COVID-19 Market Updates - Artisan Farmer Markets

COVID-19 Market Updates

Following was last updated April 16, 2020 –

Farmers’ Market COVID-19 Survey

big thank-you to all of you who took a moment to fill out the survey.

To date, there have been 84 responses to the Consumer survey and 40 responses to the Vendor survey. Below are some of the highlights.

Consumer Survey
73.8% said they would be very likely to, or would, if convenient, shop at a farmers market over the next few weeks if the market is taking health and safety precautions and providing social distancing space, as outlined by health authorities

65.4% said they would be very likely or likely to order farmers’ market foods online, for pickup

79.3% said yes, Farmers’ Markets should be re-opened with COVID-19 guidelines, as soon as possible

Vendor Survey
81.6% said yes, the “Farmers’ Markets should be reopened as modified markets, meeting the Health Authorities’ COVID-19 guidelines, as soon as possible”

Burnaby Farmers’ Market will be reopening this Saturday, April 18

We are happy to tell you Burnaby Farmers’ Market will reopen this weekend!

The market will operate as an essential service, similar to how grocery stores are, in an open-air, modified food-first market format! (more below)

Reopening the markets, in the time of COVID-19 means added health guidelines!

Farmers’ Markets at this time are required to follow new health guidelines. Most of the guidelines can be found on this BC CDC webpage.

Principles to Keep in Mind:

1 – Hygiene

Hand sanitizer and wash stations will be provided. Vendors will be using a combination of masks, gloves and cashless transactions with a preference for “tap” (contactless payments).

2 – Physical Distancing

This includes, lining up at least two meters apart, entering when allowed by attendants and maintaining distance within the market. At vendor stalls, you must line up at least 2 metres apart and maintain the distance from the vendor during the transaction process. Only touch products you are buying.

3 – No Hanging Around

Once in the market, you’ll be asked to shop in one direction, from the entrance to the exit. Once you have made your purchases, we ask that you exit the market in order to allow others to shop.

Signs with additional details will be posted at the market.

Please note that reusable shopping bags will not be allowed in the market at this time.

 

COVID FARMERS MARKET GUIDELINES

Lonsdale and Ambleside Farmers’ Markets are scheduled to reopen in May – Check for updates

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.

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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