September 7, 2018 is Opening Day for Community Market at Cypress Lake United Methodist Church!

We are happy to announce that we have a new home for our community market! Year round locations are scheduled to open again September 7, 2018. The website is being updated to reflect the locations and vendor information.

Opening day is September 7, 2018 and will run Fridays 8:30 AM-12:30 PM at Cypress Lake United Methodist Church, 8570 Cypress Lake Drive, Ft. Myers, FL 33919. We are currently accepting applications for vendors. All vendors will be considered. Market fees are $25/week for a 10×10 space (discounts if paid monthly.) Please complete the application on the website. We look forward to working with you again!

Best Practices at Farmers Markets: Workshop from UF/IFAS, Food Science & Human Nutrition Department

FARMERS’ MARKETS HAVE BEEN GROWING IN POPULARITY OVER THE PAST DECADE, as consumers discover the benefits of buying farm fresh food directly from small-scale, local growers. In Florida, more than 230 farmers’ markets are currently operating, and that number continues to rise. However, increasing popularity has also raised food safety concerns for produce sold at farmers’ markets.

This one-day workshop is intended to provide the farmers’ market managers and vendors with the latest information on food safety issues, guidelines for food safety, and state regulatory requirements for cottage food products sold at farmers’ markets. The workshop will also provide useful information on farmers’ market consumer trends and marketing tools for Florida farmers’ markets.

Florida Cottage Food Industry Laws

The 2011 Florida Legislature enacted House Bill 7209 allowing individuals to manufacture, sell and store certain types of “cottage food industry” products in an unlicensed home kitchen.

Cottage industry food products include such items as breads, cakes, cookies, candies, jams, jellies, and fruit pies.

“Cottage food operations” as they are called require no license or permit from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), and are not inspected by any state government entity.

Gross sales for a cottage food operation must not exceed $15,000 annually. Products must be sold directly by the cottage food operator to the consumer. Sales by Internet, mail order, consignment or at wholesale are prohibited.

Cottage food products must be labeled in accordance with the requirements as outlined in Section 500.80(5), Flor-ida Statutes, and United States Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Part 101. Read the full article from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services here.

*Please note that this information may have been updated. Please visit the Florida Department of Agriculture’s website for the most up to date information.