More Farmers Market Rules and Regulations To Read About

Most of the information posted below is pretty standard but we thought it would be nice to bring it to our readers attention just in case. Especially, those of you up in Maine. You can see the entire brochure by clicking here.

7. “Legal For Trade Scales for Use at Farm Stands and Farmer’s Markets” means labeled as Class II or Class III, National Type Evaluation(NTEP) certified, small division size, operates at a higher level of accuracy than a
non-legal for trade device.
9. “Net Weight” means the weight of a commodity excluding the weight of any material, substance or item not a part of the commodity (i.e.: containers, bags, wrappers, labels).
10. “Non-Legal For Trade Scales” means not certified by the Maine State Sealer of Weights and Measures, not NTEP certified, not designed to operate at commercial tolerance levels, only used for estimating purposes.

G. WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
1. The weight of any commodity packaged with a pre-determined weight printed on the label must meet or exceed the labeled quantity.
2. Products sold in bulk by weight must be weighed using a ME certified scales.
3. Weight of products sold in bulk must be the Net Weight.
4. Scales used at point of sale must be positioned so the weight readout can be seen from a reasonable customer location.

As we mentioned, it’s pretty standard info but it’s always nice to read additional regulations which will hopefully help sellers at the market to know what the regulations are and allow them to make the correct purchases in order to follow the proper guidelines.

Do You Have Anymore Mettler Toledo 8433 Scales?

We were just recently asked if we know anybody who had anymore of those Mettler Toledo™ 8433 price computing scales? This scale has been discontinued for probably ten years by now. But it doesn’t really surprise us that folks are looking for this scale. The 8433 was actually a really good scale for the money. We still see a few of these out in the field to this day. Those customers sure got their money’s worth on that purchase.

So you might be asking what takes the 8433 scales place? Well, originally it was the Tiger II. Then the factory started offering both a 30 lb and 60 lb capacity, called the Model XRT-2710 or XRT-3710. Then it was the RE15 or RE30 from Ohaus. Now today, the replacement would be the Aviator 7000.

We were fairly familiar with all these scales mentioned above. They all worked pretty well and we still see each of these at farmers markets or produce stands all the time. Of course, as the years go by each replacement model seems to have less substance to it and more plastic construction. And, the AC adapters are smaller and extremely light weight compared to some of the older adapters that literally weighed several pounds by themselves.

We wrote recently about the Aviator 7000 which is the 2014 “version” of the old 8433 scale. The Aviator 7000 is a really nice scale and has quite a few features the 8433 could only dream about.  Based on our evaluation of the scale, we would definitely recommend it as a good choice for most customers looking for a reliable retail scale that is going to be accurate and power up when you need it most.

Dual Range Capacity Scales Can Put Some Extra Cents In Your Pocket

We’ve discussed this in the past a couple of times but it’s worth mentioning once again. NTEP legal for trade digital scales that feature dual range capacity can actually put a few extra pennies in your pocket on certain transactions. In the video linked below, you can actually see an example where one scale has dual range capacity while another one does not.

As we mentioned, you probably will not gain on every transaction, but you certainly can gain some extra profit with the dual range capability on certain transactions. We’ll leave it up to you to get a calculator and start thinking about how much additional profit you might obtain over the life of the scales if you were to make the switch to one of these scales.

What is the Best Way to Sell Fruits and Vegetables at the Farmers Market?

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t get excited just thinking about sampling all the fresh fruits, vegetables, tasty ready-to-eat foods, crafts, and more at your local farmers market?  The majority of Markets are open during this time of the year. Have you ever wondered what does the Department of Agriculture require of me in order to be a vendor at my local farmers market? What kind of scale do I need? Will someone test my scale? Is it ok to sell my produce by the head, bunch or count? These are just a few of the questions that your local Measurement Standards Division can assist you with. Below is some information from the state of Oregon.

SCALE REQUIREMENTS
What type of devices can be used commercially?
Oregon regulations require all commercially used weighing equipment to have an active National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) Certificate of Conformance.

How can I find out which scales have an active NTEP certificate?
You can contact the scale company or check the NTEP database online.

 

Commodity Method of Sale
Apples Weight, count, or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Apricots Weight
Artichokes Weight or count
Asparagus Weight or bunch
Avocados Count
Bananas Weight
Beans Weight or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Beets Weight or bunch
Berries (all) Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Broccoli Weight or bunch
Brussel sprouts Weight
Cabbage Weight or count
Cantaloupes Weight or count
Carrots Weight or bunch
Cauliflower Weight or bunch
Celery Weight or count
Cherries Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Coconuts Weight or count
Corn on the cob Count
Cranberries Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Cucumbers Weight or count
Currants Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Dates Weight
Eggplant Weight or count
Escarole Weight or count
Figs Weight
Garlic Weight or count
Grapefruits Weight or count
Grapes Weight
Greens (all) Weight
Kale Weight
Kohlrabi Weight
Leeks Weight
Lemons Weight or count
Lettuce Weight or count
Limes Weight or count
Mangoes Weight or count
Melons (whole) Weight or count
Melons (cut or pieces) Weight
Mushrooms Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Nectarines Weight or count
Okra Weight
Onions (spring or green) Weight or bunch
Onions (dry) Weight
Oranges Weight or count
Papaya Weight or count
Parsley Weight or bunch
Parsnips Weight
Peaches Weight, count, or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Pears Weight, count, or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Peas Weight
Peppers Weight or count
Persimmons Weight or count
Plums Weight or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Pineapples Weight or count
Pomegranates Weight or count
Potatoes (Irish or sweet) Weight
Prunes Weight
Pumpkins Weight or count
Radishes Weight or count
Rhubarb Weight
Rutabagas Weight
Spinach Weight or bunch
Tangerines Weight or count
Tomatoes Weight, count, or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Tomatoes (cherry) Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Turnips Weight or bunch


We hope this article above helps you not only figure out what scale you need for selling at the farmers market but also what are some of the recommended ways (weight, count, bunch etc..) to sell your produce and vegetables. Of course we’re biased on this site because we think weight is the best choice and it probably is, in most cases with a few exceptions.