BC Farmers’ Market Learning Month – Vendors

December is BC Farmers’ Market Learning Month for our incredibly talented vendors and we’ve hand picked a cornucopia of resources in order to inspire your organizations growth in 2022!

Are you a farmers’ market organizer looking for your learning month resources? We’ve saved them HERE.

We’ve organized these resources to match each stage of your business. Hobby, Start Up and Ready for Retail! We’ve also added a special section for farmers and an area to view stories of businesses who started out at the farmers’ markets and seen some great success.

The following videos and learning tools have been sourced from our conferences, webinar series as well as trusted sources and partners. The majority of the educational opportunities here are free to view however there are some very worthwhile outsourced workshops that have a small fee attached.

Ask Melissa Maltais, BCAFM Membership & Program Lead

Fridays in December from 10am to 2pm (excluding December 24th and 31st)

Resource Type: Meeting over Google Meet


Curious about what it takes to be a farmers’ market vendor? Have questions about running your small business and what your next steps should be? Book a session with Melissa!

Presented by: Melissa Maltais, BCAFM Membership & Programs Lead

Melissa Maltais has previously worked with the Surrey Urban Farmers Market, New Westminster Farmers Market and with the Fraser North Farmers Market Society overseeing the management of the Port Coquitlam and Haney Farmers Markets.

She is an award winning fundraiser and has assisted in generating over $1 million in revenue for the BC SPCA helping animals in need of veterinary care. Melissa has been with the BCAFM on and off since 2013 as the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Coordinator, Administrative Coordinator and helped developed webinars for BCAFM in 2020.

You have a passion for doing something creative or delicious and you want to share it with others. There’s no better place to start than at the farmers’ market. The following resources will help guide you in your next steps without getting too detailed or having you spend too much money on your passion project.


BC Farmers’ Market Trail

Resource Type: Website


To become a vendor at a BCAFM Member Farmers’ Market, vendors need to contact the markets directly, as each market is run independently and has its own application process. Use BC Farmers’ Market Trail to find markets, as well as contact info, operating hours, season, location and websites. Some markets have information for vendors on their websites, including vendor application forms, market guidelines and regulations for becoming a vendor at their market.

Check with your local farmers’ market to see if they are able to rent a tent and table to assist you in keeping your costs low. Also if you are located in the Kootenay & Columbia Basin Region you can take part in our BC Farmers’ Market hatch + hype project!


Guidelines For Sales Of Food At Temporary Food Markets

Sourced From: BC Centre For Disease Control

Resource Type: PDF


Farmers’ Markets are governed by their local health authority which can differ depending on which region your business is located in and where the farmers’ market is located. You will need to identify whether or not your product is high risk or low risk and follow the guidelines laid out by this resource to determine your next steps.

Provided by: BC Centre For Disease Control



Sourced From: Open School BC

Resource Type: Online Course

Fee: $68.50


This program provides training on food safety and safe food handling procedures for market vendors, managers, farmers, food processors, and others who may make, bake or produce food products for temporary markets (e.g. farmers’ markets, artisan markets).

Learners will cover topics like proper food storage and display, key elements of sanitation and food cleanliness, and explore food-borne illnesses (and how to avoid them in your products). This course is not a replacement for FOODSAFE Level 1.

While not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that vendors involved in home food preparation of lower risk food complete the MarketSafe food handlers’ training program or other approved food safety training program such as FOODSAFE Level 1

Provided by: Open School BC


FoodSafe Level 1

Sourced From: Open School BC

Resource Type: Online Course

Fee: $115


FOODSAFE Level 1 is a food handling, sanitation and work safety course designed for front line food service workers such as cooks, servers, bussers, dishwashers, and deli workers.

Provided by: Open School BC


Pricing Your Products

Sourced From: BCAFM

Resource Type: Excel Spreadsheet


Pricing is one of the biggest hurdles for vendors starting at the farmers’ markets! How much should you sell your product for? Are you competitive with your pricing? Are you making sure that you are marking a profit? Download this excel spreadsheet for a very basic formula structure to get you started with pricing your products.

