UBC Farm Farmers’ Market Vendor Guidelines
Our Mission: To explore and exemplify healthy and sustainable food systems by hosting a seasonal, weekly multi-vendor market that supports the local food economy and increases food sustainability literacy within the UBC campus and the broader Vancouver community.
Welcome to the only Farmers’ Market located on a working farm in Vancouver! Our market, serving the community since 2004, offers great opportunities for new and returning vendors with a growing and untapped customer base, ease of access, promotional support, low fees, fantastic community, and an unparalleled experience on a beautiful farm setting in the city. Join the market and see for yourself why vendors and shoppers alike love spending their Saturdays on this picturesque farm, with all the amenities and activities of a bustling city market alongside berry and pumpkin u-picks, chef demos, live music, and fun activities for kids and families.
The UBC Farm is a 60-acre university farm run by the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and home to certified organic food production, children's and Indigenous community programs, land-based research and teaching, workshops, private and public events, and more.
Our market runs every Saturday rain or shine from the first week of June until the last week of November.
Market hours are from 10:00AM - 2:00PM.
As a member of the British Columbia Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM), our market adheres to the Association’s leading principle, which states that all products sold at the market must be made, baked, grown, or raised in BC by the vendor. We are seeking vendors who provide complementary products to our current offerings and who are a good fit for our market; we choose vendors whose products align with our mission and provide diversity for our shopper community.
We encourage applications especially from the following vendor types:
- Farm - Producers growing vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, fruit, eggs, honey
- Organic Farm - Certified organic producers growing vegetables, herbs, fruit, mushrooms, eggs, honey
- Beverage Service - Selling non-alcoholic beverages made onsite
- Food Service - Selling food made on-site (may include beverages)
- Meat/Seafood - Ranchers, fishers, producers of beef, poultry, pork, seafood, etc.
- Alcohol - Both processors and primary producers of alcohol
- Dairy - Producers of cheese, milk and other dairy
- Wild Harvest - Foragers of wild harvested mushrooms, seaweed, etc.
- Nursery - Producers growing flowers, potted plants, trees
- Services - Bike tune-ups, knife sharpening, massage, etc.
- Community Table - Non-profit organizations for outreach and information
We also welcome applications from the following vendor types, but new vendors may be waitlisted depending on date availability:
- Bread - Producers of bread
- Craft - Producers of locally-made crafts, made by hand by the seller
- Prepared Food - Ready-to-eat goods made by the seller
- Untapped Shopper Base: Located on the UBC Point Grey Campus in Wesbrook Village, the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market is the only market west of Macdonald Street, providing easy access to local food for residents of UBC, Point Grey, Dunbar, Southlands, Kerrisdale and Kitsilano (which surveys show are our main shopper base). When they visit our market, shoppers spend on average $38 per visit. The neighborhoods around the UBC Farm are in an intense growth phase, as land use plans, specifically the Wesbrook Place Neighborhood Plan, are in progress with more public amenities and housing developments to come.
- Ease of Access: The UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market is easily accessible via public transit, on foot, or by bike or car. With a large lot for free parking across the street, a bus stop at the market entrance, dedicated car share parking nearby, and plenty of bike racks at the market entrance, it is easier than ever before for shoppers to access the Farm. Vendors benefit from free parking behind their stalls.
- Quality Vendor Experiences: Our vendors report that they love the location and surroundings, that our set-up and vendor support is convenient and helpful, that the shoppers are engaged and friendly, and that the market is well-organized. The vendor-shopper relationship in our market is noted as exceptionally high quality due to the engaged and committed community members that frequent the UBC Farm. The comfortable and relaxed environment of the market provides the space and time to cultivate these important relationships, both between vendors and shoppers and among the vendor communities.
- Minimal Costs: We offer low fees, a more equitable percentage-of-sales stall fee, and discounts for both committed vendors and new businesses. All of this is intended to provide local food businesses with a financially accessible market with minimal financial risk and a sustainable long-term solution to sell to the growing community surrounding UBC Farm.
- Promotion: Your attendance at our market will be advertised in our weekly newsletter that reaches thousands of shoppers, on the UBC Farm website and other online listings, through our social media outlets, in print ads, signs, posters, and more. Regular vendors will also be highlighted as featured vendors on our social media channels.
