BC Farmers’ Markets & COVID-19: Modifying Market Operations

BCAFM is working with authorities and monitoring the different measures taken by member farmers’ markets to modify their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will update the following information as the situation evolves.

 

Last updated: May 11, 2020

Modifying Your Market

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) in consultation with the Provincial Health Officer recognize that BC farmers’ markets are an essential service and are modifying their practices to comply with recommendations to protect their customers from COVID-19.

These guidelines are provided on the BCCDC website and are subject to change as the situation evolves so it is important to check back regularly for updates.

In meeting the required modifications for your market, you may want to consider the following suggestions:

  1. Offering special shopping hours for vulnerable populations, such as allowing the first hour for the elderly to shop.
  2. Implementing online ordering, pick-up and delivery systems (see below to learn more about BC Farmers’ Markets Online):
    • Consider staggered times for pick-ups by last name, for example:
      Time        Last name 1st letter
      11-12pm        A-E
      12-1pm          F-J
      1-2pm            K-O
      2-3pm            P-T
      3-4pm            U-Z
  3. Vendors accommodations, where feasible.

At this time, focus on what is required to modify your market (above) and emphasize the following:

  1. Farmers’ markets are first and foremost food retail establishments for people to purchase food while supporting local farmer and producer livelihoods. They are NOT social events.
  2. BC Farmers’ Market operators and vendors operate using FOODSAFE/MarketSafe and Guidelines for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets best practices, as prescribed by provincial health authorities.
  3. Shorter shopping trips – “Shop, Don’t Stop”
  4. Signage, signage, signage! It is important to create signage that promotes health & safety, social distancing and respecting market requirements under COVID-19 (i.e. “Shop, Don’t Stop”, handwashing stations & protocols, etc.). See “Informational Posters” below and and our “Examples from Farmers’ Markets” section.
  5. Sharing the measures your market is taking through newsletters and social media.
  6. See guidance on communications below in the “Managing Communications” section.

BC Farmers’ Markets Online is an initiative that supports and promotes member farmers’ markets of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets in selling vendor products through an online farmers’ market store.

Please note that participation in BC Farmers’ Markets Online is voluntary and does not necessarily replace a physical market. Additionally, for various reasons individual markets may determine not to develop an online market for the moment.

Learn more below.

BC Farmers’ Markets Online

BC Farmers’ Markets Online is an initiative that supports and promotes member farmers’ markets of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets in selling vendor products through an online farmers’ market store. Each market is unique in its operations, and BC Farmers’ Markets Online will reflect this diversity. For example, markets may vary in the online platform they use and how products are delivered or picked up.

This initiative is made possible through funding support from the BC Ministry of Agriculture Buy BC program and Vancity Credit Union.

Please note: Participation in BC Farmers’ Markets Online is voluntary and does not necessarily replace a physical market. Additionally, for various reasons individual markets may determine not to develop an online market for the moment.

Online farmers’ markets will be added to our BC Farmers’ Market Trail website as they go live.

Find a BC Farmers’ Markets Online store

#BuyBC at #BCFarmersMarketsOnline


BCAFM and Local Line are working closely together to ensure the best outcomes and experience for our markets and vendors using this platform. Local Line welcomes your feedback.

If markets or their vendors need help they can contact Local Line directly for technical support at anytime:

Email:    support@localline.ca
Phone:  1.226.646.7301

Local Line has also built onboarding into their system, and have a detailed support centre website at support.localline.ca.

Please also visit the BCAFM/Local Line webpage with FAQ and other information specific for our members using the platform.


If your BCAFM member farmers’ market is interested in the Local Line platform, you just need to complete a quick form.

FILL OUT THE FORM


  1. How do I go about opening an online farmers’ market and what does it cost?
    BCAFM has secured preferred pricing with Local Line, and is delighted to share that we have secured funding to cover ALL monthly fees for the Local Line e-commerce platform for the 2020 peak season (April/May to Sep/Oct). Vendors selling at those BCAFM member markets who are participating in this initiative will be able to use the Local Line platform as well. In some cases, farmers’ markets may choose to use alternative e-commerce solutions at their discretion and with their own resources independent from this BCAFM initiative with Local Line.