Provided by: BCAFM


Managing Risks – Vendor Insurance

Sourced From: Duuo Insurance

Resource Type: Insurance

Cost: Approximately $12 to $16 per event


Having a table and tent at the famers’ market does come with some risks! While not all farmers’ markets require vendor insurance it is still good practice to reduce your liability by getting coverage for your market day. Duuo is the perfect vehicle for insurance if you’re planning on testing out a few days here and there at the market without having to commit to a yearly insurance policy.

Duuo’s Vendor Insurance product was built for individuals who exhibit at events like farmer’s markets, craft shows, art fairs, and exhibitions. Get a quote in minutes without the hassle of service fees, and have your Confirmation of Insurance emailed directly to your event organizer!

Provided by: Duuo Insurance


Understanding Customer Behaviour At Farmers’ Markets

February 2021

Sourced From: Grow NYC

Resource Type: PDF


Ever wonder what the customer experience is like at the farmers’ market? Download this PDF and review information on collecting data from your customer and how customers will perceive your stall space through first impressions.

Presented by: Grow NYC


In Tents Podcast: Episode 48 Booth Behaviour

July 1, 2020

Sourced From: Farmers Market Pros

Resource Type: Podcast

Recording Length: 23 minutes

Listen to Podcast

On this episode its all about the importance of booth behavior and appearance. Hosts Brijet and Catt provide tips to increase sales by making simple improvements to your display, creating a welcoming vibe in and outside your booth, and engaging with your customer.

Presented by: Farmers’ Market Pros


Congratulations on launching your business and selling at the farmers’ markets! Here are a few important items to check off your to do list as you lay the foundation for the road to business success.


Join Our BCAFM Vendor Membership Program

Through this program, BCAFM has established preferred member pricing with a roster of great suppliers and this list of suppliers and benefits will continue to grow over time.

Resource Type: Membership Program


watch our webinar

Current product and service partners participating in the BCAFM Vendor Membership Program include:

Western Financial Group (Vendor Insurance), Duuo (Vendor Insurance), West Coast Seeds, Local Line, Farm Food Drink Consulting, Edible Vancouver & Wine Country, Edible Vancouver Island… With more to come!

Presented by: BCAFM


File Your Name Request With BC Registries and Online Services

Registering your business name is an important step in establishing your sole proprietorship or partnership. This is not a requirement for being a farmers’ market vendor however if you are looking to build your business into a recognizable brand with dreams of going into retail or opening up a brick and mortar location then its better to secure your business name and registration now instead of later!

Resource Type: Webpage

Cost: $30


Presented by: BC Registries and Online Services


Register Your Business With One Stop Business Registry

Once you receive your approval for your name request you can then apply to register your business and receive a business number. A business number legitimizes your business in the eyes of the Government and also allows you the opportunity to access more resources and funding.

Resource Type: Website

Cost: $40


Presented by: Government of British Columbia


Invest In Your Market Equipment

Sourced From: Impact Canopy

Resource Type: PDF


Your tent kit is your “store” within the farmers’ market so make sure you choose wisely while you shop around. Your tent will protect you from the elements (rain, heat, wind) while also being the place holder for your brand!

Presented by: Impact Canopy


Sharing Your Story; Being Intentional About Your Brand’s Images

February 2021

Sourced From: BCAFM Conference

Sponsored By: The Number

Resource Type: Youtube

Recording Length: 34 minutes


This workshop focuses on sharing your brand’s story through intentional images and how to get those images. Discover how to market your business through relevant and captivating images with the elements “Look, Feel & Function.” You will learn how to intentionally plan out images that get your story across, and we will talk about creating photos specific to function, different ways to use your subject in photos, and how colours, textures, and light affect the mood. Whether you are using an iPhone or hiring professional photographers, learn how to ask the right questions to help guide you in building an awesome image library for your brand.

Presented by: Jolene Kolk, Food Photographer & Stylist, Pantry Studios (www.pantrystudios.ca)


Building Community in an Online World

February 2021

Sourced From: BCAFM Conference

Resource Type: Youtube

Recording Length: 46 minutes


The best part about shopping at your local farmers market has always been the community of shoppers and vendors. It’s the fact that shoppers get a real life connection with the folks who produce their food, but in 2020 we learned that having a presence online is vital. But how do we juggle our businesses online without losing that connection?

