The Farmers’ Market functions under the auspices of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc., which retains the right to make all final decisions on market matters if deemed necessary. All property and assets of the market are held by Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. The By-Laws are a living document and serve to represent the general operation, best practices, and clear protocols of a successful and thriving market season.
1. Mission: The Farmers’ Market at Poplar Grove was established to provide a retail outlet for local growers and producers to sell their goods directly to consumers, to educate consumers on local farm products and conservation practices, promote the use of local products and serve the community through programming and activities.
2. Termination: As necessary, the Market Manager or Executive Director can suspend a vendor for a fixed period of time as a result of the review and resolution of a formal grievance – typically the remainder of the market season. A vendor may be expelled from the market if a resolution can not be reached through due process: 1) verbal warning; 2) written warning; and 3) violation of written warning resolution.
Every vendor has a right to notice before such action is taken against him or her. Cause shall be deemed to include but certainly not limited to: (1) failure to pay dues for the period fixed by the By-Laws; (2) failure to adhere to an ethical code governing conduct of sales; (3) creating a hostile and/or intimidating work environment; (4) undermining the general operations of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. as a tourist destination and historic site through negative, false and/or inflammatory comments; and (5) failure to submit to or abide by any verbal and/or written resolutions made by the Market Manager or agent of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc.
If a vendor is terminated for any of the above reasons, the vendor membership fees are not refundable, nor is the vendor permitted to return unless he/she has been formally reinstated.
3. Reinstatement: Previously terminated vendors may request reinstatement by going through the formal application process for the next market season. In cases in which a grievance was filed against the Market Manager, the Executive Director will consult with the Board of Directors of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. to ensure due process and fair treatment of the former vendor’s request to be reinstated.
4. Agents of Vendors: Vendors may employ individuals to perform any activities or duties normally performed by the vendor, such as selling at the market, provided the employee’s name, address and telephone number is listed on the original application. Any agent, other than the vendor or applicant designee, must be submitted in writing to the Market Manager prior to the said agent’s attendance on market day.
5. Dues & Fees: Annual membership dues and daily fees are set by Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. Membership dues must be paid before the first market attended by each vendor to Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. and serves to guarantee market participation for the season.
Daily fees will be collected by the Market Manager or an employee of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. each market Wednesday. However, vendors are encouraged to pay daily fees on the first Wednesday of the month, i.e. the first Wednesday in May, a vendor may choose to pay the daily fees for all of the month of May.
All vendors shall receive a receipt of payment with each exchange of money, and should notify the Market Manager or Executive Director immediately if a receipt was not issued.
Alternative payment schedules: Vendors may petition in writing for an amended payment schedule to the market manager before the next monthly payment cycle.
If a vendor skips or cancels, the daily fee still applies. No more than two rain days will be waived per market season, unless severe weather is an issue. A commitment to participation for the minimum required days is a commitment to participate. The daily rate applies, no matter whether a vendor attends, or decides to cancel.
6. Meetings: The annual meeting of the upcoming season shall be held on the grounds of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. The date and time will be designated by the Market Manager and Executive Director. The annual meeting shall be held in the first quarter of the calendar year.
7. Market Management/Governance: The Executive Director, with the assistance of the market manager, shall have general supervision and control of the affairs of the farmers’ market and may adopt any such rules and regulations for the management and administration of the market as deemed proper and consistent with the laws of the State of North Carolina and the mission and vision of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc.
The Executive Director and Market Manager shall review and accept new applicants to the market to ensure variety, quality control, ethical practices, product balance and competition.
The Market Manager shall have the power to carry out any and all Fees, Rules and Regulations as well as By-Laws of the market with vendors and others in every way advantageous to the market and Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. as well as conducting the day to day operation of the market. The Market Manager and representatives of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. shall be available to conduct inspections of farms/businesses as needed.
8. Amendments to the By-Laws: In consultation with vendors, these By-Laws may be altered, amended or repealed and new By-Laws adopted by the Executive Director and/or the Board of Directors of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. in an effort to ensure best practices. The By-Laws are a living document and will best reflect an ability to adapt based upon consumer demand and in an effort to continually align all practices with the mission of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc.