NCWM Provides Tips for Shoppers at Farmers Markets

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Farmers Markets have risen in popularity as a source for fresh, local produce, but shoppers should remain vigilant to make sure they are getting what they pay for while supporting these wonderful producers and the local economy.

Be a vigilant shopper while supporting your farmers markets.

Shopping Fresh and Local at the Farmers Market

Farmers markets have grown in popularity and in many cases provide important supplemental income for the hard-working producers.

We’ve reached that wonderful time of year for shopping fresh produce at local farmers markets. The National Conference on Weights and Measures reminds consumers to remain as vigilant in the farmers market as they do in the supermarket to make sure they get the full amount that they are paying for.

Farmers markets have grown in popularity and in many cases provide important supplemental income for the hard-working producers. Many markets are limited to only local sellers of their own produce, which adds to the attraction for customers. Often they are the source of the freshest and highest quality produce in the area. But the same rules for fair business practices apply in the farmers markets and they do in the supermarket. Here are some consumer tips to make sure you are getting what you pay for:

  • If there is a scale, make sure it has a current weights and measures inspection decal.
  • The scale should be positioned so that the customer can read the display.
  • The customer should only pay for the weight of the produce, not the packaging material.
  • Prepackaged products should state the net quantity so that the customer can compare price and quantity with other vendors or package sizes.
  • Look for signs or package labels for name and contact information about the seller.
  • Contact your weights and measures authority with any questions or concerns.

Weights and measures inspectors are diligent in their efforts to assure buyers and sellers of a fair marketplace that enables consumers to make price and quantity comparisons. However, there are occasions when farmers markets or roadside stands spring up without the benefit of this oversight. If customers have any concerns, they should contact their state or local weights and measures authority.

The National Conference on Weights and Measures is a professional nonprofit association of state and local weights and measures officials, manufacturers, retailers and consumers. In 1905, NCWM was formed to develop model standards for uniform enforcement from city to city and state to state. The organization has set the example for bringing the right interests to the table to develop and amend national standards to keep pace with innovative advancements in the marketplace.

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Don Onwiler
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