Producer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I get started?
- Sign up for a online account and choose your username and password
- You may choose to sign up as a Co-op member ($100 lifetime one-time payment) or as an online account only (free)
- Log In to the Ellensburg Food Co-op with your username and password
- Complete the producer application
- Go to your producer home page and add your products
How do I sign up as a producer?
Signing up is a two part process
- Create an online account by signing up as a Co-op member ($100 lifetime one-time payment) or as an online account only (free)
- You will choose your own username/password and be assigned an online identification number for our records
- You may use this account to purchase products from the Online Market
- Become a producer by filling out the online producer application
- Note: You must be logged in to your online account before you are able to complete the online producer application
Do I need to be certified organic to see products through the Co-op?
No, you do not need to be certified organic, or any other certification, to sell your products through the Co-op.
You should provide a statement of your production practices as part of the online producer application, which explains whether you use herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers in producing your products. Your production practices will be available to Online Market shoppers so they can make informed choices about the products they purchase.
In general, our shoppers support local foods produced with sustainable practices that show good stewardship of the environment. They prefer organically or naturally produced foods and will be more likely to buy these foods when available.
Individual producers may only sell products they themselves have grown, processed, or crafted. Producers may not buy wholesale from someone else and then resell the product through the Online Market.
To protect the integrity of our marketing system, the Ellensburg Food Co-op reserves the right to verify via physical inspection, the production claims and geographic location of products offered for sale through our marketplace.
What types of products can I sell through the Online Market?
At this time, we are only accepting non-taxable, locally grown or produced food items. We hope to be able to expand our offerings in the future.
As a producer for the Ellensburg Food Cooperative (EFC) Online Market, you agree to abide by the following rules and regulations:
- All products must be grown, raised, and/or processed within the State of Washington.
- All products sold must be grown, raised, and/or processed by the producer. No brokers are allowed.
- All products must be produced with sustainable practices that show good stewardship of the environment.
- Producers are responsible to know and be in compliance with all appropriate federal, state, and local legislation.
- At this time, the EFC does not sell any products that require the collection of sales tax.
- All producers recognize that the EFC reserves the right to verify compliance to all rules and regulations via local inspection.
How do I sell products through the Online Market?
Producers use the website to list their products for sale through the Online Market. The Co-op will not automatically enter your products but we are always happy to help should you need assistance.
Producers set their own prices for their products and receive the full retail price minus the operating margin that the Online Market charges to cover our expenses.
To add products, producers should log into the website and click on the link to "Add a New Product". A detailed help page is available on the process of adding products for sale.
Steps to preparing your product for delivery
The Online Market order cycle closes on Wednesday at midnight. It is important to remember to wait until the order cycle closes before you begin processing your orders. Many shoppers wait until the last evening to place orders or remove items from their shopping cart.
Each order needs a customer delivery label that tells us what we need to know to get your products to our customers. You must attach this label to each product or bag of products to be delivered to a customer, as explained in more detail in the rest of this section.
- Labels may be generated by our online website software that you can print out after the order cycle closes on Wednesday at midnight. Log in to your account at www.ellensburgfoodcoop.org and notice that labels are available in two forms: one label per customer and one label per product. You may use either or both labels, depending on what makes the most sense for your products. Print the labels on plain paper from the website, use scissors to cut-up the labels apart for your various customers, and tape the labels to your products using strong packing tape. Avoid scotch tape as it has the tendency to peel off.
- You may elect to use your own labels on your products, such as weight and price labels for frozen meats, your own unique producer label or tag, etc. However, to keep everything consistent and orderly during drop-off and pickup, all packages/boxes/bags/etc. need to have labels with the customer's name clearly identified.
- When printing labels, make sure the ink you print your labels with is waterproof or guaranteed to stay dry. If the label gets wet, we may not be able to deliver the product to your customer.
- Orders need to be delivered to our Ellensburg drop-off point packaged for individual customers.
- Do not deliver 50 pounds of bulk lettuce and expect us to divide it up between your customers for you.
- If a customer has ordered several products from you that all have the same storage requirements, you can put all of those products in one bag, box, or container, or you can deliver them as separate items.
- Refrigerated items must be marked as REFRIGERATED, Frozen items must be marked as FROZEN. Our labels already specify the storage requirements, but it helps if you make storage requirements obvious at the time of drop-off.
- Frozen and refrigerated items should arrive in ice chests and/or mechanically refrigerated. Frozen items must be hard frozen, and refrigerated items must be cold to the touch.
- If a customer purchases multiple items with different storage requirements, (e.g. some items are frozen and some dry goods do not needed refrigeration), you need to package the items separately so we can store them separately until the customer arrives to pick them up.
- Co-op members/volunteers will be at the Ellensburg drop-off point between 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to check off your products with our final invoices.
- Please check our email reminders as the drop-off time may change with us forgetting to update this FAQ
- Our goal is to process your payment and mail you the check for products sold within the following week.
- If you have purchased products from other producers, you may wait until your all your products are dropped-off, or return between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to pick up your own sorted order.
How do I get paid?
All products sold through the Online Market are pre-sold to shoppers through the website. Shoppers pay for and pick-up their products on the second Saturday of each month, after the order cycle has closed. Our goal is to mail producers checks for products sold within the week.
Producers set their own prices and receive the full retail price sold minus the Co-ops margin for covering expenses (currently 20%).
Do I need insurance to see through the Online Market?
No, the Ellensburg Food Co-op does not require our producers to have insurance, but producers are liable for the products they sell through the Online Market.
Every producer selling through the Online Market is responsible to know and be in compliance with all appropriate federal, state, and local inspections, licenses, statues, and ordinances. Producers must also comply with any relevant health codes and agricultural laws regarding direct sales of farm and food products to the public.
Who can I contact with questions?
While email is often easiest, you may also phone us at 509-674-5368.
Other questions may be addressed to individuals listed on our contact us page.