- Un-met demand: The unwavering demand is evident in the established and secure customer base that we have in the growing community around us as even in the face of COVID, our total vendor sales in 2020 have increased by 6% compared to our 2019 season despite having a 12% reduction in our number of vendors this year. We are pleased to see that our vendors experience a high level of demand for their products and we will keep on improving and finding methods to support and promote our vendors’ businesses. If you are already attending a Saturday market elsewhere, consider sending another family member or employee to sell at the UBC Farm.
- Site amenities: The UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market provides power hook-ups and running potable water for vendors directly in the market area alongside a portable toilet, hand-washing sinks, waste bins (garbage/recycling/compost), and free parking for vendors directly behind their stalls or nearby within the market area.
- An unparalleled experience: Participating in our market is a unique opportunity to experience a farmer’s market on a working farm within a city. At the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market, market-goers are encouraged to walk amongst the farm fields and forest trails, visit our chickens, and more. This family-friendly Saturday farm experience is enjoyed by shoppers and vendors alike.
Market Application Fee
New vendors: $40
Returning vendors: $20
The annual application fee must be paid for your application to be considered.
Fee Summary (tax included)
All discounts apply to market stall fees only. Only one discount can be in effect per vendor.
- 10-10: Vendors who attend ten or more markets during the season will receive their tenth market stall fee for free and receive 10% off all remaining market stall fees for that season.
- Welcome discount: 50% off for vendors who have not sold at any farmers' market before.
- Vendor Referral: Vendors who refer a new vendor to us will receive 10% off their stall fee for the season. The discount only applies if the new vendor's application is approved for our market. Please notify us by email of your name and your business and which vendor that you have referred. This discount can only be applied once.
The following payment options are available:
- Application fees are only accepted through our online application payment page.
- Stall fees are processed on site at the end of your market day to our market team along with any applicable rental fees. Please note that we will only accept cash this season.
- Cancellation fees can be paid in person on your scheduled market day with us or through our online payment page.
Payment Deadlines: For any fees owed, you will receive an invoice through Manage My Market online and sent to your email. Fee payments are due within three weeks of the date of the invoice. Multiple overdue invoices will affect your eligibility to participate at our market.
- Cancellations should be made by contacting the market manager directly by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). They will be monitored until 10am on market day. Please note that fees will be based on the day and time at which your notification was sent
- Cancellation fees apply beginning May 6th, 2023: four weeks before the first market day
- Cancellation fees will apply if notice is given less than four weeks before your scheduled market date
- If a market date occurring within four weeks is swapped to a later date, our base cancellation fee of $10 will apply whenever that date is cancelled even if it's given >4 weeks in advance. If the date is cancelled <4 weeks, it will be subject to our regular cancellation fee schedule
- Exceptions for fees are only given for extenuating circumstances such as late or loss of crops
- Two no-shows/cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice within a market season will result in forfeiture of future dates. Your vendor application will be marked as "Declined" if no notice has been received.
Assigned Dates: Market attendance dates will be finalized only after you pay your application fee and if your application on Manage My Market is accepted. Vendors may not be approved for all dates they apply for. Once accepted to the market, a list of your approved market dates will be sent to your Manage My Market email and we will request a response from you as final confirmation. If we do not receive a response from you within two weeks, your vendor spot may be reallocated to another vendor. As a final note, dates may not show up on your calendar if a stall has not been assigned for you yet.
Weekly Stall Allocations: Decision-making for vendor dates and stall assignments takes into account product mix and balance, vendor seniority, space in the market area, traffic flow, access to electricity, proportions of different vendor types per market day, and vendors’ history of compliance with market guidelines. To view the layout of stalls at our market, please see our vendor stall layout below. Vendor stall assignments will be finalized by the end of the day on Friday of your scheduled market week. We cannot accommodate vendors who show up the morning of the market hoping for a stall, so please apply and coordinate your bookings ahead of time. Weekly or bi-weekly vendors will be given priority for consistent stall locations, while occasional vendors’ stall locations are more likely to change. If you have a preference for stall locations, please include it within your vendor application on Manage My Market. Click here to see the interactive vendor layout where vendor information will be displayed as they are linked to each stall number when they are assigned. Please note as our market area is jointly shared by other on-site programs, this layout may be subject to change.
