients for inspection by Growing Communities. They must also meet the requirement of sourcing some of their other ingredients such as eggs from the market. This exception only applies to producers with a turnover of less than £25,000 per year.

4.    All stalls must be staffed by someone who is directly involved in growing, raising or producing the goods on sale.
5.    All produce on sale must be grown, reared, caught or produced by the stallholders themselves with the exception of fish. Given the challenges faced by fishers, we accept fish stalls where the fish is sold by an intermediary but the fish sold must be bought directly from local, day-boat fishers, ensuring fair pay for them in line with GC's principles. 
6. No brought-in produce may be resold without further processing. Processed  goods should contain at least 30% ingredients of local origin.

7. No genetically modified produce or goods containing genetically modified ingredients may be sold.

8. All stallholders must comply with current Trading Standards and Environmental Health requirements and must be registered with Environmental Health Officers in their local area and with the Environmental Health Officer at Hackney Council.
9. All stallholders must have their own employee liability insurance, public liability insurance for their stall and products liability insurance.  Copies of these documents must be given to Growing Communities.

10. It is the responsibility of all stallholders to check and maintain their cooking equipment and ensure that this equipment is only used by trained staff.  All stallholders using gazebos or umbrellas are required to have a weights attached at all times.  The minimum requirement for gazebos is 13 kgs per gazebo leg and a minimum of 20 kgs for market umbrellas. We reserve the right not to allow stalls to operate at the market if these conditions are not met. All stallholders are required to take down gazebos and/or market umbrellas if required to do so by the market manager in the event of high winds. 

11.  Collaborative stalls: The producer of the goods must attend at least one market in four. Each producer represented on the stall will have to sign a copy of the contract and be deemed to satisfy the other Farmers' Market criteria.

12.  Stallholders can only start selling to the public from 10am onwards.  This is in order not to break the conditions of our planning permission.

13. The Growing Communities Farmers' Market is primarily a food and produce market. We do allow a small number of craft/non-food stalls at the market during the Christmas period - we will give priority to stalls using local or re-used materials.

14. We reserve the right to ask stallholders to leave if they break these rules or operate in a way which is not in line with Growing Communities' Key Principles.

15. Market fees: The basic fee per stall is £25 per market. The total amount payable per stall is based on 12.5% of takings for the day, from a minimum of £25 up to a maximum of £140.