Additional Information

Some markets don’t fit the mould. If you need more info about making CalFresh EBT access work for your market, check out these topics, or contact us today.

What is a Certified Farmers' Market?

A Certified Farmers’ Market (CFM) is a “point of sale” location for California agricultural products. CFMs are usually set up on a weekly basis for California farmers and ranchers (“producers”) to gather together and sell their agricultural products directly to the public.

A Certified Farmers’ Market may only be operated by a local government, a certified producer or a non-profit organization. CFMs must be authorized by the county agricultural commissioner and abide by current legislation and regulations. In addition, CFMs should follow established market rules. Market rules are the set of written rules each CFM develops as its blueprint for activities and operations.

Only producers certified by the county agriculture commissioner may sell at a CFM and must display their Certified Producer Certificate, and a sign with language akin to “We Grow What We Sell.” The re-sale of agricultural products at a CFM is prohibited.

While the look and feel of Certified Farmers’ Markets throughout the state varies greatly from county to county, the one thing they all have in common is the selling of agricultural products grown or raised in California. They ensure a direct connection between consumers and the farmers that grow their food. Being a CFM also opens up the opportunity to take advantage of the free POS device program through the California Department of Social Services, as well as free resources from the Ecology Center when setting up an EBT program. It also allows you to be listed on the Ecology Center’s online farmers’ market search tool and map, Farmers’ Market Finder.

If you are interested in becoming a Certified Farmers’ Market and your market is located in one of the counties listed here, you can complete the online application. If your county does not participate in CDFA’s online application system, then you can contact your county agricultural commissioner’s office to find out how to register.

California Department of Agriculture Certified Farmers’ Market Program
(916) 900-5030

For more information or support with setting up a new Certified Farmers’ Market, please visit

Assembly Bill 537

In cases where market operators do not take on the responsibility of implementing EBT, an association of vendors can be formed and may apply for and implement the system on behalf of the other market vendors. An association of eligible vendors should be formed by each vendor/member signing an agreement to be a member and to follow SNAP vendor rules and market scrip handling rules. The association representative, can apply to FNS as the “owner” of the farmers’ association and will be responsible for maintaining the FNS license in his name, along with any EBT Point of Sale (POS) device and scrip.

If you are interested in this model, contact us and we can connect you with organizations that have taken on this role.

Flea Markets and Swap Meets

A flea market or swap meet must form a Farmers’ Market Business Association, with only eligible food vendors as members, before applying with FNS. The flea market manager, or a representative willing to take responsibility for enforcing the rules, can apply to FNS as the “owner” of the farmers’ market. Your application should be in the name of this “farmers’ market” as flea markets are not usually eligible to qualify as SNAP retailers. USDA regulation states:

“More than one-half (50%) of the total dollar amount of all things (food, non-food, gas and services) sold in the store must be from the sale of eligible staple foods.”

Accepting WIC & Senior FMNP

WIC is a federally-funded health and nutrition program for women, infants, and children. WIC helps families by providing checks every summer for purchasing healthy supplemental foods at farmers’ markets. There are two separate food benefit programs that can be spent at authorized farmers’ markets: WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks and Senior FMNP checks.

Both programs require authorization by the California Department of Public Health. For more information about program requirements and how to apply, please see our:

Find the application and training materials on WIC’s page for farmers and farmers’ market managers.

For additional information or assistance with WIC authorization, contact:
WIC Farmers’ Market Team
California Department of Public Health


Once your market becomes SNAP Authorized, you will need to renew your authorization every five years. When it is time for reauthorization, FNS will send you a letter in the mail with instructions. You will need to complete the reauthorization application within 30 days of receiving notice of reauthorization, so we recommend you complete it is as soon as you possibly can. Keep in mind, it may ask you to submit back up documentation, such as and ID or SSN, just as the original application did. 501(c)(3) nonprofits are the only type of outlet that are exempt from this requirement. For more information about ownership types, click here. If you are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we also recommend using the paper application form, because the online system asks for a SSN no matter the ownership type.

If you have any questions, or need help with your re-authorization, feel free to reach out to us any time at or at 510-925-4001.

You may also reach out to the FNS Farmers’ Market Customer Service Hotline at:


The California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets is a coalition of farmers’ markets and affiliates from around the state, committed to working together for the betterment of our industry. The Alliance offers professional development training and best practices for market managers; policy updates and representation in Sacramento and Washington, DC; and automatic membership of the Farmers’ Market Coalition – a national industry group, among many other benefits.

In 2017, the The Ecology Center was awarded a Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grant to further the work of the Alliance over the next three years. The Alliance will launch a statewide social media campaign using farmer-focused videos, images, and content. Alliance members will be the first to benefit from these promotional materials. The Alliance will also be rolling out the FMC’s Farmers’ Market Metrics tool to members, in order to enhance the tracking of data for evidence based market management and evaluation.

Find out more at