Farm & Craft Market defends itself

Dear Editor:

The board of the Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market would like to inform the patrons of the Market of our reasons for not renewing Kurt’s Sausage membership.

Our policies state that operators/owners of retail outlets are not permitted to sell at the market unless it is a farm-gate or home-based operation. The Executive reserves the right to make exceptions to this rule in order to create diversity. Kurt’s Sausage fell under the exception rule only to create diversity at the market. At the AGM, when Kurt’s was first accepted to vend at the market, a motion was made to allow him to sell at the market for diversification even though he is commercial and has storefront and until such time as another meat vendor without storefront/commercial attends the market. Then he was to step aside. We now have two other meat vendors that fall under the mandate of the farmers’ market rules, so the diversity that Kurt’s provided is no longer an option under market policies. Our policies also state that vendors sell their own products, and Kurt had an employee selling for him.

Many Revelstoke shoppers will remember several years ago, when other vendors went commercial, they were no longer allowed to vend at the market. (e.g. a baker & an artist)

The vendors at the market are given a copy of the policies at the beginning of each year. We are uncertain why some vendors chose to give misinformation to the public when the policies are clear on the vending rules. These are policies not guidelines. The board has always endeavored to make it fair for all members without prejudice. It was very clear by the tone of the members at the AGM that no exceptions to rules were to be made.

The Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market has grown by 300% in the past five years. We have 46 full time vendors and over 40 casual vendors, with a lengthy waiting list for spots. Rules are a necessary part of our structure to maintain balance and order for all participating vendors.

The Executive is elected by the membership to carry out the operation of the market, volunteering many long hours. In doing so, they must abide by the constitution, bylaws and policies. This board has always abided by the policies set out by both the membership and the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and endeavored to do so with dignity and fairness to all.

We hope that this clears up any misconceptions that are circulating about the actions taken by the board. Ultimately all decisions have been made by the membership as per our policies and by the BC Farmers’ Market Association.

Sharon Bailey, Secretary,
Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market Executive