    Visit the Local Line/BCAFM landing page for FAQ and to learn more. If your BCAFM member farmers’ market is interested in the Local Line platform negotiated through this BCAFM initiative, please fill out this form.
  2. What market modification guidelines must be followed?
    Although some modifications clearly do not apply to online markets, both physical and online markets must adhere to physical distancing measures, restricted activities, enhanced hygiene and additional measures as directed by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) on the BCCDC Farmers’ Market webpage. For example: markets must discontinue all food sampling activities, including by the glass sales of wine or other alcohols, and markets must cancel activities that promote gatherings, such as demonstrations, live musicians, etc.

    • HOWEVER, vendor products permitted for sale at physical (in-person) markets and online markets are not the same (see “What vendor products can and cannot be sold?” below).
  3. What vendor products can and cannot be sold?
    • Physical (in-person) markets:
      • To comply with direction from the Provincial Health Officer and BCCDC, vendors are allowed to “sell ONLY FOOD which includes fresh, frozen and prepared foods, take-away from food carts and food trucks, and pre-packaged liquor. This includes lower risk foods prepared at home and higher risk foods as described in the Temporary Food Market Guidelines.
    • Online markets:
      • As per direction from the Provincial Health Officer and BCCDC, “on-line sales are not restricted provided that they don’t include high risk foods made in an unapproved facility. Crafts and other items may be sold on-line.”
      • IMPORTANT: In order to comply with direction from the Provincial Health Officer and BCCDC, crafts and other non-food products sold through the online market are not allowed to be delivered or picked up at the physical (in-person) market. Only food products sold online can be picked up at the physical market. Vendors selling crafts and other non-food products must make it clear on their online store that those products are not allowed for pick-up at the physical market and other delivery or pick-up arrangements by those vendors must be made.
  4. What vendor products qualify as “food”?
    • As directed by the Provincial Health Officer and BCCDC, food includes “fresh, frozen and prepared foods, take-away from food carts and food trucks, and pre-packaged liquor. This includes lower risk foods prepared at home and higher risk foods as described in the Temporary Food Market Guidelines.
    • As per the Food Safety Act:
      • “food” means food or drink for human consumption, and includes(a) any substance or thing that is manufactured, sold or represented for use as food or drink for human consumption,
        (b) any substance or thing that is manufactured, sold or represented for use as an additive, ingredient or processing aid in a substance or thing referred to in paragraph (a), and
        (c) any agricultural or aquatic product that is grown, raised, cultivated, harvested or kept for the purpose of producing food or drink for human consumption.
  5. How are products distributed from the online store?
    • Each physical market is unique in its operations, and BC Farmers’ Markets Online will reflect this diversity. For example, markets may vary in how products are delivered or picked up based on the needs of their own vendors, customers and communities.
      • IMPORTANT: In order to comply with direction from the Provincial Health Officer and BCCDC, crafts and other non-food products sold online are not allowed to be delivered or picked up at the physical market. Only food products sold online can be picked up at the physical market. Vendors selling crafts and other non-food products must make it clear on their online store that those products are not allowed for pick-up at the physical market and other delivery or pick-up arrangements must be made.
    • Farmers’ markets can still hold a vital role to play in the vendor distribution model as a key distribution/pick-up point where possible, in addition to being a virtual marketplace for customers and vendors.
    • Consider staggered times for pick-ups by last name, for example:
      Time        Last name 1st letter
      11-12pm        A-E
      12-1pm          F-J
      1-2pm            K-O
      2-3pm            P-T
      3-4pm            U-Z
  6. Is participation in BC Farmers’ Markets Online mandatory for market members and does it replace a physical market?
    Participation in BC Farmers’ Markets Online is voluntary and does not necessarily replace a physical market. Each market is unique and will determine the best operating model for its vendors and community.

