Albuquerque streamlines farmers market permit process - Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque streamlines farmers market permit process

Bryce Townsend, owner of Black Mesa Farms, sells produce at the Rail Yards Market on Aug. 8. Albuquerque farmers market vendors may have an easier time this year getting their permits thanks to a change to the city’s food inspection permit process. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Albuquerque farmers market vendors may have an easier time this year getting their permits thanks to a change to the city’s food inspection permit process.

Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department announced Monday that vendors will now only pay a one-time $50 permit fee in order to participate in farmers markets across the city for this year’s market season.

Prior to this change, vendors had to pay separate fees for each market session, department spokeswoman Maia Rodriguez wrote in a news release announcing the change. Old permits cost $25 per session, though Rodriguez said it seemed like the permits were handled “inconsistently.”

“We’re hopeful that this process will make it more predictable and easier for the vendors,” she said.

Rodriguez said the new system allows vendors to know up front what fees to expect for the season.

Danielle Schlobohm, Downtown ABQ MainStreet and Arts & Cultural District associate director, said the simplified process can help expand the economy.

“The simpler the city can make this process for hard working growers and entrepreneurs the more growth we will see in our local economy and in our local food systems,” Schlobohm said in the release.

She said growers markets support micro-businesses while also bringing food directly to residents.

Some of the largest markets are preparing to open for the season with the Downtown Growers Market opening April 16, and the Rail Yards Market slated to open May 1.

Visit cabq.gov/environmentalhealth/food-safety/special-event-vendor/special-event-vendor to apply for a permit.

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