Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Food

The Fair \ Areas \ Food

Food Vendors at the FairFood Policy and GuidelinesFood Vendor Application

The food vendors at the Common Ground Country Fair are a vibrant representation of MOFGA's work to promote sustainable agriculture, preferably organic and whenever possible, Maine-based. We give considerable preference to vendors serving organic meals and require vendors to use Maine-grown organic ingredients when available. We work closely with vendors to make connections with local organic farmers and growers and we expect vendors to do their utmost to ensure the integrity and sustainability of all ingredients served at the Fair.

The standards for food vending at the Common Ground Country Fair are high but the results are a wonder. The variety is unparalleled and the food delicious.

 

The Food Area is intended for vendors selling prepared ready-to-eat foods, meals and beverages.

Fair Food

  • All foods and food ingredients sold at the Common Ground Country Fair must comply with MOFGA's Food Policy.
  • Foods offered should emphasize seasonally available ingredients. Whenever possible, all foods and food ingredients sold at the Common Ground Country Fair must be produced organically in Maine. Ingredients not subject to organic guidelines are to be produced or harvested sustainably. And ingredients produced or grown outside of Maine must reflect MOFGA’s commitment to support sustainable, organic farming. (For more information, see MOFGA's Food Policy.)
  • Bottled water sales are not permitted.
  • If you have any questions about ingredients or the food requirements, contact April Boucher, Fair Director; Eleanor Salazar, Fair Coordinator; or Andy York, Food Area Liaison at commongroundfoodarea@mofga.org.

Booth Fees and Sales Commissions

The fee structure in the Food Area is a hybrid that includes both a booth frontage fee and a 5% sales commission. Additional fees are paid for electrical service and support vehicle parking.

  1. Booth Frontage Fee:  Commercial vendors pay $18.50 per frontage foot. 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations pay $12.50 per frontage foot. Standard booth depth is 15 feet. Space permitting, additional booth depth may be available. 50% of the Booth Frontage Fee is due with the contract. The balance is due by June 1.
  2. 5% Sales Commission:  Vendors pay 5% of their gross receipts to CGCF, by check only.
    • Commission payments may be made at the end of each day, made once for all three days after the Fair on Sunday, or posted by mail within one week of the Fair with advance approval of the Fair office.
    • Vendors must submit a daily gross sales report for each day of the Fair.
    • Vendors neglecting to pay commissions or submit sales reports risk non-acceptance at future Fairs.
  3. Electricity and Support Vehicles
    • Electricity is available for food vendors at a cost prorated to need.
    • All vehicles parked behind food booths during the fair require a support vehicle permit.  

Application Process

  1. Vendors must submit one application for each booth. All Food Area vendors are contracted for outside space only (you must provide your own booth and cover) with a 10-foot frontage minimum.
  2. To help ensure that all foods served at the Fair meet MOFGA's standards, applicants must submit a detailed list of menu items, ingredients and sources as part of their application. Additional supporting documentation is required for the following:
    • An Affidavit of Organic Practices is required to verify the integrity of any non-certified organic ingredient that is subject to organic guidelines.
    • Written confirmation from the source of a primary ingredient, such as meat, to verify their intention to supply you with that ingredient.
  3. MOFGA staff, under direction of the Fair Director, review applications and select vendors to sell food at the CGCF.
  4. In the interest of presenting to fairgoers as wide a selection of foods and ingredients as possible, the Fair office may limit a specific type or variety of prepared food.The Fair office does not grant vendors exclusive rights to sell any particular item.
  5. Only items and ingredients listed in an application and approved by CGCF may be served at the Fair. (Vendors must receive and retain receipts for all ingredients in the food items served at the Fair. Menus and receipts will be checked by CGCF staff during the Fair.)
  6. The Fair office informs applicants by mail whether their application is accepted, conditionally accepted, waitlisted or rejected. The definitions of “accepted,” “conditionally accepted,” “waitlisted” and “rejected” are:
    • Accepted: the application is accepted as submitted and the applicant is issued a contract for booth space.
    • Conditionally Accepted: The applicant is issued a contract for booth space, but the Fair office needs additional information from the applicant and/or selected items and/or ingredients are not accepted. Acceptance is contingent upon receipt of information by a designated deadline.
    • Waitlisted: the application meets the guidelines, however, we do not offer the applicant booth space due to space restrictions or redundancy with similar items offered in the area.
    • Rejected: the Fair office rejects the application, and explains the rejection to the applicant.
  7. If a menu item or ingredient is not accepted on the basis of the MOFGA Food Policy, and the vendor wishes to contest that decision, the vendor may submit a written appeal for consideration by the Food Policy Review Committee.
  8. All Accepted and Conditionally Accepted applicants will be issued a contract. 50% of the Booth Fee and a signed contract are required by the stated deadline to reserve booth space.
  9. Late and/or incomplete applications, contracts or fees will subject an application to be waitlisted and/or booth space to be forfeited.