    • BCAFM continues to support and promote modified physical market operations in addition to those who choose to open an online farmers’ market.
    • If a physical market is not possible, it can still act as a distribution point for the online market, where appropriate.
  7. Do member markets have to use the Local Line platform if they open an online store?
    Each physical market is unique in its operations, and BC Farmers’ Markets Online will reflect this diversity, which means markets may vary in the online platform they use.

    • IMPORTANT: With support from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Buy BC program and Vancity Credit Union, BCAFM will cover the 2020 peak season (April/May to Sep/Oct) fees for member farmers’ markets who do choose the Local Line e-commerce platform established through the BC Famers’ Markets Online initiative.
  8. If a member market chooses an online market platform other than Local Line, will it still be part of BC Farmers’ Markets Online?
    Yes! Member online markets will still be included under the BC Farmers’ Market Online initiative, regardless of chosen online platform.
  9. Do vendors have to be a BCAFM vendor member?
    Vendors do not have to be a member of the BCAFM Vendor Membership Program to sell at either a physical or online market. Vendors do need to be affiliated with the individual farmers’ market in whichever way vendors are at physical markets (i.e. market vendor membership, vendor/booth fees, etc. and must align with BCAFM bylaws and policy and market bylaws and policy).
  10. Are there vendor fees for the online market?
    Each market is unique in its operations, and BC Farmers’ Markets Online will reflect this diversity. This means that just like physical markets, it is up to each market to determine if there is to be the same, different or no additional vendor fee for vendors to sell on their online market.

Managing Communications

We strongly encourage consistent communication with consumers on the role of farmers’ markets and the steps your are taking to modify your market operations. Through social media, email, newsletters and signage:

  1. Continue to communicate with your vendors, customers and community consistently and regularly (whether your market is open, closed or online).
  2. Provide customers with relevant, up-to-date information without undue alarm.
  3. Share information and resource links, interact with social media followers and respond thoughtfully to their questions and concerns.
  4. Emphasize that maintaining the highest level of safety is paramount to your market and share any changes to market procedures to prevent the spread of infection.
  5. Promote that your physical market is open (if applicable), what folks will find there, and the steps you are taking to modify your market operations to prioritize health and safety.
  6. Promote your online market (if applicable), what folks will find there, and how pick-up/delivery works.
  7. Carefully choose photography that tastefully demonstrates the operations of your market under the current circumstances (i.e. avoiding old photos with crowds).
  8. Engage your customers and community through online events, activities and campaigns.
  9. Celebrate the collective efforts of farmers’ markets in maintaining their position as essential and safe access points for local food.
  10. Try not to detract from the conversation with consumers and the public on social media or other communication channels. These are going to be difficult conversations, but we urge you to embrace these discussions. It is okay to not have all the answers, and it is more important to lead with compassion, empathy and kindness in this challenging time. Ultimately, people want to know they are heard and that their health and safety is your top priority.
  11. Emphasize your membership with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and how we are working together.

Below are important points to consider when communicating with consumers:

  1. Farmers’ markets have been declared an essential service by the BC government (March 26, 2020). Share this press release.
  2. Farmers’ markets have clear direction on physical distancing measures, restricted activities, enhanced hygiene, and other measures that comply with recommendations and orders from the Provincial Health Officer. Share this information from the BCCDC Farmers’ Market webpage.
  3. BC Farmers’ Market operators and vendors operate using FOODSAFE/MarketSafe and Guidelines for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets, as prescribed by provincial health authorities.
  4. Farmers markets are essential food access retail outlets for local residents to purchase food while ensuring local farmer livelihoods and reducing food and crop losses.
  5. Farmers’ markets are not events nor are they promoting any special events or activities (which are not essential).
  6. Farmers’ markets have gone online – see “Communicating about BC Farmers’ Markets Online”.
  7. The majority of our farmers’ markets operate outdoors.

