COMMON GROUND COUNTRY FAIR
FOOD AREA GUIDELINES
(updated April 2005)
Food Application Cover Letter
Organic Certification Information for Food Vendors
Food Application (PDF Format - 11Kb)
Food Area Committee
Shlomit Aucielo, Eric Rector, Frances Walker, Liz Baldwin, Richard Morgan, Tom Kemp
The purposes of the Food Area are to promote organically grown Maine foods and to offer a wide variety of wholesome foods at reasonable prices. Vendors in the Food Area help to inform and educate fairgoers about the nutritional value and health benefits of Maine's organically grown foods, and to familiarize them with MOFGA's activities in this area.
General Guidelines for Food Vendors
The CGCF Food Area Committee selects a predetermined number of vendors to sell food at the CGCF. The Committee informs applicants by mail if they are accepted, conditionally accepted, or rejected. The definitions of "accepted," "conditionally accepted," and "rejected" are:
Accepted: application is accepted as submitted. Applicant will receive a packet containing contract, electrical form, and booth fee charge.
Conditionally accepted: for a variety of reasons, the Food Area Committee needs more information from the applicant. Acceptance is contingent on that information being supplied before the designated deadline.
Rejected: applicant is not accepted. The Food Area Committee will include reason(s) for rejection with notification.
Ingredients & Preparation
Maine-Grown Ingredients Needed For The 2005 Fair
MOFGA Certified Organic Food Search tool
The CGCF Steering Committee encourages Food Area vendors to create their own specialties from scratch. The Food Area Committee recognizes an applicant's creative efforts by choosing that applicant over another who simply purchases prepared items. Since MOFGA's mission is to support Maine Organic Farmers, all food served at Common Ground Country Fair should be made with Maine organic ingredients when available.
1. Food production practices must meet State of Maine labelling statutes and MOFGA's certification standards for organic.
2. Dairy products must be produced organically and must be from Maine sources whenever possible.
3. Beef, lamb, pork, poultry and eggs must be raised organically and must be from Maine sources.
4. All vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains must be grown organically regardless of origin.
5. At least 50% by weight (75% beginning 2008) of the finished product (including condiments) must be from Maine, either grown organically (vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains), raised organically (beef, lamb, pork, dairy products), or caught (finned fish). Any ingredients not from Maine must be third-party certified organic.
6. All meats must be USDA inspected.
7. All finned fish and crustaceans must be caught in open waters and landed in Maine by Maine Fishermen. All shellfish should be harvested wild in Maine waters or farm raised using a natural feeding program. Beginning in 2006 seafood harvested by ocean floor dragging methods will not be permitted.
8. The CGCF Steering Committee recommends the following beverages: herbal teas; grain beverages; fruit juices; and cider. All beverages must be at least 50% Maine-grown ingredients, by weight. Water is not considered a Maine-grown ingredient in this instance. The CGCF Steering Committee does not permit vendors to sell the following drinks: coffee that is not grown in Maine; tea that is not grown in Maine; and chocolate beverages in any form if the chocolate ingredients are not grown in Maine.
9. Acceptable sweeteners include Maine honey and Maine maple syrup, unrefined maple granulated sweetener (aka maple sugar/powder) and barley malt. The CGCF Steering Committee prohibits the use of white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, Sucanat, agave or fructose in food sold in the Food Area. All maple syrup must be certified organic.
10. The CGCF Steering Committee requires whole-grain flours. The CGCF Steering Committee prohibits the use of bleached or bromated white flour. Fifty percent of all flour must be from Maine. Up to 50% of the wheat flour may be unbleached, organically grown, white flour.
11. Food Area vendors must use unprocessed sea or earth salt, and limit the use of salt and related ingredients.
12. Food must not contain synthetic chemical additives.
13. The CGCF Steering Committee limits the number of vendors who sell fried foods. Fried food vendors may use only olive, peanut, sesame, canola, soybean, corn, or high-oleic safflower oils. The CGCF Steering Committee prohibits the use of margarine, or oils with hydrogenation, additives, and preservatives. Oils must be expeller-pressed (cold-pressed) and low in unsaturated fat. Please note that canola, soybean and corn oils must be organic, due to the prevalence of genetically engineered crops in the commercial marketplace.