Stall Size and Equipment: Vendors must provide their own stall equipment and supplies. We do have a limited quantity of 6’ tables and 10’ x 10’ tents for vendors to rent. However, vendors must request the use of these items at least 7 days prior to the market.
Stall sizes are:
● 10 x 10 feet
● 10 x 20 feet
● 10 x 30 feet
For food trucks and trailers: please measure width when the service window is closed.
Arrival and Parking: The farm gates will be open at 8:30AM and vendors are expected to arrive between 8:30-9:30AM. Vehicles must be parked directly behind the respective vendor’s stall or removed from the market area by 9:30AM. For the safety of pedestrians and other vendors, vendors arriving after 9:30 will have to park outside the market, unload, and walk items to their stall. The first time a vendor arrives later than 9:30AM, they will be given a warning. The second time (and thereafter) they will be charged the late arrival fee. If a vendor is late regularly they may be suspended from future market dates. If you are delayed and running behind schedule, please send us an email to notify us when possible. Please note that any vendors with an unapproved market application that show up unannounced on market day will be asked to leave in consideration and out of fairness for our approved and scheduled vendors.
Stall Set up and clean up: Our market location is on a working farm so it can be both windy, wet, and dusty! Vendors are expected to set up their tents so they are secured to the ground with stakes or weights (milk jugs filled with water or sand work well); we will provide vendors who are renting tents from us with ground stakes. Plywood boards are recommended in wet weather to avoid having muddy conditions under your feet. Product packaging is highly recommended for prepared food vendors to keep dust off of your products. Each vendor is responsible for keeping their stall space clean while the market is open and for clean-up at the close of the market. Garbage, compost, and recycling disposal facilities are available on-site; vendors must provide their own waste receptacles at their stall if single-use food/drink containers are sold and may empty them into on-site receptacles. We strongly encourage vendors to package their products or offer samples in material that is recyclable or compostable.
Market take-down: Vendor stalls must remain set up until the market closes at 2:00PM. If you sell out before the market ends, you are welcome to display a “sold out” sign and leave your stall, but you may not pack up, take down, or leave until 2:00PM.
Product Suitability: The suitability of any product for sale at the market is at the discretion of the market team. Products for sale may be inspected and/or sampled by market staff prior to sale at the market and may be rejected for sale if not of reasonable quality and freshness. Farm vendors may be contacted for a farm visit to verify their product listing. Only products that have been listed and approved through a vendor’s Manage My Market application can be sold at the market. If you would like to sell additional products you did not include on your original application, please contact the market manager first. In the event that you are awaiting approval on a new product, please let us know by email to expedite the process.
As we are an active and participating member with the BC's Farmers' Market Association, the sale of cannabis and cannabis products are not allowed at our market. For more details, please view their Cannabis and Hemp Product Factsheet.
Resale Guidelines: Re-sale is prohibited for all vendors except primary producers (which includes farms, meat, dairy, seafood, nursery, and wild harvest). Our Farm Friend Policy allows these vendors the option to sell products on behalf of another primary producer, provided both businesses apply to the market and agree to the terms of the policy. Food and beverage service vendors may provide limited re-sale items (eg. beverages at a food truck). For other vendors looking to save costs, please see Vendor Stall Sharing below for options to share market stalls and fees.
Equity & Justice: The UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market is committed to equity and justice as central to working towards food systems sustainability. We commit to “dismantling structural racism in food systems, and [to] challenge the multiple forms of oppression—class, race, gender, nationality, among others—that serve as interrelated barriers to equity.” This includes actively working against racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, religious prejudice and other forms of oppression in our policies and guidelines, vendorship, organizational structure, and within our community of shoppers and vendors. This means:
● We recognize that we are guests located on the unceded, ancestral, and traditional territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.
● Indigenous vendors are welcome to vend at our market free of application, stall, and tent/table rental fees.
● We will ask vendors who are wild harvesting their products about their relationships with or permissions from the Indigenous peoples whose territories they gather within.
● Vendors may be asked about their relationship to particular cultural food products, practices or crafts to ensure we are working against cultural appropriation.