Insurance

  1. Vendors must have general liability and completed operations insurance coverage of $1,000,000 for the duration of the Fair, including during the vendor's move-in and move-out; name MOFGA as Additionally Insured; and provide proof of coverage to MOFGA by June 1. MOFGA reserves the right to change this coverage requirement.
  2. Coverage for vendors who only need a policy for the CGCF is available through: Andrea Carrier, Keyes/Philbrick/Finley/Mullen Insurance, PO Box 100, Skowhegan, ME 04976. Phone: 207-474-9576.

Licenses and Health Inspection

  1. All Food Vendors must carry the appropriate business license issued by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Eating and Lodging Program for food vendors: either the “Eating Places Mobile License” for vendors working multiple events or the “Temporary Food Services License” for vendors working one event. Fees apply for each. Applications are available at www.maine.gov/healthinspection
  2. A copy of your business license issued by the DHHS must be on file with the CGCF office by June 1.
  3. Vendors must visibly display their DHHS issued license on each booth.
  4. Vendors must meet appropriate Department standards regardless of for-profit or non-profit status. DHHS inspectors inspect the CGCF each year and may inspect booths for sanitary conditions during the Fair.

Admission Passes/Tickets

  1. All vendors and personnel are required to have a gate ticket for admission to the Fair.
  2. Food Vendors are provided one ticket per frontage foot. Vendors may purchase tickets in advance from the Fair office. A ticket is good for one admission per day.
  3. Vendors will be charged for personnel entering the Fairgrounds without a ticket.

Concessions and Set-up

Common sense and a spirit of cooperation best guide vendors in running their concessions.

  1. The Fair office assigns vendor locations. In determining layout, the office strives to honor to the prior location(s) of established vendors in good standing. Vendors do not trade, switch, or set up in different locations.
  2. Minimum booth frontage is 10 feet. Standard non-corner booth depth is 15 feet. Corner booth depth is limited to the frontage dimensions.
  3. The working space behind all booths is off limits to the general public and we request that your booths are configured accordingly. The location of all utilities (water and electricity) connections, panels and drains is considered working space and may not be incorporated in to the public area of your booth.
  4. Ingredients lists and prices of food items are prominently displayed on easily read, weatherproof signs.
  5. Vendors serve food on biodegradable compostable dinnerware (e.g. cups, plates, bowls, napkins, straws, stirrers, knives, forks, spoons, packaging).
  6. Vendors discharge gray-water into designated gray-water disposal systems only. Solids and oils must be filtered out by the vendor and disposed of properly.
  7. Vendors comply with federal, state and local health regulations.
  8. Vendors comply with Department of Health regulations regarding water and electricity hookups, and washing up areas.
  9. Due to our limited electrical infrastructure, the CGCF encourages vendors to use gas, rather than electric, appliances when possible.
  10. Vendors are prepared to place electrical equipment where Fair electricians direct them. Vendors use equipment appropriate for electricity loads, as designated on electricity request forms. The CGCF provides one hook-up per vendor. Vendors bring their own appropriate gauge cords, panels and outlet strips as needed. Vendors clearly label their own equipment with their concession names. Fair electricians will disconnect damaged or substandard cords. Fees will be assessed for additional electrician time due to incomplete forms and/or inadequate equipment or set-up.
  11. During the Fair, vendors make available to the Fair office ingredient receipts and other documentation proving compliance with the MOFGA Food Policy and to verify that ingredients used at the Fair are those approved for use in the vendor's contract. Be sure to retain receipts for any food items you intend to hold-over for next year's Fair. 

