2019 Application and Guideline Updates Coming March 2019

Please read carefully as our guidelines have changed as of March 7th, 2019.

These rules govern the operation, administration, and management of Red River Market (RRM). RRM will implement and enforce all rules and regulations pertaining to the operation of the Market. RRM may change, delete or modify these Market rules and regulations at any time, and take any reasonable action to enforce them. RRM requires all participants in the Market to be members in good standing as set forth in these rules and regulations.

Market Contact Information

Email: info@redriver.market

Facebook: www.facebook.com/redrivermarket

Website: redriver.market

Address: PO Box 1583, Fargo, ND 58107

Table of Contents

  1. About the Market

    1. Statement of Purpose

    2. History

    3. 2019 Market Dates, Hours, Location

  2. Admission of Vendors and Products

    1. Application Process

    2. Admissions Considerations

    3. Vendor Requirements

      1. Permits, Licenses, Taxes

      2. Insurance

      3. Reporting

      4. Product Quality Review

    4. Product Guidelines

      1. Eligible Products

      2. Prohibited Products

      3. Labeling Requirements

      4. Organic Labeling

      5. Sampling

  3. General Market Rules

    1. Market Operations

      1. Daily Operations

      2. Booth Assignment

      3. Cancellation Policy

      4. Market Money and SNAP Tokens

  4. Vendor Fees and Space

    1. Vendor Fees

    2. Vendor Stall Space

    3. Landfill Free

  5. Policies and Fees

    1. Enforcement Policy

    2. Grievance Policy

  6. Promotion

    1. Promotion

    2. Sponsorship

About the Market

Statement of Purpose

The Red River Market [RRM] creates a space for all people to experience the joys of locally grown food. The RRM strives to support small to mid-size farms and emerging food businesses, to increase access to fresh, locally grown produce, to be a good steward of the planet, and to create a sense of place where all are welcome.


The Red River Market was founded by a group of volunteers in the spring of 2015 because of two key issues: First, the lack of a centrally located, accessible place to access locally grown food, and second, the lack of shared public space in the Fargo Moorhead community. Since 2015, the Red River Market has grown from 600 to 8,000 weekly attendees.

The Red River Market is the largest farmers' market in 200 miles representing over 80 local farmers and makers. Over the last four seasons, the Red River Market has grown into a weekly community ritual with free community programming including live music and cultural performances, educational cooking demonstrations, and children’s activities in a welcoming community space.  Along with the regular season, additional winter and spring events are also hosted in indoor venues in Fargo and Moorhead.

The Red River Market is currently a fiscally hosted project of Impact Foundation. Day-to-day operations and activities are performed by Folkways. Folkways creates experiences that connect community to increase quality of of life. Folkways uses these immersive experiences to solve problems like workforce retention, economic vitality, and communal belonging.

2019 Market Dates, Hours, and Location

  • 2019 Outdoor Season: Every Saturday, July 13th - October 26th, 10:00am to 2:00pm.

  • 2019/2020 Indoor Season: Tentative, three events taking place in February, March, and May.

Admission of Vendors and Products

Application Process

Those wishing to participate in RRM must complete an application form, provide appropriate documentation, attend a vendor orientation, and make the appropriate vendor payment before selling at the Market. The application can be found online at www.redriver.market/apply. RRM Review Committee will review all applications for approval/denial.

Applications are accepted once per year for the outdoor and subsequent indoor markets. Approval is at the sole discretion of the Red River Market Review Committee for admission.

  • The 2019 application will be posted online in March 2019.

  • All application materials are due by 11:59pm CST on Monday, April 1st, 2019 to be included in the first round of acceptances. All applications after April 1st will be accepted on a rolling basis.

  • Application decisions will be sent two weeks after submission deadline or two weeks after submission date if after April 1st.

  • Electronic submission is required. Paper applications will not be accepted.

  • All vendors must apply annually.

  • Vendors who apply mid-season will be taken on a case by case basis.The decision to allow a mid-season application will be based on the current needs of the market. All of the criteria and fees of the normal application period apply during the mid-season review.

Admissions Considerations

All products are subject to restriction by Fargo Cass Environmental Health Division.

