There have been two big public wins for markets this summer, including the recent $750,000 funding announcement for the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program and secondly, the ability for markets to sell and sample liquor. Alcohol sales will bring a whole new group of shoppers to farmers’ markets and will bring BC markets to the next level along with Alberta and Washington where liquor sales at markets has been legal for quite some time.
The Coupon Program continues to link farmers’ markets to communities, building bridges within the community and drawing seniors, and families with children to the market. At the same time the program serves as a real benefit to the farmers and producers growing our food. The $750,000 in funds announced this past weekend, will go towards sustaining the Coupon Program beyond 2015.
Over this past season, I’ve also been very happy to see a new generation of farmers interested and involved in shaping farmers’ markets. Young farmers bring new perspective and energy to markets, often bringing the essential perspective of small business owners. Farmers are playing a pivotal role in our markets, not to mention their essential role in securing funds for the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program .
At the BCAFM Board level we continue to work on policies that will lend your markets guidance in navigating tough issues. We strive to develop positions that are both inclusive and in keeping with our values and “make, bake, grow” mandate. You can view the positions and policies the Board has ratified in the About Us section of our website.
Here’s wishing you and your markets a very successful season.
Jon Bell, BCAFM President