Post-Fair

  1. Vendors may donate leftover food to the Fair volunteers’ Common Kitchen. The CGCF will donate to local food pantries any perishable foods not eaten by volunteers.
  2. Vendors clean up their booth sites completely within 2 days after the Fair, unless they request special permission from the Fair office. The Fair office may assess a clean-up fee and clean-up deposit to vendors neglecting to clean up their sites.
  3. The Fair office hosts a Vendors Potluck Dinner and Meeting, generally in early November, to discuss changes, policy and issues affecting Food Vendors.

Useful Contact Information

For a list of sanitation requirements, vendors may contact the Department of Health and Human Services by calling 207-287-5671.

 

Application Deadline - February 2, 2018

Before You Begin!

If you are interested in applying to be a food vendor at the Fair, please review the guidelines and food policy prior to beginning your application. Some of the guidelines for vending food at the Common Ground Country Fair are:

  • Abide by the MOFGA Food Policy which directs vendors to use organic ingredients from Maine whenever possible
  • Submit a detailed list of all ingredients with your application
  • Save receipts from your food purchases for verification during the Fair
  • Use only biodegradable compostable dinner ware (plates, bowls, cups, forks, spoons, etc...) Please see the Bio-ware Resource Sheet.

The Common Ground Food Vendor application consists of three parts:

Part One: The Food Policy & Guidelines. Please read the packet to familarize yourself with the guidelines. It will help you when you fill out the ingredient and application forms.

MOFGA Food Policy and Food Vendor Guidelines

Part Two: The Menu and Food Ingredients Form. This is a fillable pdf form that you complete on your computer using Adobe Reader. It is a Mac and PC compatible pdf form, but may require that you update your version of Adobe Reader. If you try to open it in your internet browser it may not work, you must download the form. Please try right clicking (or control-clicking on a mac) on the link and selecting the "Save Link As" option from the dropdown menu. Save the form on your computer and open it from there.

Download the Menu and Food Ingredients Form

Part Three: The Food Booth Application. The actual booth application is an online form. You can use the online form on a Windows, Mac or Linux computer as long as you're using a supported web browser and have an Internet connection. The supported browsers are:

Firefox - Recommended
Google Chrome
Internet Explorer 7 or earlier (Not recommended)
Internet Explorer 8 (You may want to turn on Compatibility View.)
Internet Explorer 9
Opera
Safari
You must also have JavaScript and cookies enabled in your browser.

Go to the online 2018 Food Vendor Application
(Do NOT print this form. Contact the office with any questions 207-568-4142.)

Food Vendor Documents and Application Links

Complete Set of Application Forms
(Includes Food Policy, Guidelines, Menu & Ingredients Form, Affidavit and Ingredient Carryover Form. This is NOT a substitute for the online application. It is a PDF portfolio of supporting documents and forms. You may need to right click on the link and download the pdf.)

MOFGA Food Policy and Food Vendor Guidelines

Approved Compostable Dinnerware Resource List

Menu and Food Ingredients Form - If you try to open it in your internet browser it may not work, you must download the form. Please try right clicking (or control-clicking on a mac) on the link and selecting the "Save Link As" option from the dropdown menu. Save the form on your computer and open it from there.

Affidavit Verifying Organic Practices

Ingredient Carryover Form (for returning vendors)

Food Vendor Booth Application (online link)

Fair Propane Checklist

Please complete your application online. Paper applications can be requested, but may be assessed an extra processing fee.