Admission priority is on:

  • Compliance of guidelines and copies of all permits and licenses required for the sale of the applicant’s products.

  • An understanding of and adherence to the RRM mission.

  • High quality local products or products that use locally made materials

  • A product line and growing practices that comply with the RRM Rules and Regulations.

  • Ability to engage and educate consumers about products and how they were produced (via knowledgeable employees, informative brochures and handouts, etc.)

  • Space availability at the market

  • Market needs and overall vendor assortment

  • The vendor’s positive history with RRM (including adherence to market rules and regulations, market attendance, conduct, and timely payment of fees).

  • Overall priority is given to food products.

Vendor Requirements

Permits, Licenses, and Taxes

All vendors must abide by all applicable federal, state and local health regulations and laws in the harvest, preparation, labeling and safety of the product(s) s/he brings to the RRM.

  • All permits and licenses required by Cass County, the State of North Dakota, or the Federal Government are the sole responsibility of the vendors.

  • Any required sales tax collections and remittances are the sole responsibility of the vendors. Sellers of crafts, art, fresh cut flowers, and ready to eat food items must follow North Dakota sales tax procedures and provide proper documentation to the RRM.


  • All RRM vendors must carry a Commercial General Liability Insurance Policy listing Impact Foundation - Red River Market and Stokum Holdings DBA Folkways as additional insured. It must have a minimum coverage of $1 million per occurrence and aggregate. A sample Certificate of Insurance is provided in the addendum.

  • RRM carries an insurance policy for the Market for general liability, however, vendors are not covered under this policy. Examples of market vendor insurance providers are listed here:


During the season, vendors fill out a survey the day after each market and will be required to submit online at www.redriver.market/vendorresources a gross sales figures (rounded off to the nearest dollar) to the Market Manager by the next market date. If a vendor sells in more than one category, a gross receipt slip must be filled out for each category. These figures are confidential; only aggregate figures will be available to the public. Vendors will also receive a pre-season and postseason survey. See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

Product Quality Review

RRM reserves the right to undertake a quality review of any product sold at the market at any time. If RRM receives a complaint about a product's quality (i.e. taste, appearance,

ingredients, place of origin) that product may be reviewed.

  • Vendors will be notified if the RRM Review Committee decides to further review a product(s).

  • The Application Committee will review/sample the product within a two week period and do one of the following:

  • Allow the vendor to continue selling the product in its current state.

  • Recommend a specific change to the product to improve the quality, or the source/sourcing of the product or ingredient.

  • Ask the vendor to discontinue the product in question.

  • If the vendor refuses to adapt or discontinue his or her products, a warning will be given and steps will be taken as per the complaint process.

Product Guidelines

Eligible Products

Products sold by vendors need to be grown or made by the vendor within 200 miles of RRM.

The following items are approved for sale:

  • Vendor grown fresh fruits and vegetables

  • Vendor grown herbs and spices

  • Vendor produced farmstead products such as eggs (as long as kept at 41°F), baked goods, canned goods, honey, maple syrup, dried pasta and preserves, if prepared and packaged in accordance with rules established by the ND Department of Agriculture/Fargo Cass Public Health Office.

  • Vendor grown bedding plants, hanging and potted plants, and cut flowers

  • Vendor grown dried flowers or plants

  • Vendor-made crafts and artwork

  • Vendor-made health and body care products

  • Home-Processed, Home-Canned and Home-Baked foods: see below Prepared Food section for more information

The following may not be sold without a license: fish, dairy, poultry, and meat products which include smoked fish, butter, milk, and jerky, and potentially hazardous products such flavored oils.

Prepared Foods

RRM strives to maintain a high level of quality at all markets and any new producers of prepared foods, baked goods, or value-added products must supply ingredient list (including origin of products) and samples upon request prior to acceptance to RRM. Preference will be given to vendors who source high-quality ingredients from local farms or other local-direct sources.

  • Baked Goods: Baked goods sold at market should highlight regional produce and seasonal ingredients. Bakers who use local eggs, grain, butter and dairy are given preference over those who source nationally. No commercial mixes, crusts or fillings may be used.

