California Certified Farmers Markets were established to connect farmers, and the products they grow themselves, directly to consumers. Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) is proud to honor this unique state program by supporting the public education about and connections with more than 200 certified producers who are part of our 8 Bay Area certified farmers markets. In order to ensure the integrity of the markets we operate, which in turn maintains the trust of the public, AIM launched a Farm Audit Program at the end of 2010.
AIM’s Farm Audit program improves the quality of our farmers markets by verifying that all farmers participating at an AIM farmers market are complying with specific CA Certified Farmers Market Program Regulations and with AIM’s Rules and Regulations. We want to be sure that our farmers are selling only products that they grow and have on their Certified Producer Certificate (CPC). This effort helps make sure we have fair, honest, high quality farmers markets.
In just over two years’ time (estimated by beginning of 2013), we will have visited all of the farmers in our markets. All new farm applicants being considered are now visited before being permitted to join the markets. This includes farmers, ranchers, and dairy producers.
When conducting the first step of the audit, the stall audit, AIM’s Farm Audit team selects producers at each market, reviews CPCs and any other relevant documentation, and notes the items currently being sold. Within one week, we will schedule a visit to the farms’ growing, production and/or storage location(s).
AIM staff is excited to get to know our farmers’ operations more deeply, which helps us better educate you, the public, about local and sustainable food production. Visiting farms in our markets enables us to know our producers’ businesses better, be able to more effectively tell the stories of their farms, and enables us to help you to KNOW YOUR FARMER, KNOW YOUR FOOD!