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to not only grow a community around your business online through social media and email newsletters but how to foster true connection with your followers. You’ll learn the basics of how to implement a social media strategy on both Facebook and Instagram and how to grow an email list that supports your business growth.

Presented by: Kendall Ballantine, Central Park Farms

You’ve mastered the art of selling at farmers’ markets so now what? If you have dreams of retail, your own brick and mortar store or an e-commerce platform check out these great resources to help you get on your way!

BC Food Connection

Sourced From: BC Food Connection

Resource Type: Website


BC Food Connection is an online industry resource to help your business succeed. Our searchable database includes:

  • Tools to find a BC Co-packer (or even a Processor with Excess Capacity).
  • Resources for processors to source BC Agricultural products as ingredient inputs – direct from local farms or through re-packers
  • Database for small BC processors to find available Commercial and Commissary Kitchens to make your products

Presented by: BC Food Connection


Feeding Growth

April 21, 2020

Sourced From: Feeding Growth

Resource Type: Cohort Program


Feeding Growth is brought to you in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, Vancity, and Brand Natural. Initiated in 2015, Feeding Growth is an education and community building initiative that aims to amplify the local food economy by supporting and growing a resilient, socially just, and globally significant community of British Columbia-based, progressive food businesses. Core to this aim is Feeding Growth’s Scale Your Progressive Food Business, a 5-part workshop series that provides practical tips to environmentally progressive, organic, ethical, and socially responsible packaged goods companies at critical stages of expansion.

Feeding Growth’s focus is on helping progressive businesses build community, capacity, sales, and sustainability through learning, engagement, networking, and other skills development training. Central to Feeding Growth is virtual and direct platforms and networks whereby British Columbian, values-based food entrepreneurs connect with other business leaders, receive advice and direction from experts in the industry, and take away proven strategies for amplifying their business.

Presented by: Feeding Growth


DIY Website Toolkit For Farmers’ & Food Producers: Ecommerce Tricks, Tips & Tools! 

April 21, 2020

Sourced From: Young Agrarians

Resource Type: Webpage

Recording Length: 20 minute read


Are you looking to move your business online, transition from what you’re currently using, or integrate Point of Sale with your online sales for your farm or food business? This article will provide a toolkit for farmers and food producers who would like to build or manage their own online business, or be better equipped to work with a web or marketing professional.

Presented by: Young Agrarians

Business Bootcamp For New Farmers

January 2022

Sourced From: Young Agrarians

Resource Type: Online Course

Cost: $249 – $349 (pay what you can)


The Business Bootcamp is an eleven-week program, packed full of content and activities that will guide you through writing your farm business plan. Each week will include pre-recorded videos, a worksheet, and a 2-hour online session.

Presented by: Young Agrarians


New Farm Start Up Guide

Revised July 2021

Sourced From: Province of BC Ministry of Agriculture

Resource Type: PDF


This guide from the BC Ministry of Agriculture offers resources for new farmers in addition to the general online business planning guides. Offers hints and insights into how to best develop your farm enterprise plan with a B.C. perspective.

Presented by: Ministry of Agriculture

Introduction To Territorial Acknowledgements


Sourced From: Nahanee Creative

Resource Type: On Demand Workshop

Cost: $40

Link To On Demand Workshop

This on demand mini-course on Territorial Acknowledgements is for everyone who wants to learn: what Territorial Acknowledgements are, why they matter, and how to create and deliver yours in a good way. Together, we’ll dive deeper into the concepts of colonial conditioning and decolonizing practices in relation to Lands, Belonging and Shared Territory.

You will explore brave new language and be encouraged to critically analyze how you share your commitment to Territorial Acknowledgements.

While the teachings and critical Indigenous theory shared by Ta7talíya-men Paisley Eva Nahanee are grounded in the Squamish worldview, they are applicable across Indigenous Territories.

Presented by: Ta7talíya-men Paisley Eva Nahanee, Nahanee Creative

Below are a list of businesses who started with farmers’ markets and have seen great success! While some continue to grow within their farmers’ markets roots they can also be seen on larger retail shelves Provincially and Nationally!


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