Member Agreement & Rules 2022-10-05T17:36:58+01:00

South West Surrey Farmers’ Market Co-operative Limited

Member Agreement & Rules

Registered No: 30679 R

(Registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965‑2002)


1.     In this Agreement

“the Board” means the Board of Directors for the time being of the Co-operative

“member”  means a member of the Co-operative who has a written contract (Member Agreement) to utilise the services provided for them under the terms of this Agreement. 

“producer” means any specific member

“services“ means services provided by the Co-operative towards the running of the Co-operative and its Farmers’ Markets as defined, updated and notified to members accordingly

“products “ means products of the kinds marketed by members and agreed as being eligible under ‘market rules’ by the Co-operative and notified by the Co-operative to members from time to time

“market rules” means the rules issued by the Co-operative setting out the criteria and operational conditions under which producers may sell produce at a Farmers’ Market organised by the Co-operative.

“year” means an accounting year of the Co-operative

words denoting gender include the other gender

the singular includes the plural and the converse applies

sub-headings are for ease of reference only and do not affect the meaning of any clause

Basis of Agreement

2.          For the duration of this Agreement

         (a) The Co-operative shall maintain services to facilitate the direct marketing to the consumer of products produced by members and shall keep members informed of the extent of these services and

       (b) The Producer shall produce products as agreed at the time of being granted membership of the Co-operative or subsequently amended and approved in writing by the board and agrees to sell direct to the consumer through the services provided by the Co-operative as current, updated and notified accordingly

Membership of Co-operative

3.    All producers wishing to sell at the Co-operative’s Farmers’ Markets shall become members of the Co-operative within three months of the date of signing this agreement.

4.    If three months after this date the Producer has not become a member of the Co-operative or if at any time he or she ceases to be a member of the Co-operative then this Agreement shall terminate immediately.

5.    If having become a member of the Co-operative and signed a member agreement, the member fails to produce products for sale at the Co-operative’s Farmers’ Market/s for any consecutive period of three months then this agreement can, at the discretion of the majority of the Board, be terminated immediately.  For members who are seasonal producer this will apply only during the agreed period of product availability, as defined on the application to sell at the farmers’ markets.

6.    To sell at the Co-operative’s Farmers’ Markets a member may be required to make a separate application for each market – in the interest of a balanced market mix at each.  The Co-operative shall inform members of the application procedure/s.


7.    The producer shall endeavour to attend all markets allocated to him/her and organised by the Co-operative and shall comply with the terms of this agreement and in conjunction with the Market Rules see 8 & 9 below and Appendix 1 and under any specific terms that were agreed at the time of his/her application for membership.

Farmers’ Market Rules

8.    The Co-operative shall provide Market Rules (below) for all members on joining and advise members in writing, giving 7 days notice of any changes to take effect. Farmers’ Market Rules shall be binding on the producer and form an integral part of this agreement.

9.    The Market Rules must set out clearly the key criteria for participation which are to be applied, operational information, products permitted, and any other information which the Co-operative deems necessary for statutory compliance.

Common Fund

10. The Co-operative will arrange for all charges paid to the Co-operative by members under member agreements to be held as contributions to a common fund to be used as provided in those agreements.


11. The charges for each year will be decided by the Board 28 days before the beginning of the Co-operative’s financial year and may vary between one class of service and another including services provided to members who have been accepted as seasonal producers only. Charges may be based on a market attendance fee, an annual subscription charge, charges in respect of individual services or any combination of charges.

12. In deciding the charges the Board will make provision for the costs to the Co-operative of providing services to its members, its administrative and overhead expenses and other contingencies and such sums to be put to reserve as the Board thinks prudent.


13. In the instance of default to this Agreement by either party the other will give written notice requesting that the default or similar is not repeated or that, if practicable, the default be remedied within a reasonable period.  If the defaulter fails to comply the other party may terminate this Agreement by giving at least seven days written notice. Action/s taken will not prejudice any legal remedies available for breach of this Agreement.

Force Majeure

14. If default in the performance of any obligation under this Agreement is unavoidably caused by an occurrence which the defaulting party is unable to prevent by taking reasonable measures and the defaulting party gives the other party written notice of it as soon as practicable after the occurrence, then the operation of this Agreement shall be suspended for such period (if any) as is reasonably necessary.  The defaulting party will not be liable for any loss, injury or damage the default might cause to the other party.


15. Except as stated in Clauses 4, 5 14 & 17 this Agreement shall continue in force from the above date or the date on which the Producer becomes a member of the Co-operative, whichever is the later, until it is terminated by either party giving the other not less than six months written notice.

Consequences of Termination

16. On the termination of this Agreement in any circumstances both parties shall remain liable to pay any sums due under this Agreement but unpaid at the date of termination.


17. Either party to a member agreement may terminate it by giving the other written notice to that effect at any time after that other has a receiver appointed of the whole or any part of his/her property or undertaking or makes any composition or scheme of arrangement with his creditors or becomes subject to an administration or a bankruptcy order or goes into liquidation by an instrument of dissolution or an order or a resolution for winding up and if that other party is a partnership then the right to terminate the agreement under the Regulation arises on the happening of any of these events to the partnership or to any partner in it.