● We are dedicating resources to marketing materials, programming and staff who support the diverse communities that access our market and those that may not because of structural barriers. This includes printing signage and hiring staff that include the languages most represented by our shopper base (Mandarin/Cantonese), positive space training, student discounts, donations to Quest Food Exchange and the AMS Food Bank, and more.
● We will not tolerate harassment at the market and will work to support shoppers and vendors alike in creating a safe market space where everyone can be treated with dignity and respect.
● Our organization, the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems is actively working alongside with multiple autonomous indigenous initiatives, such as the Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness Program (CRUW), the Musqueam Garden, Tal A’xin: Maya in Exile Garden, and xʷc̓ic̓əsəm: Indigenous Health Research & Education Garden. To learn more, please visit our Indigenous Initiatives page.
● We acknowledge that we are learning and so is our community, and will both give and seek out feedback to learn from our mistakes and strengthen our commitment to equity and justice.
Signage & labeling: All vendors must have a visible and weatherproof sign stating their business name and location (visible from at least 20 feet away), displayed by the time the market opens at 10:00AM. This is important as shoppers often look for the vendor they bought from on a previous visit. All products must be clearly priced. Prices must either be affixed to individual items or may be listed on a large sign or board. Prepared foods for home use or to eat on site must have their ingredients clearly attached or displayed. Prices may not be changed during the market hours.
Organic, Biodynamic, & other signage: We are proud to have a diversity of growing methods represented at the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market. Please respect this, and other vendors, in your conduct with shoppers and other vendors. Organic, biodynamic or first, second or third year transitional to organic certification must be submitted to the market manager and a copy kept on file at your market stall. Please avoid the terms “no spray” or “spray-fee” in your signage or when speaking to shoppers, as they are misleading. As per the organic policy update of September 1 2018, only certified products may be labelled as organic: for example, a sign could state “Cookies made with organic flour” but not “Organic cookies”. Misrepresentation of non-organic products can lead to penalties or fines by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. More information regarding organic labelling at farmers markets can be found here or by calling the Canadian Food Inspection Agency @ 604-666-6513.
Vendor insurance: Vendors are required to provide a valid copy of Certificate of Liability Insurance with the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers' Market listed as one of the insureds as a part of our application process. Our address is 3461 Ross Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T 1W5. We have partnered with Duuo, as recommended by the BC Farmers' Market Association (BCAFM) to bring you preferred partner pricing on their policies that saves you 15% from their normal rates. Located outdoors, our market is often subject to the challenge of the elements. In the event of incidents caused by strong winds and customer accidents, vendor insurance would have you covered from paying out of pocket. For further information on vendor insurance, please refer to the vendor insurance page provided by the BCAFM.
Vendor stall sharing: Two vendors who have been accepted to the market can share a stall. Both vendors are required to be present at the shared stall. Each vendor needs to submit separate applications and, if accepted, pay the application fee for the market individually. Each vendor's stall and rental fees, if applicable, will be halved. Stall sharing arrangements require prior approval by market staff. Vendors who share a stall must have clear signage as to which products are made by each vendor.
Vendor report: Vendors are asked to submit an accurate report of their gross sales to the market staff at the end of each market day and to do so with honesty and integrity. Not only is this necessary to calculate your stall fee (based on a percentage of your sales), it is used for the market to better understand shopping habits and seasonal fluctuations. Your sales information will be combined with other vendors to create totals to quantify our market’s impact on the local food economy and guide our promotions and marketing efforts. Individual vendors’ sales numbers will be collected directly by the market team and will not be disclosed publicly.
Farmers' Market Nutrition Coupon Program (FMNCP): We are a market that participates in the FMNCP coordinated by the BCAFM. Please note that these coupons can only be accepted by vendors selling fresh produce, meat, eggs, fresh nuts, vegetable and fruit plants, honey, fish, and dairy. Please bring them to us during your stall fee payment to be reimbursed. We will not be able to reimburse you for these coupons if you are not a produce vendor that qualifies for the program.
