BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program

The BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program is a one-time, cost-shared, reimbursement-based funding program that will be delivered in partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (AFF) and BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) between January 2022 and March 2022 to strengthen the ability of farmers’ markets to expand local food/beverage sales and operate during emergencies. This program enables eligible BC farmers’ markets to access funding to cover the costs of eligible signage, equipment, and infrastructure on a first-come, first-served basis.

Program Outcomes

By providing financial assistance, AFF aims to support the achievement of the following overarching outcomes:

  • Farmers’ markets are expanding the number of local food/beverage vendors that can be accommodated within their markets and supporting increased food/beverage sales from existing vendors.
  • Farmers’ markets can maintain operations during emergencies (i.e., natural disasters, pandemics, etc.).
  • Farmers’ markets have the appropriate signage, equipment, and infrastructure in place to ensure customers can feel safe shopping at farmers’ markets during COVID-19 and related health emergencies.
  • Farmers’ markets can ‘build back better’ from their pre-pandemic operating levels; set a strong foundation for future growth and long-term success; and support efforts to strengthen BC’s food security.

 

Funding Details

  • The Program is providing $475,000 in funding, with up to $15,000 (including all taxes) available for each eligible applicant.
  • The funding is available, on a reimbursement basis, to pay 90% of the total purchase price of the eligible and approved farmers’ market signage, equipment, and/or infrastructure.
  • Applicants are responsible for contributing at least 10% (in cash) of the total cost.

Key Dates

  • January 28, 2022 at noon PST: Application deadline. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline. Note: Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis or until available funding has been fully committed or otherwise announced by the Program.
  • Early to mid February, 2022. Applicants notified of application status.
  • March 31, 2022: Deadline for farmers’ markets to purchase equipment/infrastructure and submit supporting
    receipts for reimbursement of eligible costs.

Before You Apply

  • Only one single application per farmers’ market governing organization is allowed, including those who run multiple market locations or seasonal markets. The application requires details about your market(s) along with details about the signage, equipment, and infrastructure you are seeking funding for.
  • Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis or until available funding has been fully committed or otherwise announced by the Program.
  • Only completed applications will be considered and placed in the first-come, first-serve queue.
  • If you have questions or concerns about the eligibility of the farmers’ market signage, equipment and/or infrastructure you are seeking funding for, please get in touch with BCAFM Grant Administrator, Stacey Santos, at grants@bcfarmersmarket.org before completing your application.

If you’d like to preview the application form to get a better sense of what questions you’ll be asked, you can view a PDF of the application form here. Please note that this form is for review only—the actual application must be submitted online.

Before applying, please read the FAQ below for full details on eligibility and program guidelines.

Apply Now

 

Questions?

Please contact Stacey Santos, BCAFM Grant Administrator, at grants@bcfarmersmarket.org.

FAQ

Who is eligible for the program?
Eligible applicants include non-profits, cooperatives, for-profit corporations, local governments, and First Nations that operate a farmers’ market that primarily promotes local food and beverages. Applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Operates an in-person farmers’ market in BC
  • Operates four or more days per year
  • Is comprised of four or more individual vendors
  • Prioritizes primary BC producers/farmers and food vendors
  • Does not allow reselling (i.e. does not allow buying in bulk from elsewhere and selling at the
    local market)
  • Includes vendors located within BC that only grow, make, bake, raise or wild harvest the
    products it sells at a farmers’ market
  • Has been in operation for at least 1 year (established prior to November 2020) or operated
    this past summer season

January 28, 2022 at noon PST. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline. Note: Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis or until available funding has been fully committed or otherwise announced by the Program.

In order to be approved under the Program, the applicant may apply for one or more of the following eligible activities. All activities must be eligible under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and must not include any provincial branding (e.g., Buy BC, Feed BC).

If you have questions or concerns about the eligibility of the farmers’ market signage, equipment and/or infrastructure you are seeking funding for, please get in touch with BCAFM Grant Administrator, Stacey Santos, at grants@bcfarmersmarket.org before completing your application.

  • Signage & Merchandising
    • Includes promotional, directional or COVID-19 specific signage, merchandising racks
      & display stands for promo materials.
  • Storage & Transportation
    • Includes secured storage, dry storage & cold storage facilities, shelving for storage units, as well as trailers & shipping containers required to move equipment, signage and infrastructure etc.
  • Power & Operations
    • Includes items such as power supply systems, tents, tent weights, tables, chairs, barricades, walkie-talkies, PA system, temporary staging, lights, heaters, misters, generators etc.

Individual project eligibility will be determined by BCAFM and AFF based on the application submitted. The following project costs are not eligible:

  • Core or ongoing administrative operating expenses of the farmers’ market (e.g. staff wages,contractor costs etc.)
  • IT/software or cloud service subscription fees or expenses
  • Lease or fees associated with rental of outdoor or indoor spaces for the farmers’ market
  • Maintenance costs (e.g., costs associated with landscaping, cleaning, garbage disposal etc.)
  • Retroactive expenses (e.g., costs that have been incurred prior to receiving approval from BCAFM)

Funding is available, on a reimbursement basis, to pay 90% of the total purchase price of the eligible and approved farmers’ market signage, equipment, and/or infrastructure. Applicants are responsible for contributing at least 10% (in cash) of the total cost.

Up to $15,000 per applicant, including all taxes

Funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, until all available funding has been expended.

Your farmers’ market agrees to complete ALL purchases in full related to this project on or before the following program deadline date (March 31, 2022).

If the price of an item increases from the time the application was submitted to the time the application was approved, the applicant is responsible for the variation in price. Successful applicants are only approved for the amount set out in their approval letter.

 

Funding is provided by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3-billion investment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow the agriculture and agri-food sectors.

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