Assignment and Sub-Contracting

18. Rights under this Agreement shall not be assignable, nor shall obligations under it be sub-contracted, by either party without the written consent of the other party.

Other Business Activities of the Co-operative

19. It is the duty of the Co-operative to seek to further the interests of the members’ businesses by promoting sales of local produce and the Co-operative must not engage in any business activity which is likely to conflict with those interests. 


20. This agreement excluding Appendix 1 shall be amended by a resolution approved by the Board and passed by a two-thirds majority of members voting at a meeting of which every member has been given not less than twenty-one days written notice specifying the amendments.


21.    (a) Any dispute between the parties arising under or in connection with this

Agreement and not resolved by negotiation shall be referred to mediation in accordance with the Centre for Dispute Resolution Model Mediation Procedure (“the Model Procedure”) by either party giving the other written notice to that effect (“the ADR Notice”).

(b) For the purposes of the mediation the Model Procedure shall be amended to take account of any relevant provision of the Agreement and any agreement which the parties make on the conduct of the mediation.

(c) Neither party shall commence any court proceedings or arbitration until the parties have attempted to resolve it by mediation and the mediation has terminated.

(d) If mediation has not resolved the dispute within sixty days after the date of serving the ADR Notice then the dispute shall be referred to arbitration by a sole arbitrator appointed by agreement between the parties or, failing that, appointed by Co-operatives UK and the decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on both parties.

22. By checking the agree box on the sign-up form, the Producer agrees to conduct himself for the benefit of the Co-operative.


These Market Rules form an integral part of the Member Agreement, shall be signed as part of the Member Agreement and shall be binding on the Producer.

These Market Rules cannot be issued in isolation to the Member Agreement and have no legal standing other than as part of the Member Agreement.

All Producers/Stallholders must be a Member of SWSFM Co-operative.

Application for Membership of SWSFM Co-operative should be made via the website or in writing, using the Member Agreement Forms, to the Board.

In the interests of establishing a balance of products at the Markets, Producers must list all products they wish to sell at SWSFM Markets using the Market Application Forms, and providing the information requested. Additional products may be considered for sale by formal written application to the Board.

Please remember that every Producer contributes to the overall integrity of the Farmers’ Market movement and the look, atmosphere and, therefore, the success of each of our Markets.

The Core Market Rules for SWSFM Markets are:

1       The Producer named in the application must grow, rear, catch, or process everything sold.  Producers may not sell products or produce on behalf of, or bought from, any other farm or supplier.

2       Violation of the ‘Producer only’ rule will result in expulsion from SWSFM Markets. 

3       The term ‘Producer’, for Market attendance, includes the applicant’s family, and employees, when they are directly involved in the business.

4       Allocation of stalls:                   

     The majority of Producers will come from within the defined ‘Local’ area.

For the purpose of these Rules, South West Surrey Farmers’ Markets Limited (SWSFM) defines ‘local’ as; from within a 30 miles of the Boundary of the Borough of Waverley (or within 30 miles of the Local Authority Area in which the Farmers’ Market is located)

At least 50% of stall space will be made available to growers, farmers and nurserymen producing from the land (hereinafter known as Category 1). 

     The remaining 50% of stall space will be allocated to:    

     Producers of handmade goods (such as baked goods, ready-made meals and desserts) which are made from local fresh ingredients and wholly mixed or finished by the producer at a given premises (Category 2). 

     Handicrafts made using traditional methods and materials (Category 3).

     Category 1 Primary Farm Producers includes; eggs, fruit, vegetables, herbs, meat, grains, cheese, milk, butter, ice cream, honey and bee products, wine, cider,           fruit juices, flowers and plants.  Plants may include planted baskets if wholly grown         and arranged by the producer. 

Category 2 Secondary Producers includes; ready-made meals, condiments, confectionery, preserves, cakes, and desserts.   

         Category 3 Tertiary Producers includes; products made by hand and only from        naturally occurring materials (for example willow baskets, charcoal, handmade   wooden items).  These products will not normally exceed 10% of the stalls at the          market.

     SWSFM Local Producer Support:

     Producers meeting the criteria who are based in the Borough of Waverley (or the Local Authority Area in which the Farmers’ Market is located) can automatically attend the Farmers’ Markets organised by SWSFM.

The General Market Rules are:

5.       At the discretion of the Board, difficult to source produce may be admitted from over     30 miles and up to 100 miles of the ‘Local’ area, these Producers will not be classed as ‘Local’ to this market.

         Preference will be given to the most local Producer when a space (for the product)        becomes available and so long as quality and standards are met. If a more local Producer of the product applies to the market they may be admitted as well, if there is space and so long as quality standards are met.

6.       Co-operative producer groups will normally be allowed at any Farmers’ Market, subject to the discretion of The Board.

