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Stand up for Farmers Markets! – Comment by Dec 10

A message from our friends with the Seattle Farmers Market Association

Imagine your Ballard Farmers Market without eggs, pickles, fish or cheese. When Public Health – Seattle & King County recently announced that they want to increase permitting fees in 2015 up to 300% for vendors, and more than double the fees for the markets themselves — fees they just increased by 500% two years ago — many markets and farmers in the King County farmers market community openly began asking, how much longer can we afford to be in this business?

While maybe the first sentence is the extreme, imagine if just one egg farmer quit Ballard Farmers Market. Anyone who buys eggs already knows how early you have to get here to get eggs on Sunday. Eliminating just one of our egg farmers would make it even worse! And we have already been told by one egg farmer that they will consider quitting if these fees go through.

And it’s not like Public Health has been dealing with a rash of food-borne illnesses caused by farmers markets. In fact, there have been none. Inspections in 2013 and 2014 show a dramatic decrease in violations of health codes at farmers markets, so one would think the cost to the Department would be decreasing, not increasing.

That’s why we need your help… right now! We need you to make public comments on this proposed fee increase before December 10th.

To comment:

Please submit comments to King County Board of Health at: Maria.Wood@kingcounty.gov.
Comments can be made to Public Health online at www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/fees/proposal.aspx.