We hear these questions below all the time.
1. Does anyone know what/if there are regulations for what type of scale
a produce vendor uses at farmers markets?
2. Do other farmers have their scales certified by a state
Weights and Measures department?
3. Is digital better than an old mechanical hanging dial scale?
If you’re curious or new to the farmer’s market or produce stand business and need a legal for trade scale for weighing apples, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, strawberries, squash and more; scroll down because we have answers to many of your questions.
First up regulations and certifications. Check with your state weights and measures standards department for the specific requirements (you should be able to find your state’s info here: http://ts.nist.gov/WeightsAndMeasures/statedirectors.cfm) Many states require that you have a NTEP legal for trade scale that will have a Certificate of conformance number (CoC#) somewhere on the scale. Many states will also want to check the scale and make sure it is weighing accurate. Once that check is done, they will put a sticker on your scale (certify it) and make sure it is sealed so that you can not go inside the scale and change the settings without breaking the seal.
As recent as a few years ago, many thought that the mechanical dial scales were as good or better than the digital scales. That trend seems to be going away each year. Digital price computing scales calculate the price per pound and make weighing and charging your customers by the pound very easy. Almost all of these scales are being imported nowdays so the costs are very reasonable and the quality is generally better than it has ever been. Many of these scales feature rechargeable battery power as well, making them useful in almost any environment.