7.       The selection and balance of produce available at the Market will be agreed by the Board and the appointed Market Manager; the Market does not offer exclusivity for produce.

8.       Locally grown/reared ingredients: Processed goods must contain as much locally grown/reared ingredient/s as is possible for the product.

   The main ingredient should be the Producer’s own or grown/reared/processed locally to the Producer. The base product should be significantly altered.

   Local grown/reared ingredients and their estimated percentage contents should be listed on the Producer Application Form.

   Proof of the local ingredients may be requested and may be passed to Trading Standards.  

   The main constituent of the product should be made up by the Producer not with commercial mixes e.g. fruit filling in a fruit pie, cakes.  

   Wholesome commercial mixes may be used for lesser aspects of the finished product.     

   Wholesome meaning: without MSG, unnatural E numbers, food colourings etc.  

   Hydrogenated fats should be avoided – most will say if they are not hydrogenated.

9. Producer visits: Producers agree to be visited at their place of production by a representative of SWSFM Ltd.

10. Force Majeure: The Board may consider a temporary suspension of the rules should   a Producer’s circumstances change due to force majeure  e.g. Foot & Mouth/Crop Failure/ Newcastle Disease/ Storm Damage)  thus allowing the Producer to continue to trade.

National Regulations:

The Producer is responsible for complying with all local and national laws and regulations regarding the production, labelling, display, storage and sale of goods.  Photocopies of Public Liability Insurance Certificates and proof of compliance with Environmental Health Legislation must be submitted in advance to the Board for verification.

11. Sellers of Alcohol: must meet licensing requirements.

12. Environmental Health compliant: Produce preparation, packaging, display and handling must comply with local Environmental Health legislation.

13. Trading Standards compliant: Produce weighing, labelling and signage must comply with Trading Standards legislation.

14. GM: Genetically Modified Products should not knowingly be used in the production of goods on offer.

15. Insurance: Producers must have Public, Product and Employee Liability insurance –     minimum levels of cover are £5 Million and copies must be submitted with your     application. NB: someone minding your stall on a temporary basis is classed as an employee.

16. If claiming Organic or similar certification, a copy of the certificate and any supporting documents that specify what is covered must be displayed on your stall.

Additional rules:

In the interest of upholding a pleasant atmosphere at the Market where customers feel confident in the quality of the produce on sale, the following rules apply:

NB: where the Board is mentioned this may also refer to an appointed representative e.g. the Market Manager.

17. Only top quality produce should be offered for sale at the Market – the Market Manager reserves the right to remove substandard items at any time.

18. Stalls should be clearly labelled with the business name and address

19. The Market Manager may require that produce not listed on the Application Form be removed from sale. An additional application form should be completed, and be       approved by SWSFM, to add all new produce to your range. 

20.Changes to a Producer’s business structure will require a new application to be made     if he/she wishes to continue selling at the Farmers’ Market/s.

21. People attending the stall must be clean and tidy.

22. Smoking by producers, and their employees, at the stall, or in the Market area, is prohibited.

23.Adequate hand washing facilities must be provided where appropriate. 

24.Measures to avoid cross contamination must be in place if selling raw meat and   prepared food from one stall. In such circumstances, we would normally expect    producers to have different Stalls.

25.Stalls must be kept clean, tidy and free from hazards. 

26. If you use a naked flame on your stall then you are required to have an appropriate fire extinguisher or blanket available.

27. Electrical equipment must be PAT Tested annually, serviceable and in good repair. Gas equipment must be tested annually, serviceable and in good repair. You must ensure that equipment doesn’t create a trip hazard for staff or customers.

28. Transportation – Producers must ensure that vehicle/s and containers are suitable for   transporting food and meet food hygiene standards.

29.Producers /Stallholders are responsible for removing their own rubbish at the end of the day and are encouraged to recycle where possible.

30.Stalls should be ready for trading 15 minutes before Market opening time. 

31.Vehicles must be removed to the designated parking area 30 minutes before Market opening time. 

32.Packing-up should not begin before Market closing time.

33. Vehicles may be brought back onto site 10 minutes after Market closing time. 

34.We ask that, even if you sell out, you remain on the stall at the Market until closing time as it affects the look of the Market overall – treat it as an opportunity to promote your produce and your business through leaflets and chatting to customers; pictures and information about production will help generate interest as well as ‘telling the story’ while you have produce to sell.

35.Antisocial behaviour by yourself or your staff may mean instant dismissal from the Market.

36.Complaints of non-compliance with the ‘producer only rule’, or other rule violations,       should be reported to the Market Manager. Lesser transgressions of the rules may result in disciplinary action – two verbal and one written warning; continued non-compliance will result in dismissal, as outlined in the Member Agreement of SWSFM Co-operative.

The Board’s / Market Manager’s decision is final.  However, if you feel you have been unfairly treated you may appeal to The Board as outlined in the Member Agreement of SWSFM Ltd.

37. Stall Fees shall be paid by bank transfer, cheque, monthly in advance or cash on the day. If you fail to make payment by the day of the market, we will request cash on the day.