    • Bakery goods which require time and temperature controls for safety, such as cream, custard, meringue toppings, cheesecake, pumpkin pie, cream cheese icings or fillings, etc., are allowed for sale, including uncooked dough products, as long as items are properly labeled with handling instructions, are transported and maintained frozen in addition to displaying the required consumer advisory either on the label or conspicuous sign posted at the point of sale.

  • Canned Fruits and Vegetables: Canned fruits and vegetables must be from the farmer’s own produce. If processed off-farm, the farmer must supply RRM with the name, address, and telephone number for the facility where the produce is processed. Canned fruits and vegetables made from produce not grown by the producer but sourced locally will be admitted on a case-by-case basis.

    • ALLOWED: Canned foods that have a natural pH of 4.6 or less and acidified foods that have acid(s) or acid(s) foods added.

    • The individual who is selling home-processed, home-canned and home-baked foods under this exemption should have available, upon request of the regulatory authority, the product’s recipe and/or pH results. The seller must display a sign or placard at the point of sale which states: “These canned goods/baked goods are homemade and not subject to state inspection.”

    • Persons producing and selling these products are encouraged to have the recipe and manufacturing process reviewed by a person knowledgeable in the food canning/processing industry and recognized as a process authority.

  • Honey: Honey must be from the farmer/grower’s own hives, but may be processed off-farm. The farmer/grower must provide RRM management with the name, address, and telephone number of the facility where the honey is processed.

  • Preserves, Pesto, Jams, Fruit Butters, Syrups, Purees, Salsas: Preference will be given to farmers/growers making these products from fresh fruits and vegetables grown on their farm. However, artisanal products in this category will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

  • Coffee and Tea: Preference will be given to vendors who roast their coffee beans locally. Preference will be given to vendors who are creating their own tea blends.

For purveyors applying for a season pass in the categories of produce, ready to eat, bakery, pantry, household goods or floral, at least 80% of retail space must be devoted to these items. Any items added must be approved by the Market Manager.

If you have questions about eligible products, labelling or other food safety related questions, please contact: Fargo Cass Public Health, Environmental Health Division at 701-476-6729.

Prohibited Products

  • Resale and direct marketing- Products purchased for resale at the RRM are generally not allowed

  • Live birds or live animals

  • Products purchased by a seller that have not been approved by Fargo Cass Environmental Health Division (sodas, water, coffee, and tea)

  • Products processed and sold under a brand name other than the vendor’s are not allowed unless approved by market management

  • Potentially hazardous foods including but not limited to: cut melons, cut leafy greens, and cut tomatoes

  • Nut butters of any kind

  • Certain home-processed or home-canned foods, such as home-canned fish, pickled eggs, and home-canned meat

  • Other:

    • Political propaganda

    • Franchise and direct sales business

    • Electronics and related accessories

    • Any products or items deemed inappropriate by RRM manager(s)

Labeling Requirements: Each food container and/or food item sold must include the ingredient list visible at point of sale, and the following statement using a font size that is prominent, conspicuous, and easy to read: “These food products were produced in an uninspected home kitchen where major food allergens may also have been handled and prepared, such as tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, milk, fish, and crustacean shellfish.” See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

Organic - All vendors advertising and selling organic products must submit a copy of their current Organic Certification and renew each year. Only USDA certified organic growers may display signs using the word “organic.”

Samples- Market food samples must be prepared/presented in a safe and sanitary manner, according to the state Department of Health code and the direction of RRM management. The vendor must provide a trash receptacle for the disposal of any sampling materials, such as cups, utensils or toothpicks. All sampling materials must comply with our Landfill Free Policy. See the Landfill Free section for more information.

General Market Rules

Market Operations

Daily Operations

  • The market will begin exactly at 10:00 AM. No sales are allowed before this time. Opening hours are marked by the opening and closing bell ringing. See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

  • Vendors must be set up and ready to sell by 9:45 AM. Latecomers may be denied admission by the market manager or admitted and located at the market manager’s discretion.See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

  • Vendors must tear down at 2:00 PM. No early breakdowns.  See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

  • The market will occur- rain or shine. However, a decision to cancel the market due to severe weather will be made by 7:00 AM on Saturdays. Vendors will be notified by email and cancellations will be posted on the RRM Facebook page and website to update customers.

