Business Briefs

Farmers Market raises fees on vendors

Posted November 12, 2009 4:09 p.m. EST

— To help pay for necessary maintenance at the five farmers markets and three agricultural centers operated by the state, the state Board of Agriculture on Thursday approved higher fees for vendors.

The daily rental fee paid by an in-state farmer for a space will increase to $15 at farmers markets in Charlotte, Colfax, Lumberton and Raleigh. At the Western N.C. Farmers Market in Asheville, the new rates will be $8 from Nov. 1 to April 30 and $10 from May 1 to Oct. 31.

Current daily rates at the markets range from $7 to $10.

Daily space-rental rates for out-of-state farmers will range from $18 to $30. Currently, the fees are $12 to $20.

Fees for renting horse stalls at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher and the Sen. Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center in Williamston will range from $18 to $46, depending on the length of rental. Current fees range from $15 to $41.

The changes could take effect as early as Jan. 1.

Ron Moore, who oversees marketing facilities for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, told board members that recent state budget cuts of nearly $400,000 have reduced operating funds for the markets and agricultural centers at a time when maintenance demands are rising.

The State Farmers Market in Raleigh and the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher are self-supporting, and the department would like for all of the facilities to become self-supporting in the future, Moore said.