The BCAFM is here to serve the needs of our member farmers’ markets. We are committed to developing and strengthening the capacity of farmers' markets in all regions of British Columbia, so you, our members can continue to support local farmers and artisans and provide British Columbians with fresh healthy local food.
Also see Guideline for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets 340 KB
By way of explanation:
The responsibility for the enforcement of legislation governing farmer's markets (the Food Premises Regulation) is vested with local health authorities. It is their responsibility to interpret and apply the provisions of the regulation to ensure the protection of the food supply. To assist them in doing so, in instances where there is a demonstrated need through provincial experience(s), the Ministry of Health Services in consultation with the health authorities, will develop guidelines for particular sectors or circumstances.
These guidelines are not binding, but rather provide the health authorities a framework from which they can assess their local circumstances. They have however proven to be an effective tool in enhancing consistency around the province. It must be stressed however the health authorities are responsible for evaluating local conditions/circumstances, and making decisions that ensure the protection of the safety of the food supply.
To that end, prospective farm marketers should be encouraged to contact their local Environmental Health Officer, who is best able to explain the requirements for their local jurisdiction. This is the best means of ensuring their application is processed as quickly as possible.
Larry Copeland, Manager
Food Protection Programs, Ministry of Health Services
Food Safety Training and Education Resources in BC
Which food safety training program is right for you? Check out the following program descriptions to determine which workshop would enable to you gain the knowledge you need to take the next step in your market or business.
1. MarketSafe Program (www.foodsafe.ca/marketsafe)
The MarketSafe Program is a food safety training program for farmers, food processors and producers who make, bake or grow products to sell at farmers' markets, farm gates or other types of temporary markets. MarketSafe was developed by BC FOODSAFE in partnership with the BC Association of Farmers' Markets.
This is an interactive classroom based course facilitated by instructors who have been certified by the Regional Health Authorities. Participants who successfully complete the MarketSafe course will receive a recognized MarketSafe Certificate of Completion from the Health Authority in their area. Participants will also take home the MarketSafe Student Workbook.
MarketSafe was developed by the BC FOODSAFE Secretariat in partnership with the BC Association of Farmers' Markets, and funded in part by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) program.
The program is supported by the Regional Health Authorities, the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.
Would you like to have the MarketSafe course offered in your region?
Contact your local health authority and let them know. Visit www.foodsafe.ca/ha_food_safety for health authority contact information.
2. Good Agricultural Practices Guide (www.gov.bc.ca/agri/)
BC Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Guide is intended to assist producers to implement food safety practices at the farm. It offers a whole-farm approach covering all aspects of crop and livestock production.
The BC Good Agricultural Practices Guide can help you to assess the risks of your daily farming practices through a flow chart questionnaire. At the end of each flow chart it directs you to the practice that would help minimize those risks. These practices help you understand WHY you need to minimize the risk; WHO needs to apply the practice; HOW to implement each particular GAP; WHAT items to monitor and record as required for audits; and Which Legislation/Regulations you meet by implementing these practices.
The benefits from implementing Good Agricultural Practices on the farm assures customers of the safety of the food they purchase; Prepares for third-party audits requested by retail buyers; Stream-line record-keeping with Monitoring Form Templates; and available in different languages.
3. FOODSAFE Program (www.foodsafe.ca)
The FOODSAFE Program is a comprehensive food safety training program designed for the food service industry. It is an initiative of the Province of British Columbia and is developed and managed by the BC FOODSAFE Secretariat in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control, the BC Regional Health Authorities, the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association and WorkSafe BC. FOODSAFE courses are available face-to-face, online, and by correspondence, and are recognized throughout BC and across Canada as meeting the requirements for food safety training for food service industry workers.
4. Food Safety Systems Implementation (Processor) Program (www.ssfpa.net/foodsafety)
The Food Safety Systems Implementation (Processor) Program provides assistance to farmers and other food processors entering the wholesale marketplace, to develop and implement food safety plans like GMP and/or HACCP. The program delivers educational workshops, one-on-one consultations, and offers funding to eligible processors to help cover some of the costs of implementing food safety plans. The FSSI (Processor) Program is offered as part of Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The program is managed in British Columbia by the Small Scale Food Processor Association.