Visit our “Examples from Farmers’ Markets” section for further inspiration and guidance.

We strongly encourage establishing and maintaining relationships with your local health authority and municipality/regional district to let them know the actions your market is taking to ensure health and safety and collaborate on steps forward (be precise!). Important information to keep in mind and share:

  1. On April 16, 2020 the BCAFM sent a letter to mayors, councilors and regional district officials of communities in which your markets operate. Read the letter here.
  2. Farmers’ markets have been declared an essential service by the BC government (March 26, 2020). Share this press release.
  3. Farmers’ markets have clear direction on physical distancing measures, restricted activities, enhanced hygiene, and other measures that comply with recommendations and orders from the Provincial Health Officer. Share this information from the BCCDC Farmers’ Market webpage.
  4. Point them to the BCAFM Modifying Market Operations webpage to strengthen the demonstration of what steps you and other BCAFM member farmers’ markets are taking.
  5. BC Farmers’ Market operators and vendors operate using FOODSAFE/MarketSafe and Guidelines for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets, as prescribed by provincial health authorities.
  6. Farmers markets are essential food access retail outlets for local residents to purchase food while ensuring local farmer livelihoods and reducing food and crop losses.
  7. Farmers’ markets are not events nor are they promoting any special events or activities (which are not essential).
  8. Farmers’ markets have gone online – see “Communicating about BC Farmers’ Markets Online”.
  9. Emphasize your membership with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and how we are working together.

From time to time, you may be asked by media about your market operations or BC Farmers’ Markets Online. Some tips to help guide you:

  1. Who will be writing this? Look up the media source and/or journalist to know their credibility.
  2. Who will be reading this? Look up the media source to know who the audience is.
  3. What do I want to say?
    • Consider what you want to achieve by being interviewed:
      • Tell your story but remain consistent with our current collective position and action as farmers’ markets (see important points below).
    • Important points to keep in mind and share:
      • Farmers’ markets have been declared an essential service by the BC government (March 26, 2020). Share this press release.
      • Farmers’ markets have clear direction on physical distancing measures, restricted activities, enhanced hygiene, and other measures that comply with recommendations and orders from the Provincial Health Officer. Share this information from the BCCDC Farmers’ Market webpage.
      • Point them to the BCAFM Modifying Market Operations webpage to strengthen the demonstration of what steps you and other BCAFM member farmers’ markets are taking.
      • BC Farmers’ Market operators and vendors operate using FOODSAFE/MarketSafe and Guidelines for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets, as prescribed by provincial health authorities.
      • Farmers markets are essential food access retail outlets for local residents to purchase food while ensuring local farmer livelihoods and reducing food and crop losses.
      • Farmers’ markets are not events nor are they promoting any special events or activities (which are not essential).
      • Farmers’ markets have gone online – see “Communicating about BC Farmers’ Markets Online”.
      • Emphasize your membership with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and how we are working together.
  4. How should I share this?
    • Share with vendors, consumers and local government through email, newsletters and social media.
    • Share with us! Email us at info@bcfarmersmarket.org or tag BCAFM on social media:
      • Facebook: /BCAFM
      • Instagram: @bcfarmersmarket
      • Twitter: @bcfarmersmarket
    • Use the hashtags (where applicable):
      • #BCFarmersMarkets
      • #BCFarmersMarketsOnline
      • #BCFarmersMarketTrail
      • #BuyBC

Visit our “Examples from Farmers’ Markets” section for further inspiration and guidance.