  • The Market Manager, will determine if weather is too inclement to stay open. In case of an emergency early departures must be cleared by the Market Manager.

Booth Assignment

Market Manager will assign spaces on a rotating basis on or before market day. It is the sole discretion of the Market Manager to determine the spaces and where the vendors are placed. Vendor locations are not permanent and may be changed at the discretion of RRM Staff for any market day during the season and/or annually. In making any determination in this regard RRM will consider the following:

  • RRM product assortment and customer traffic flow

  • Establishing an aesthetic to produce a positive shopper experience

  • Vendor category

  • Booth electricity needs

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellations due to holidays or holiday weekends are not permitted. The RRM will be held Labor Day weekend.

  • Vendors who cannot attend the RRM on a regularly scheduled day must contact the Market Manager at least 36 hours prior to RRM day.  See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

SNAP and Market Money

  • RRM strives to be inclusive in their operations, so all eligible vendors are required to accept SNAP benefits. RRM staff will train vendors on the procedures. RRM will not reimburse vendors for SNAP tokens used to purchased ineligible items. Vendors are responsible for training their staff on eligible SNAP products.

  • All RRM vendors are required to accept RRM Market Money. The Market will distribute and accept EBT/SNAP tokens and Debit tokens; therefore, each Vendor must accept such tokens as payment for the products they sell as authorized. Vendors may use tokens to pay Market fees. The reimbursement process for tokens will occur at the close of each market. At that time, vendors can bring tokens to the info booth to be counted by Market staff, and the totals will be entered on a form that will be signed by a representative of both the Vendor and the Market. The Market will collect the tokens and will issue the Vendor a check in the total token amount. RRM staff will train vendors on the procedures.

Vendor Practices

  • All RRM vendors should represent themselves in an appropriate manner, dress and state of cleanliness. Shirt and shoes must be worn at all times.

  • Neither the vendor nor their representatives may be impaired by alcohol or marijuana or illegal substances any time while on the Market premises, as determined by the Market Manager.

  • All vendors agree to abide by fair business practices.

  • RRM staff may visually survey produce vendors' prices at random during the season to make sure vendors are setting reasonable prices in the ballpark of other vendors. RRM does not fix prices, but discourages product “dumping” at very low prices.

  • No smoking (including electronic cigarettes) by vendors in the market. Move 100 feet away from the market to smoke. All vendors should wash their hands before returning to the market.

  • In alignment with best health/food safety practices, vendors are not to bring animals if they are selling food products.The RRM reserves the right to ask the owner of an animal to leave.

  • The RRM reserves the right to allow animals at the market for special events.

  • RRM is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination. In keeping with this commitment, we will not tolerate unlawful harassment of our employees, farmers and producers by anyone, including any farmer/grower, producer co-worker, or an external third party. Harassment of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation or disability is not allowed.

Vendor Fees & Space

Vendor Fees

Vendors will receive a space of 10’ by 10’ for a single booth or 10’ by 20’ for a double booth. Booth beyond 10' by 20' will be priced individually.

  • Season Pass:

    • Single Booth - $320 (cost per market breakdown: $20)

    • Double Booth - $560 (cost per market breakdown: $35)

  • Daily Pass

    • Single Booth - $35

    • Double Booth - $70

  • Electricity Fees:

    • 20 amp and below - $160 per season or $10 per day

    • 21-40 amp - $320 per season or $20 per day

    • 41 amp and above (limited to 3 passes) - $550

    • Electricity passes are only available to those who require it to sell their items. Charging of phones, computers, or tablets is not allowed due to the limited amount of electricity available.

    • Generators and power usage must be approved by the Market Manager prior to use.

    • Dependence on electricity may limit booth placement.

Required items shown in diagram: canopy, 30lb canopy weights, table, tablecloth. business name sign (shown as banner), pricing signage (shown as sandwich board or individual tags).

Required items shown in diagram: canopy, 30lb canopy weights, table, tablecloth. business name sign (shown as banner), pricing signage (shown as sandwich board or individual tags).

