Farm Gate Sales - Selling Surplus Allotments Produce
An allotment must be used for the sole purpose of growing vegetables and other produce but not by way of trade or business. Selling produce from an allotment for profit is against the spirit of allotments.
However sales of surplus produce (e.g. vegetables, eggs, plants) is acceptable in some circumstances. If an allotment holder can prove they have more than they can use themselves, it is not regarded as illegal to sell the surplus under the technical exemption called "Farm Gate Sales". With farm gate sales your house can be considered the farm.
The law on selling surplus produce from allotments is not well understood. Many councils and allotment associations tell members it is against the law to sell their produce, but this is not entirely correct. According to the Allotment Acts, produce from allotments cannot be sold to support a business, but there should be no objection to the occasional sale of surplus produce that is not for commercial purposes.
The allotments act prescribes that an allotment garden is mainly for the cultivation of fruit and veg for the allotmenteer's family. The act does not specifically prohibit the sale of surplus (i.e. if it is genuinely surplus), as long as the plot is used mainly for fruit and veg for the family.
What an allotmenteer does with the surplus has nothing to do with the allotment landlord and this surplus can be sold. Of course if you start using your plot to produce to sell so that it is no longer mainly used for fruit and veg for your family then the allotment authority would be obliged to stop you if it let the allotment under the act.
You cannot use surplus produce from allotments to support someone elses business. For example, you cannot sell to retail shops and are not allowed to sell to any catering establishments.
You can sell surplus fruit, vegetables and eggs directly to the consumer from your home, locally door-to-door, at a local market and deliver to your work colleagues.
There is also no law against allotment associations selling produce. If surplus produce can be donated by plot holders to an allotment association then this can be a useful source of income for the association.