We strongly encourage consistent communication with vendors on whether you are open or closed, and what protocols are in place for operating a physical (in-person) market or online market. Important information to consider:

  1. Provide relevant, up-to-date information without undue alarm.
  2. Share information and respond thoughtfully to their questions and concerns.
  3. Emphasize that maintaining the highest level of safety is paramount to your market and share any changes to market procedures to prevent the spread of infection. Advise and remind them where the direction for protocols has come from.
  4. Encourage them to promote that your physical market is open (if applicable) and the steps you and the vendors must take to modify market operations to prioritize health and safety.
  5. Encourage them to promote your online market (if applicable) and work together to find the most optimal solutions for order, delivery and pick-up.
  6. Photography matters! Advise vendors to choose photos that tastefully demonstrates the operations of their booth and your market under the current circumstances (i.e. avoiding old photos with crowds).
  7. Engage your vendors through online events, activities and campaigns.
  8. Celebrate the collective efforts of farmers’ markets in maintaining their position as essential and safe access points for local food.
  9. Try not to detract from the conversation with vendors on social media or other communication channels. These are going to be difficult conversations, but we urge you to embrace these discussions. It is okay to not have all the answers, and it is more important to lead with compassion, empathy and kindness in this challenging time. Ultimately, vendors want to know they are heard and that while health and safety is your top priority, you are in this together.
  10. Emphasize your membership with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and how we are working together.

Below are important points to consider when communicating with consumers:

  1. Farmers’ markets have been declared an essential service by the BC government (March 26, 2020). Share this press release.
  2. Farmers’ markets have clear direction on physical distancing measures, restricted activities, enhanced hygiene, and other measures that comply with recommendations and orders from the Provincial Health Officer. Share this information from the BCCDC Farmers’ Market webpage.
  3. BC Farmers’ Market operators and vendors operate using FOODSAFE/MarketSafe and Guidelines for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets, as prescribed by provincial health authorities.
  4. Farmers markets are essential food access retail outlets for local residents to purchase food while ensuring local farmer livelihoods and reducing food and crop losses.
  5. Farmers’ markets are not events nor are they promoting any special events or activities (which are not essential).
  6. The majority of our farmers’ markets operate outdoors.

Visit our “Examples from Farmers’ Markets” section for further inspiration and guidance.

When discussing BC Farmers’ Markets Online with consumers, local government, or the media, we encourage you to share the following important points:

  • Mention that your online market is part of BC Farmers’ Markets Online!
  • Thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Agriculture Buy BC program and Vancity Credit Union, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets will cover the fees for markets to go online in the 2020 season*.
  • BC Farmers’ Markets Online is an initiative that supports and promotes member farmers’ markets of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets in selling vendor products through an online farmers’ market store. Each market is unique in its operations, and BC Farmers’ Markets Online will reflect this diversity. For example, markets may vary in the online platform they use and how products are delivered or picked up.
  • Participation in BC Farmers’ Markets Online is voluntary and does not necessarily replace a physical market. BCAFM will continue to support both physical and virtual market operations that provide access to fresh, local food while maintaining the highest level of safety. Additionally, for various reasons individual markets may determine not to develop an online market for the moment.
  • Use the hashtags:
    • #BCFarmersMarketsOnline
    • #BCFarmersMarkets
    • #BuyBC

*With funding support from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Buy BC program and Vancity Credit Union, BCAFM will cover the 2020 peak season (April/May to Sep/Oct) fees for member farmers’ markets who choose the Local Line e-commerce platform established through the BC Farmers’ Markets Online initiative.

Examples from Farmers’ Markets

The following examples are from BCAFM member farmers’ market as resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. They can be used to help adapt, develop and communicate the measures your market is taking to customers, vendors, the general public, and media, as well as your local government and health authorities (where applicable).

Modifying Markets – FAQ

All ‘sections’ referred to in these FAQ are under this BCAFM webpage Modifying Market Operations.

Scroll above to the ‘BC Farmers’ Markets Online section for the BC Farmers’ Markets Online FAQ.

  1. Should farmers’ markets be planning or promoting special events and activities?
    In short, no, not right now. Traditionally, farmers’ markets are gathering places, and so planning and promoting special events and activities comes naturally to us. But at this time as our sector responds to COVID-19, we have had to pivot from operating as usual to focus instead on our primary collective goal to provide safe access to local food. That is why we strongly recommend this important point shared under the “Managing Communications” section:

    • Farmers’ markets are not events nor are they promoting any special events or activities (which are not essential).

