COVID-19 Market Updates - Artisan Farmer Markets

COVID-19 Market Updates

Updated March 27, 2020 –

Burnaby Farmers’ Market will be closed this Saturday.

We are monitoring the updates and advice from health and government authorities in assessing the community’s food needs and consider the best way to serve the community with fresh, local food. (More details below)

Safety at our markets is always important and is certainly top of mind currently.

Burnaby Farmers Market will not be operating this Saturday, March 21st and March 28th. Please watch for updates about following weekends.

We are taking a breather to absorb all the COVID-19 information and recommendations and considering our role as a “Food First Market” over this unprecedented time. We are exploring the safest and most efficient methods to bring fresh, local foods to the community when the markets reopen.

It’s at times like these when the importance of our local farmers and food production, and maintaining domestic food security is of the highest importance.

We have been in contact with health authorities and are taking updates from the BCAFM, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, into consideration and continue to following the guidelines provided by Fraser Health and the BCCDC. We have been advised the BC Minister of Agriculture is also in support of Farmers’ Markets remaining open at this time.

We are learning from other jurisdictions who have also put farmers’ markets on the essential services list, and gathering input from the community vendors and stakeholders to determine exactly which modifications we will implement when we reopen the Burnaby Farmers’ Market.

The BC Ministry of Agriculture has made funding available to farmers’ markets, through the BCAFM, which will be used to assist farmers’ markets in implementing systems that can help modify their operations to deal with this new reality.

Some of the best practices that are being developed, and modifications we are likely to implement include an online shopping system that will allow you to preorder from vendors and pickup at the market, a drive-through option and a check-in and check-out process that will allow a limited number of people in the market at one time to facilitate ample social distancing.

Artisan Farmers’ Markets Society’s annual general meeting has been postponed to a later date, TBA.

 

Volunteers Needed to Help Markets Modify

Your help is needed to meet the modified market guidelines. If you would like to volunteer, please submit this simple Volunteer FormVolunteer Form on our Website.

Together we will beat the impact COVID-19 is having on the small businesses who participate in the markets and continue serving the community.

Your help is needed!

 

BC Farmers’ Markets Declared Essential Service

In their March 26th press release, the Province of BC has declared that BC farmers’ markets are essential services.

“Essential services are those daily services essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning. In consultation with the PHO, these services should and are encouraged to remain open.”

These services include under retail: grocery stores, convenience stores, and farmers’ markets.

 

B. C. Ministry of Agriculture Supports and Provides Funding for Farmers’ Markets

To quote from the letter published March 19th:

“First, Farmers’ Markets. Under additional conditions regarding COVID-19, Farmers Markets can continue to operate in B.C. at this time. The Ministry of Agriculture is working directly with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets to assist with this season and I’m pleased to share that the Ministry of Agriculture will be providing financial support for them to develop an operating model better suited to times of emergency.”

 

“Farmers’ Markets are not currently considered a high risk” says BCCDC

In Monday’s letter from the BCCDC, they express that “Farmers’ Markets are not currently considered a high risk setting for the transmission of COVID-19” and I understand the BC Ministry of Agriculture is also supportive of Farmers’ Markets remaining open at this time. Health authorities have been guiding us on which safety precautions we need to add to our existing food safe practices.

Ambleside Farmers’ Market

We are discussing plans with the Municipality of West Vancouver for the season opening of the Ambleside Farmers’ Market. As the current COVID-19 situation is fluid, approaching the season opening, we will keep you posted of any changes that may be required.

Lonsdale Quay Farmers’ Markets

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, we are working with Lonsdale Quay to expand the market to twice its usual size. We remain hopeful that the market will reopen in its expanded form and on its normal season opening date, in May.

 

Please watch our social media and this page for updates.

We thank you for your support of our markets. We hope that you and your family remain safe and healthy over this period.

We have listed some related resources for you below.

Good health to you and your loved ones!

Artisan Farmers’ Market Society

Coronavirus COVID-19 health and government resources

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