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New training required to sell at farmer’s market

LTN Staff Reports

Those interested in selling their products at one of the local farmers markets this year will have to meet a new requirement.
Potential vendors who plan to sell food or beverages at the markets must take a food-safety training class prior to doing so, with the next course scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the demonstration kitchen of the Citizens Center in downtown Lincolnton.
Sellers are required to complete the appropriate vendor’s certificate each year. There are three types of certificates, including one for growers, craft vendors and sellers of processed foods.
Both the Lincolnton and Denver markets are set to open for the new season on Saturday, April 6, operating on a Saturday-only basis until the schedules are expanded.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a vendor should first understand a few of the basics.
“Only certain items are allowed,” said Lincoln County Extension Director Kevin Starr. “These include produce, meat, eggs, plants, baked goods and crafts. Some items require special food-safety measures. For instance, sellers of baked goods must have their kitchen inspected by the N.C. Department of Agriculture.”
All vendors must also either live or farm in Lincoln or a surrounding county.
“Fees for the Denver market are paid in advance, while the Lincolnton fees are paid at the market,” Starr said.
For more information on becoming a vendor, call the Cooperative Extension at (704) 736-8452 or visit www.lincolncountyfarmersmarket.com.

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