San Diego Supervisors to consider proposal making selling easier for farmers' market vendors

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is scheduled Tuesday morning to consider a proposed ordinance to make it easier for vendors to sell their goods at farmers' markets in unincorporated areas.

Under current ordinances, growers certified by the county agriculture commissioner can sell their produce at eight certified farmers markets located outside city limits, while uncertified vendors have to get a solicitation license from the Sheriff's Department.

The proposal is to have the operator of the farmers' market obtain an annual solicitation permit so that each uncertified vendor doesn't have to do so, according to county documents. The solicitor's license, which would be subject to an annual fee, would act as an umbrella permit covering all the vendors.

Two days before a farmers' market opens, the organizer would be required to submit to the sheriff's department a list of uncertified vendors, including their business name, address and intended items to sell.

The law enforcement agency would then be allowed to reject a vendor, based on public safety or the items they intend to sell. Agricultural theft, especially of avocados, is a major problem in San Diego County.

If approved by the supervisors, the new ordinance would go into effect May 1.

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