Roadside Stalls are a time honored way for growers to sell some of their produce to passing traffic. Typically, these stalls are directly related to the fruits and vegetables grown on a particular property. And equally as typical, the grower lives in the house beyond the fence which supports the stall!
The model has distinct advantages for buyers and sellers. From the buyer's perspective, stalls are the ultimate impulse purchase opportunity. I see, I hit the brakes, I buy...
And all things being equal, the fruits or vegetables for sale should be fresh as... grown on the land after all and sold at Roadside Stalls.
One of the potential downsides for the buyer is the fact that buying one's produce requirements in such a fashion is likely to be a time consuming activity as grower stalls do not offer a full range of fruits and vegetables but just that which is grown on the property.
Growers being savvy business people in their own right, are obviously keen to optimise the model...and the cash this generates shouldn't get sneezed at either...as long as the roadside activity flies lown enough to stay below the tax collector's radar....
So, when how can an unsuspecting consumer be pretty sure that he shopping at a fully fledged rural greengrocer 's outlet rather than at a genuine grower outlet?
There are three pretty big tell tale signs for me...
Firstly, a genuine Roadside Stall is a seasonal activity. When the season is over, the stall gets packed away or stays empty. A stall that sells produce all year round is therefore a fruiterer in disguise.
Secondly, a genuine side of the road grower's activity is unlikely to be selling bananas! Unless,of course, you are cruising the stalls of South & Central America, the Philippines, the South Pacific or Queensland and New South Wales in Australia!
Thirdly, the cash collection method is likely to be fairly crude and I would not expect to spot barcode scanners or portable EFTPOS terminals!
As you can see, I am taking a light-hearted approach here, but the issue also has a serious undertone. When a stall becomes a commercial enterprise, local authority by-laws and in some case legislation can take on a different perspective. And one of the points for consideration are the basic Food Safety rules. How do these apply to growers versus sellers of produce? When does a grower become a seller ? What are the possible consequences?
All questions one ought to ask oneself when one starts to sell produce at the farm gate.
Greengrocers & Fruiterers