Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund has set up an Affiliate membership for Food Co-ops and Markets. Here's their website: http://www.ftcldf.org/
Here is a snippet of their press release:
Even as the USDA commends Farmer's Markets in the week-long National Farmer's Market Week, August 2 - 9, 2009, State and local health and agriculture departments are making participation difficult and expensive by cracking down on participating farmers.
Some Farmer's Markets have become a victim of their own success, as regulators swarm over these events and nit-pick the farmers for fees, licenses and permits.
"We are seeing farmers quit the markets because they are besieged with burdensome regulations and overlapping licensing requirements that make doing business at the farmer's market too costly," said Fund President Pete Kennedy, Esq.
The Fund seeks to support Farmer's Markets and other direct-to-consumer food outlets with a new Affiliate Membership program that provides affordable, accessible legal guidance for these organizations.
"When Farmer's Markets are open early in the morning or on the weekend, their Market Manager can call our Emergency Hotline to talk directly with legal counsel about a market problem" says Kennedy.
"When I joined the Fund I never thought I would ever need to call to the Emergency Hotline. In less than thirty seconds there was Pete Kennedy calling me back", says Pam Lunn, owner of the Dancing Goat Dairy in Tampa, Florida. Pam had been ordered to stop selling milk by a misinformed inspector at the Saturday Market. "The money I spent on joining was the best money I have ever spent in a lifetime!"
"As our name suggests, the Fund was originally created to support the Farmer and the Consumer. Now, we feel it's essential to support the "to" in our name, the non-profit groups and local food entrepreneurs who are recreating the way that America shops for food," says Kennedy.
"Our Affiliate Membership Program is the next critical step in our mission to expand and encourage direct-to-consumer trade and ultimately provide our neighbors and communities with easy access to local, fresh and safe sustainably farmed products."
Candidates for Affiliate Memberships include Farmer's Markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), Cow or Goat-Share Programs, Private Buyers Clubs and Food Co-ops.