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Higher fees upset Farmers Market vendors

Posted January 5, 2010

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— Fifty percent increases on the daily fees charged to vendors at the State Farmers Market went into effect Tuesday, generating heat on an otherwise frigid day for produce sales.

In-state vendors now must pay $15 a day to rent Farmers Market space, while out-of-state vendors are charged $30.

State Farmers Market generic Vendors could pass higher market fees to customers

The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said the higher fees were necessary to pay for maintenance at the markets in Raleigh, Lumberton, Charlotte and Colfax. Officials noted that state budget cuts last year reduced funding for the markets by $400,000.

"It's going to be hard, especially as cold as it is right now," vendor Renee Blackmon said. "The fee going up is going to make it harder for us to come out and try to sell what we've got."

Vendors like Edna Moore said they are having a tough time selling anything at all during the winter. Moore said she's angry the agriculture department didn't wait until the spring to change the rates.

"Five dollars per two spaces, that's $10 a day extra," she said. "Right now, it's very slow here. We don't have anything to sell but greens and collards and sweet potatoes."

The added expense will likely be passed on to consumers at the Farmers Market through higher produce prices, Blackmon said.

"We're hoping we won't have to do that, but if we have to, we just have to," she said.

In November, the rent went up at the State Fairgrounds, where most flea market vendors faced a 35 percent increase. A vendor's rent there is based on the square footage they occupy.

13 Comments

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  • Unbroken Jan 6, 2010

    "Hey, is this the "change" we can live with?"

    Yes, because President Obama came to Raleigh, North Carolina and pushed for vendors to have to pay $15/day to rent a booth.

    Boy, you really nailed him on this one!

  • moth Jan 6, 2010

    Somewhere, theres an unnecessary state govt bureaucrat that could be gotten rid of that would make this increase unnecessary.

  • whatelseisnew Jan 6, 2010

    The state should not be paying any money towards the Farmers market. If they want to have the selling space, then they need to pay the fee. Pass the cost along, that is how business works. If you can not sell enough to make a profit, then quit going there.

  • wyheel Jan 6, 2010

    Sorry, but $5 a day is minimal. Most people spend that without thinking twice for lunch, or a cup of coffee.
    Raise prices to cover the increase???
    That's just an excuse.

    I spent $23 at the Farmer's Market this weekend.

  • duvler Jan 6, 2010

    I feel sorry for these people, think about what it's like to do their job. Most of them don't make alot of money so the extra fee is tough for them. I try to shop there whenever I can because the prices are cheaper and the quality way better!

  • White Eagle Jan 6, 2010

    Hey, is this the "change" we can live with?

  • My Two Cents Jan 6, 2010

    I had no idea it was this cheap, and they are complaining? WOW... wish I could rent a workspace in the 'real world' for $15 per day.

  • cpccarolyn Jan 6, 2010

    Support our farmers! This too much of an increase.

  • CestLaVie Jan 6, 2010

    I rarely visit the State Farmers Market, because basically they don't have booths for local, organic produce. So I have to buy it elsewhere.

  • me2you Jan 6, 2010

    $15 a day for a booth doesn't sound too bad. I thought it would be much more.
    I buy apples and they're half of what grocery stores charge.

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