Looking forward, BCAFM does not recommend planning or promoting any activities at your markets until restrictions are lifted, particularly those that could generate any gathering. At this time, it is unclear when life in general and at markets will return to normal.

While we recognize you may be thinking ahead about your market opening days or into summer, the difficult truth is we must plan as though we are not sure when restrictions will be lifted, because we simply don’t know. And it is more important than ever that we collectively and consistently demonstrate our commitment to modifying operations and solely focusing on farmers’ markets as local food access points.  If things change down the road you can plan at that time.

Alternatively, BCAFM does recommend, where applicable:

    • Promoting that your physical market is open, what folks will find there, and the steps you are taking to modify your market operations to prioritize health and safety.
    • Promoting your online market, what folks will find there, and how pick-up/delivery works.
    • Carefully choosing photography that tastefully demonstrates the operations of your market under the current circumstances (i.e. avoiding old photos with crowds).
    • Engaging your customers and community through online events, activities and campaigns.
    • Celebrating the collective efforts of farmers’ markets in maintaining their position as essential and safe access points for local food.

Please visit the “Managing Communications” section of our Modifying Market Operations webpage for more guidance.

  1. Where can we find financial support for market staff during COVID-19?
    • We encourage you to research the resources in the Small Business & Non-Profit Support section of our BCAFM Response to COVID-19 & Resources webpage.
    • We also encourage you to reach out to your local government or financial institutions for support, as they may have programs or funding available. Some markets have already experienced success with this.

  1. How do we operate in a pandemic?
    • Every market is unique and so are their operations. Visit the BCCDC Farmers’ Market webpage and BCAFM webpage Modifying Market Operations for important up-to-date resources and information on steps to take in modifying your market, handling communications, and more.
  2. How to have market staff and vendors avoid working too closely?
    • Follow the requirements under the “What to Modify” section.
  3. How to address unmet guidelines, such as when people are too close?
    • Follow the requirements under the “What to Modify” section.
    • As per the “What to Emphasize” section, we suggest signage, signage, signage! Create signage that promotes health & safety, physical distancing and respecting market guidelines. See our “Examples from Farmers’ Markets” section for inspiration.
    • In all cases, resort to your individual market guidelines for handling and resolving customer compliance issues.
  4. Will physical/outdoor markets go ahead or is it at the discretion of the market manager?
    • At this time, BCAFM is not advising member farmers’ markets to close unless ordered by authorities or otherwise deemed necessary by the market governing organization. However, all markets must modify their operations to maintain the highest level of safety according to direction from the BCCDC and Provincial Health Officer.
    • While for various reasons some markets may be ordered by their local authorities to close, there is no current provincial order to close farmers’ markets, and BCAFM continues to take direction from the BC government, BC Centre for Disease Control and Provincial Health Officer in prioritizing health and safety at our member farmers’ markets.
  5. What can markets with a mainly senior citizens customer base do to stay functioning and still serve these customers?
    • As per the “What to Consider Modifying” section, one suggested option is special shopping hours for vulnerable populations, such as allowing the first hour for the elderly to shop.
  6. Are cash transactions allowed?
    • As per the “What to Modify” section, it is advised that where feasible to create cashless payment systems through online orders and point of sale devices in vendor booths.
  7. We are looking for guidance and recommendations on how to modify and possibly add a drive through or box program. Will BCAFM be creating and sharing  recommended templates for this?
    • Through our BC Farmers’ Markets Online initiative, we support and promote member farmers’ markets of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets in selling vendor products through an online farmers’ market store. Each market is unique in its operations, and BC Farmers’ Markets Online will reflect this diversity. For example, markets may vary in the online platform they use and how products are delivered or picked up.
    • Please note that participation in BC Farmers’ Markets Online is voluntary and does not necessarily replace a physical market. Additionally, for various reasons individual markets may determine not to develop an online market at  the moment.
    • If a BCAFM member market is interested in participating in the BC Farmers’ Market Online initiative, please fill out this form.

