Washington State Farmers Market Management Toolkit
Chapter 7: Accepting “Multiple Currencies” at your Farmers Market
In today’s market, most people carry very little cash and have come to rely on credit and debit cards for the bulk of their shopping. There are also a variety of food assistance programs such as FMNP or food stamps that provide financial support to targeted groups and serve the dual goals of improving nutrition and supporting family farms. And some markets have created their own “Market Bucks” or vouchers programs. Taken together, accepting these “multiple currencies” increases shoppers’ options and maximizes their purchasing power at your market. This helps keep farmers markets competitive. It also helps diversify your market’s shopper base, whether it is catering to the high tech crowd, busy parents, or enabling low-income families and seniors to use their food benefits to buy from your farmers.
The process of setting up your market to accept EBT, credit and/or debit cards can be technical, confusing, and subject to change. This section outlines key considerations, explains current options, and shares creative ideas developed by Washington farmers markets. It’s not a linear step-by-step process; you may be working on various steps at the same time.
- Farmers Market Coalition’s IRS 6050W Electronic Reporting Requirements
- Sample 1 Written Agreement between Market and Vendors for EBT
- Sample 2 Written Agreement between Market and Vendors for EBT
- How to run a paper voucher at your market
While one of the more established programs for farmers markets, we still wanted to provide a good overview to help you keep up with its evolution. The key here is to know how to connect with the more detailed resources and information provided by the Washington State Department of Health.
Oy! The vocabulary you need just to talk to people and communicate about what to do and how. Here’s our best cheat sheet with links embedded to get you to the detailed information you need.
© 2012 Washington State Farmers Market Association and Washington State University Small Farms Program.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this Toolkit is for educational purposes to assist farmers market management in improving their market operations. This material is not intended, and should not be used, as a substitute or replacement for individual legal, financial, or actuarial advice. Each market organization should consult a relevant professional advisor when making business decisions as appropriate. Please direct comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.