The Virginia Farmers Market Association has launched the Virginia Certified Farmers Market Program to recognize markets in the state that are meeting and exceeding best practices. This is a way for markets to distinguish themselves to consumers, vendors, and their communities.
When consumers shop a Virginia Certified Farmers Market, they can trust that the market is a safe, welcoming, and transparent source of local food. Not only is certification a message to shoppers that the market is striving to keep them safe, but it also lets vendors know that the market takes promotion and outreach to new shoppers seriously.
Certification comes in 3 levels — Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each level is based on a simple point system that covers categories such as food safety, continuing education, and public safety. The more points that a market has the higher the level of certification with gold being at the top.
The standards of the program were developed by an advisory committee made-up of market managers, state agency and university staff. VAFMA will be providing training and resources to assist markets to achieve the standards in each certification area.
The program is open to all Virginia farmers markets. We invite market owners and managers to contact Meredith Ledlie Johnson to start the application process.