  1. Handwashing stations – is it acceptable to not provide any so our staff doesn’t have to touch them?
    • As per the “What to Modify” section, market must provide handwashing facilities and access to hand sanitizers.
  2. How many handwashing stations should we have?
    • As per the “What to Modify” section, provide enough handwashing stations to create an environment in the market where customers can practice safe physical distancing of 2 metres.

  1. What vendor products can and cannot be sold?
    • Physical (in-person) markets:
      • To comply with direction from the Provincial Health Officer and BCCDC, vendors are allowed to “sell ONLY FOOD which includes fresh, frozen and prepared foods, take-away from food carts and food trucks, and pre-packaged liquor. This includes lower risk foods prepared at home and higher risk foods as described in the Temporary Food Market Guidelines.
    • Online markets:
      • As per direction from the Provincial Health Officer and BCCDC, “on-line sales are not restricted provided that they don’t include high risk foods made in an unapproved facility. Crafts and other items may be sold on-line.”
      • IMPORTANT: In order to comply with direction from the Provincial Health Officer and BCCDC, crafts and other non-food products sold through the online market are not allowed to be delivered or picked up at the physical (in-person) market. Only food products sold online can be picked up at the physical market. Vendors selling crafts and other non-food products must make it clear on their online store that those products are not allowed for pick-up at the physical market and other delivery or pick-up arrangements by those vendors must be made.
  2. What vendor products qualify as “food”?
    • As directed by the Provincial Health Officer and BCCDC, food includes “fresh, frozen and prepared foods, take-away from food carts and food trucks, and pre-packaged liquor. This includes lower risk foods prepared at home and higher risk foods as described in the Temporary Food Market Guidelines.
    • As per the Food Safety Act:
      • “food” means food or drink for human consumption, and includes(a) any substance or thing that is manufactured, sold or represented for use as food or drink for human consumption,
        (b) any substance or thing that is manufactured, sold or represented for use as an additive, ingredient or processing aid in a substance or thing referred to in paragraph (a), and
        (c) any agricultural or aquatic product that is grown, raised, cultivated, harvested or kept for the purpose of producing food or drink for human consumption.
  3. Should physical (in-person) markets eliminate all artisans, musicians, buskers, massage therapy or similar practises?
    • As per the “What to Modify” section, physical (in-person) “markets may sell ONLY FOOD which includes fresh, frozen and prepared foods, take-away from food carts and food trucks, and pre-packaged liquor. This includes lower risk foods prepared at home and higher risk foods as described in the Temporary Food Market Guidelines.
    • As per the “What to Modify” section, markets must cancel activities that promote gatherings, such as demonstrations, live musicians, etc.
    • As per press release from the BC government March 21, 2020, ““Until further notice, personal service establishments – like barbershops, salons, nail estheticians, health spas, massage parlours, tattoo shops and others – are ordered to close.”
    • We understand that the social and cultural component of farmers’ markets is important, but in times like these, it is critical that we prioritize food only at physical (in-person) markets.
  4. We are having trouble with allowing food trucks as it creates a line and customers have to wait longer for pick up. What is your advice on this?
    • As per the What to Modify” section, you must create an environment in the market where customers can practice safe physical distancing of 2 metres.

  1. Will individual markets be notified if the BCAFM contacts their specific mayors and communities?
    • We strongly encourage markets to be proactive and establish relationships with your local health authority and municipality/regional district to let them know the actions your market is taking to ensure health and wellness and collaborate on steps forward (see “Communications with Local Government” section).
    • BCAFM will also continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and update its members across BC on this issue as it continues to evolve, including any BCAFM communications with authorities. 

Non-Medical Support for COVID-19

Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30am-8pm, 7 days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 604-630-0300. You can also visit their COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information website.

Visit the Provincial Website
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