Vendor Stall Space

  • Vendors are responsible for providing all items needed for their display.

    • Required to Bring: canopy (10x10 E-Z Up tent or something similar), canopy weights minimum 30lbs per tent leg, table, tablecloth, sign with business name, and pricing signage. All vendors requiring electricity need to bring their own commercial grade outdoor extension cord (suggested minimum of 25 feet) and commercial grade outdoor splitter if needed. See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

    • Recommended Supplies:  product merchandising (shelves, crates, baskets, etc), paper bags, scales, broom, tape, scissors, pencils and paper, sufficient change (RRM retail booth is unable to provide extra change for vendors), sampling supplies.

  • Scales must be legal-for-trade commercial scales. The face of the scale must be visible to the buyer. The use of a non-legal-for-trade scale at RMM is prohibited.

  • Stall space is non transferable.

  • Vendor layout and stall space is subject to change for the Downtown Fargo Street Fair event (usually the 2nd week of the market)

  • Stall space cannot be shared by another vendor unless approved by the Market Manager. Each vendor who wishes to sell at the market must join as a member and pay dues accordingly.

  • All displays must be neat and tasteful. All properties of the vendor must be contained in the designated space. “Hawking” (calling attention to your products in a loud, repetitive manner) is discouraged and may be limited or restricted by the Market Manager.

  • All vendors are required to post the name of items and prices at all times. The farm or business sign and lettering should be large enough to be easily read from a reasonable distance.

  • All vendors must make certain the area is clean before leaving. Each vendor must remove all matter and debris from their area. This includes the area around the stall and in the common walkway. Trash must be completely removed without regard to whether the litter originated in the vendor's area or not and must be disposed of off-site. Sellers who dump remaining water into the sewer grates must remove leaves, flowers or other items that may cause blockage of the sewer grates before dumping the water.

Landfill Free

Disposable Materials - The Red River Market strives to be good stewards of our planet. The Market has a goal to be a landfill free event, where nothing is sent to the landfill.

  • See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

Allowed Disposable Materials

Prohibited Disposable Materials

  • Styrofoam/polystyrene

  • Bleached paper products (white paper plates, bags, and napkins)

  • Compostable plastics (These are only compostable in commercial high heat facilities. We are not able to compost them and they are put in the landfill)

  • All Recyclable plastics #1 (except for cups), #2, #4, #5, #7

  • Plastic silverware

  • Plastic bags

Please see the Disposable Materials Guide for more information.


Enforcement Policy

The submission of the Vendor Application serves as the vendor’s agreement to abide by the rules of the Market, enforced by market management. Upon orientation, vendors will be asked to initial on the enforcement record. Policy are enforced by the market manager.

Violations of the rules of the RRM may be grounds for warnings, dismissal, or both.

  • The 1st violation of the rules will result in a verbal warning by the Market Manager and a co-signed acknowledgment of 1st warning. Documentation of the warning will be kept on file by the Market Manager.

  • The 2nd violation of the rules will result in a written warning and $20 fine, given by the Market Manager. A co-signed acknowledgment of notice and a copy of the letter will be kept on file by the Market Manager, along with any documentation of the violation.

  • The 3rd violation of the rules can result in dismissal from the Market.

Grievance Policy

All complaints must be addressed in writing to the Market Manager. All complaints will be reviewed by the Market Manager who will work with market management to address and resolve the complaint.

Red River Market Promotion


The RRM saw over 100,000 visitors in the 2018 season. RRM will promote the market and its vendors through the following marketing strategies:

  • Regular social media updates and promotions

    • Facebook: 10,000 followers

    • Instagram: 6,300 followers

    • Email Newsletter: 1,300 subscribers

  • Vendor profiles on our website, www.redriver.market, blog, and social media pages

  • Press releases and coverage for television, radio, and newspapers in the FM Metro area

  • Posters, business cards, and flyers distributed in the FM Metro area

  • Actively approaching local businesses and organizations to become market sponsors

  • Red River Market branded swag - the RRM reserves the right to sell items for fundraising purposes.


RRM may allow sponsors to present information at the market. All market sponsors will be vetted by RRM Staff. Market sponsors are subject to all rules and regulations governing RRM.