14. Any commercially prepared ingredients, including condiments, also must meet these guidelines.
15. All ingredients must be third party certified organic unless grown by the vendor. If the vendor grows or raises her/his own ingredients, s/he will not have to be certified, but will have to be certifiable.
16. Vendors purchasing ingredients must do so through Maine wholesalers, retailers, farms, or other approved sources. The Food Area Committee requires vendors to save and bring to the Fair receipts of all transactions.
17. Microwave ovens are not permitted.
Bulk Orders for Ice
Vendors may purchase ice during the Fair from Steve Aucoin.Vendors should make advance arrangements with Steve for large quantities of ice.
Concessions & Set-Ups
Common sense and a spirit of cooperation will best guide vendors in running their concessions.
1. Vendors at each food stand must prominently display the ingredients and prices of all food items for sale on an easily read weatherproof sign.
2. All cups, plates, bowls, napkins, straws, stirrers, packaging etc..., must be made of paper, wood or other biodegradable materials. Knives, forks and spoons are the only exceptions to the "no plastic" rule.
3. Vendors may not discharge graywater onto the ground. The CGCF provides a graywater disposal system in each food court.
4. Vendors must comply with all federal, state and local health regulations.
5. Vendors must comply with all Health Department regulations regarding water and electrical hookups, and washing-up areas.
6. The CGCF Steering Committee encourages vendors to use gas, rather than electric, appliances wherever possible.
7. Food vendors should be prepared to place electrical plugs where Fair electricians and/or Food Committee members direct them. Vendors should bring one 50 foot, 12 gauge cord per circuit, and other outlet strips as needed. Cords must be labeled with business name and must be of the accepted gauge. All unaccepted cords will be disconnected.
8. The Food Area Committee reserves the right to choose vendor locations. Vendors may not trade, switch, or set up in any other location.
9. Friday is Children's Day at the Fair. The CGCF Steering Committee encourages vendors to provide smaller portions at reduced prices.
10. Vendors may bring leftover food, raw or prepared, to the Common Kitchen where volunteers will eat it or bring it to a food bank.
11. Any vendor who fails to clean up their booth completely must pay a clean-up fee, as well as a cleaning deposit for the following year's Fair.
12. The CGCF Food Committee issues warnings & demerits for infractions of the Food Area Guidelines. Warnings will be given as advisements of concern. Demerits will be given for blatant disregard of guidelines. Three demerits is grounds for dismissal from the Fair for one year. Warnings and demerits will be given out in writing to ensure a paper trail.
Fees, Contracts & Passes
1. All Food Area booth space is outside. Vendors pay booth fees with contracts according to the following schedule: $15.00 per front foot with a 10' minimum (the Food Area Committee calculates each booth separately). Non-profit organizations pay $10.00 per front foot. Both width and depth count as frontage on corner booths. Booths have approximately 15' depth.
2. All vendors must pay 5% of their gross receipts to the MOFGA Treasurer in the Green Room. For Friday sales, commissions must be paid before 9:00 am on Saturday; for Saturday sales, commissions must be paid before 9:00 am on Sunday; and for Sunday sales, commissions must be paid between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Sunday. Failure to pay may result in non-acceptance to future Fairs.
3. Each Food Area vendor will receive one CGCF pass per foot of paid frontage. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Health Department Licensing
The Department of Human Services' Eating and Lodging Program charges two different fees. The Department considers most booths "Eating Places Mobile," and assesses a $60 fee to them. The Department considers booths in existing buildings "Temporary Food Services," and assesses a $45 fee to them. The Department may inspect booths for sanitary conditions during the Fair. Vendors may contact the Department at 207-287-5671 for a list of sanitation requirements. Vendors must purchase licenses before the Fair, and provide a copy to the CGCF Office by July 1. Licenses will not be available at the Fair.
All vendors providing fresh produce, food, or processed food products must show proof of insurance covering general liability and completed operations. The CGCF Office will accept a photocopy of the vendor's policy. The CGCF Food Vendors' Association offers a group rate for vendors who need coverage only for the Common Ground Country Fair. Food vendors may contact Pauline Baker at Keyes/Philbrick/Finley/Mullen Insurance, PO Box 100, Skowhegan, ME 04976. Phone: 207-474-9576.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
Common Ground Country Fair
PO Box 170
Unity, ME 04988