Trading Standards and Farmers' Markets
This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. A large print version is available.
This advice aims to help you comply with the Trading Standards laws that apply to farmers’ markets. It is a general introduction and does not cover all products that might be sold, e.g. honey, ‘home-made’ cakes/sweets, gifts, cosmetics etc. If you require more information please contact your nearest Trading Standards Service.
It is good practice to have your business name and address prominently displayed on your stall. Some markets require this in their conditions.
If you sell goods by weight, volume or length you need to use equipment e.g. weights, weighing machines etc, which have been approved by a Trading Standards Officer or an approved verifier. Such equipment will bear either a crown stamp or a European approval mark.
If you pre-pack goods to sell they must be packed in metric quantities using a suitable metric scale.
The general rule when selling loose goods (non pre-packed) such as fruit and vegetables, meat and cheese, is that they should be sold by net weight.
All goods must now be sold in metric quantities using an approved metric scale.
Countable produce such as apples, cauliflower, onions and beetroot can be sold by number. Some vegetables, including carrots, spring onions, radishes and watercress, can be sold by the bunch.
Pre-packed goods (made up in a container before sale) must be marked with the net weight in metric quantities.
Trading Standards Officers deal with description applied to food, the labelling of food, its composition and most cases of chemical contamination.
Generally speaking, food sold loose or pre-packed for direct sale is only required to be marked or labelled with the name of the food. This must indicate the true nature of the food and avoid confusion with similar products.
However, you may also need an indication of additives. The following categories of additives must be declared if they are present in the food:
antioxidants; colours; flavour enhancers; flavouring; preservative; sweeteners:
For this purpose it is sufficient to state the category of additive as listed above. You need not include the additives full name or E number.
In the case of meat products a quantitative ingredients declaration (QUID), as a ‘%’, is required for each of the meat species present. i.e. for a Pork & Beef sausage ‘x’ % pork, ‘y’ % beef. (A separate leaflet is available explaining how to calculate this.)
The customer must be able to easily determine the price before agreeing to buy your products. Ideally prices should be clearly displayed on the items themselves, on relevant boxes or containers, or on a list in close proximity to the goods. It would be acceptable to have one price list detailing all the goods and prices provided it is clear and legible and easily seen by customers at the stall.
Most fruit and vegetables, meat and cheese will require a unit price to be displayed. The unit price is your price per kilogram, litre, metre or metre square. It may also be the price of one item, where goods are sold by number.
Some foods, such as eggs, honey, jam & chocolate are also covered by product specific legislation.
Cosmetic products - the requirements are complex. Please contact Trading Standards for advice
Allergens – When allergen information is not labelled on the product it is advisable to have the information available to enable a clear response to any queries.
Animal Health Team
Telephone: 01962 833621
Hampshire County Council
Trading Standards Service
Winchester SO22 5PW
Reviewed November 2010
B/bus/073/004 September 2008