Belfast Farmers’ Market By-Laws 2003

Revised 2003

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:

The Belfast Farmers’ Market (hereinafter called “The Association”) was established to provide local small growers and craftsmen with an outlet for the sale of fresh picked produce and related agricultural products; to foster an appreciation for Maine’s rural resources; and to develop sources of marketing, management and agricultural information for its members.

The Association will operate a farmers’ market at such site(s) as selected by the membership; establish market guidelines; set quality standards; promote the market; and encourage growth of the local/regional food supply.


I. MEMBERSHIP

A. Members are expected to conform with the Association’s Statement of Purpose and attend at least 4 days total during the season.

B. Membership shall be for fiscal year January 1-December 31 inclusive; membership fees will not be pro-rated for partial year membership.

C. Membership is open to all interested persons regardless of residence.

D. Applicants must pay the annual fee for membership.

1. Said fee will be set by the voting membership, and will be reviewed annually.

2. The membership fee covers all members of a household unit or family.

a. All household members may attend meetings and take part in discussions.

b. Voting is limited to one vote per membership.

c. Each membership may only provide one officer.

3. Membership shall continue only on payment of the current year annual membership fee.

4. Continuing members shall submit a complete application on or before the annual meeting. Changes from the previous season will be reviewed and discussed by the membership at the annual meeting. Any changes will be subject to approval by a vote of the current membership. Products may be limited to specific days.

5. Applications for new membership must be signed and received by the membership committee at least one week before commencement of the annual meeting.

a. Each application for new membership will be reviewed and voted on by the current voting membership at a business meeting held on the third Sunday after the annual meeting.

b. Each applicant for new membership will be required to make a presentation in person to the voting membership at a meeting to be held on the third Sunday following the annual meeting.

c. Continuation of memberships will be contingent on a satisfactory farm visit conducted by the membership committee. This visit will be conducted at any time during the first season following acceptance, and every three years therafter or as necessary.

d. At the annual meeting, the membership committee shall provide the market members with copies of all applications for new full time memberships

e. Participation in the farmers’ market(s) is limited to paid up members.

f. Late applications will be reviewed only in order to fill gaps identified by the membership committee, and processed within one month of reciept using any appropiate means of member notification and vote.

g. All new members are accepted on a trial basis for one year and do not have voting rights until accepted as permanent.

G. Members of the Belfast Farmers’ Market must comply with the By-Laws and Guidelines of the Association. Upon receiving a formal, written complaint of a member not abiding by the By-Laws or Guidelines, being uncooperative, or otherwise acting detrimental to the market, customers, or other members, the President or Vice-President shall appoint three members to investigate the complaint. If two of these three find that the complaint is valid, a meeting of the membership will be called with full notification of all members. If no resolution can be achieved at the meeting, any member may be removed by a written ballot vote with a majority of the market’s current membership voting for removal.

II. STRUCTURE

A. The Association will be run by officers elected at the Annual Meeting.

B. The Annual Meeting will be held on the first Sunday in February unless notification of change is made in writing 30 days in advance of proposed date.

C. Regular business and educational meetings will be held during the year, the number and time to be decided by the membership.

D. Special meetings may be called by the officers or any four members on seven days advance notice to all paid up members.

E. In procedural matters, Robert’s Rules of Order will be the authority for all meetings.

F. Decisions requiring a vote shall be decided by a quorum which shall consist of either 51 percent of the voting membership or 10 voting members.

G. The Association shall have two standing committees. Officers for these committees will be elected at the annual meeting. These committees are:

1. Membership. This committee shall be empowered to act on all issues of the membership as addressed in the guidelines and bylaws of the Association.

2. Publicity. This committee shall be empowered to act on the publicity needs of the Association, including but not limited to paid advertising, PSAs, press releases, special promotions and signage. Budgets and expenditures shall be reviewed and authorized by the membership at regular business meetings.

III. ELECTION OF OFFICERS

A. Elections shall be by written ballot with each membership limited to one vote.

B. A simple majority of the present eligible voters is necessary to elect a candidate.

C. Officers shall include:

1. President to preside over meetings, establish agenda, implement decisions of the membership, act as market spokesman, oversee implementation of By-Laws and Guidelines, and endeavour to handle conflict between members.

2. Vice President to preside at meetings in absence of the President and undertake such additional duties as the president or membership shall direct.

3. Secretary to take accurate minutes of all regular and special meetings; maintain a legible minutes book, handle association correspondence as directed by the president; maintain a file with copies of all correspondence; maintain a list of available stalls and eligible stall holder; and make a report at all business meetings.

4. Treasurer to keep the Association’s financial accounts; make reports at all business meetings; supply account summaries to members on request with seven days notice; collect the annual membership fees, stall fees and advertising fees if any. The Treasurer may designate an Assistant Treasurer to help with the fee collection when absent. All market monies shall be deposited within 14 days of receipt.

IV. AMENDING THE BY-LAWS

A. Amendments to the by-laws shall be in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.

B. All such amendments shall be duly recorded in the minutes, with copies provided to all members by the next business meeting.

About Leigh Hallett

Leigh has been Executive Director of the Federation since 2014. She can be reached by email (director@mffm.org) or by calling the MFFM offices (487-7114).