will not be suspended from the , Market Manager Greta Dunlap told Patch Friday.
“There is no violation of our market rules. As long as I have been managing, they have not sold raw milk in the market or raw milk products,” said Dunlap, who also manages the Beverly Hills Farmers Market.
HFF owner Sharon Palmer stemming from the alleged illegal production and sale of unpasteurized goat milk, goat cheese and other products, the Los Angeles County District Attorney reported. Prosecutors allege she has operated without any type of license or permit for milk production since 2007.
L.A. County District Attorney court documents also allege that Palmer—who sells eggs and poultry through Healthy Family Farms every Thursday at the — "was buying thousands of dollars worth of meat, poultry and eggs from other vendors and reselling it at farmer's markets and at Rawesome, despite claims and advertising that it was raised on her farm and not fed commercial feed."
To view the court documents cited, click on the PDFs to your right.
Since the charges were filed, at her arraignment Wednesday and was released on bail, according to her attorney Matt Bromund.
Dunlap says farmers have to have proper paperwork in order to participate in farmers markets.
“I also make site visits to farms to not only ensure production, but to learn more about the process,” she said. “Farming is not easy.”
At the Thursday, HFF maintained its regular presence with a stand selling eggs, poultry and meat.
"Always grass-fed, free-range, fresh and delicious!" the vendor's sign reads.
According to stand attendant Carlos, who declined to give his full name, HFF has no plans to leave the South Pas Farmers Market any time soon.
“People are being supportive, and we’ve not had any complaints,” he said.
Business owner Jennifer Smith buys large amounts of products from the South Pasadena Farmers Market every week—including several dozen eggs from HFF— to supply her Pasadena-based shop, The Market on Holly. Smith told Patch she trusts the company—even after hearing of the allegations.
An investor in HFF, who spoke to Patch on condition of anonymity, said he is disappointed that area farmers markets are not more concerned with these allegations against the farm.
“I just feel that it's unfortunate that so many people are buying food that they believe to be organic and healthy and raised on a healthy farm when in reality they can go to Ralphs and get the same product at a lot less price,” he told Patch in June. (The allegations do not include accusations that Healthly Family Farms is reselling supermarket food as organic.)
“It seems to me the farmers markets are not doing their jobs to allow this to go on,” he continued. “They've been warned over and over again by other people—yet it continues.”
Some raw food enthusiasts are so angry with HFF, they have even created a website to spread their message about the farm: Unhealthy Family Farm.
"The people behind this negativity have never been to our farm. The photos were taken out of context," Palmer wrote in an email to Patch in May. "I just recently had a court order issued for these people to [cease] and [desist] for [libelous] and slanderous remarks."
This isn’t the first time Sharon Palmer and HFF have been charged for allegedly selling dairy products without a license or pasteurization. In December 2008, HFF was shut down by Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, reported the Ventura County Star.
Palmer addressed those charges, as well as a previous arrest related to transporting illegal immigrants, in a 2009 statement, according to The Complete Patient.
“I believe in what I do. I will continue to support my community with healthy foods and always try to do my best,” Palmer wrote.
“These negative comments about my past issues have truly saddened me because the real issue is about our controlling government and poor commercial food choices. Small family farms need the public's support,” Palmer continued.
Palmer has declined to provide Patch with further comments since the DA investigation was announced. However, her attorney provided us with a statement in this article.
Two others were charged in the Aug. 3 criminal conspiracy case: Eugenie Bloch, 58, and James Stewart, 64.
Palmer—along with the other defendants—are expected back in court at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 6 in Dept. 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.