UBC Farm Monthly Membership Deal Days: As a token of appreciation for our "Friends of the Farm" members, we will have special deals at our farm stall at the first Saturday of every month during our market season. Vendor participation is voluntary on these dates and any special sales, if notified, will be promoted by our Outreach team. Please note that any discounts given to members will not be reimbursed.
It is the vendors’ responsibility to ensure they are in compliance with all local health regulations.
All food vendors MUST review the Guidelines for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Markets.
Samples - Prepared Food, Farm, Meat, Dairy, Seafood, Food/Beverage Service, and Wild Harvest vendors offering samples at market are required to have at least one person with active FoodSafe or MarketSafe level 1 certification at their stall and must have a portable hand washing station set up at their stall (see page 5).
High-risk foods - Vendors from any category who are selling products considered high-risk under the Guidelines require either a Letter of Confirmation (Appendix IV) or a Permit or License to Operate if they are the owner/operator of the premises where the products are prepared. Permit applications can be submitted to email@example.com for Vancouver Coastal Health or to Fraser Health depending on the region where the commercial kitchen is located. All vendors involved in preparation of high-risk foods in approved premises should have active FoodSafe level 1 certification.
Vendors preparing/processing food of any kind on site MUST apply for a Temporary Food Services application in the absence of a Permit to Operate.
When in doubt, please consult the VCH Temporary Event & Food Market Interactive Tool to determine what permits you may require to sell at a farmers' market.
Low-risk foods - Vendors from any category who are selling products considered low-risk under the Guidelines require active FoodSafe level 1 certification on file but do not need to have a person with that certification at market if they are not offering samples. Vendors are recommended to display a sign at their stall stating “This food has been prepared in a kitchen that is not inspected by a regulatory authority” or equivalent wording.
Alcohol vendors - Vendors from this category, whether providing samples or not, must have a person with active Serving it Right certification at their stall.
Labelling - All packaged products must have clearly display storage information, a list of ingredients, possible allergens warning, date indicating when it was packed, and your name and information. For products displayed behind a sneeze guard, please have a list of ingredients with you or your staff on hand.
All documentation should be submitted at the time of application either by upload to Manage My Market or by email to the Market manager. Your application to the market will not be approved until documentation is secured or a Vancouver Coastal Health representative can confirm it is in process. Please ensure all permits, certificates and licenses are brought to each market and available when requested, as we are visited regularly and without notice by health inspectors.
Liquor sales - Alcohol produced and/or processed within BC is welcome at the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market. Read the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch Policy Directives for details regarding eligibility of vendors, and review the policies and procedures for obtaining a Farmers' Market Authorization, here.
Safety & security - Vendors are responsible for their goods and belongings at the market. The UBC Farm is not responsible for any theft, loss, or damage to a vendor’s products or belongings. If a vendor is managing a stall alone and needs to step away (eg. to use the bathroom), the market staff will be on hand to step in. All necessary safety equipment must be provided by the vendor (eg. a fire extinguisher must be present when hot elements are used for food or beverage preparation).
Insurance - Vendors are required to submit a Certificate of Insurance for us to have on file with the University of British Columbia or the UBC Farm Market as one of the listed insureds to cover activities and products sold at the market. Our address is 3461 Ross Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T1W5. For resources on obtaining vendor insurance, please visit the BCAFM Program Partners' page to learn more.
To apply to the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market, please see the links below. Our vendor applications are processed through the Manage My Market online platform. All vendors must register and log in with Manage My Market as a vendor to apply. Your completion of the application form on Manage My Market indicates your agreement to all the sections outlined above on this page. Please note that if you are new to Manage My Market, you will need to create your vendor profile AND also apply to our market in order for us to receive your application. Click here for a video tutorial on how to create your vendor profile!
Your application will not be reviewed until your application fee has been paid. You are welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to your application if you have any questions during your application process. For all returning vendors, please ensure that all outstanding invoices are resolved from your account as any remaining unpaid invoices will result in a delay of your application approval.
Our market staff will contact you by email when you are approved. It is your responsibility to log in to Manage My Market to see which dates and products you are approved for.
We want you to have a great experience with us at the market and any feedback is appreciated for us to improve our markets for future years. Please contact us with questions or comments at any time before or throughout your time as a vendor with us!
Thank you for your interest in joining the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market. We look forward to working with you!