In This Issue
- Message from the President
- BCAFM Staff Updates
- Marketing, Promotions & Public Engagement
- Education, Strengthening & Networking
- Funding, Resources & Opportunities
- Member Market Feature
- For Vendors
- A Message from Our 2019 Conference Sponsor
- Social Media Tip
- BC Farmers' Markets In the Media
Happy Harvest Season!
Hope all is well and thriving at your markets. I was lucky to visit my home markets with Heather recently; both Qualicum Beach and Comox Valley were humming with activity and I think I found the sweetest cantaloupe ever! Other BCAFM staff have been and will continue to visit member markets this summer to check in with you.
Which brings me to our other big news! With Georgia off to do her Masters (we’ll miss her dearly!) and the multitalented Anice moving, we have hired two fabulous new additions to the team: Gabrielle and Tess. We’re excited to have them on board and wish Georgia and Anice all the best!
Heather and I also visited our local Economic Development Office while she was in town. We discussed with their team on possible future collaborations, and introduced them to the BC Farmers’ Market Trail initiative which has expanded to Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands, along with the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Northern BC and the Sunshine Coast. Last year the Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin were featured – giving a boost and forming stronger connections with markets and partners in this region. If you haven’t checked out the BC Farmers’ Market Trail – please do – and of course share share share! Don’t forget to include the #BCFarmersMarketTrail and #ExploreBC hashtags to further your reach on social media.
Our Buy BC campaign is also in full swing. To help promote your markets, we recently launched the #FarmersFeedMe Photo Contest! Check it out and share with your followers.
The Board of Directors has been working hard to review our committees, orient our new board members to their committee work, and provide leadership and governance for the organization. Board and staff have discussed the importance of bringing the annual conference to smaller, more remote communities, such as Kimberley this past spring. We’ve received some member feedback regarding location and many of our more remote members let us know that it is easier and more cost effective for them to get to the Vancouver and Lower Mainland area for the conference. Practically speaking, our move to Kimberley did not actually result in more members attending the conference from other communities. With this in mind, we will be holding the conference in the Lower Mainland in 2020 to ensure the greatest access and participation by our members.
As always, please be in touch if you have any concerns or questions! You can reach me at 250.218.0321 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Best wishes to you all, may your harvest season bring in the big bucks!
This month, the BCAFM said (a temporary) farewell to Georgia Stanley who is taking 14 months off to head back to school. Georgia has been with the BCAFM for 10 years and – with her vast experience, deep knowledge, and friendly spirit – is a strong piece of the organization’s backbone. In September, we’ll also say farewell to Anice Wong. Anice has been with the BCAFM for four years, and is happy to be available to members in the next few weeks during the staff transition.
We have already welcomed the two new staff to the BCAFM team. Gabrielle Spenard-Bernier (email@example.com) is the new Manager of Membership & Communications; and Tess Van Den Bosch (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the new Projects & Communications Coordinator. Learn more about Gabrielle and Tess.
In case you missed it – the BC Farmers’ Market Trail has grown! This season, the BC Farmers’ Market Trail expanded to feature farmers’ markets in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Northern BC, Sunshine Coast, and Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands regions, in addition to the Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin region which launched in 2018.
Explore the featured regions, check out the new photos, read our press release, and continue spreading the word about the Trail! This summer, we’ve already been featured in numerous media stories including Global News TV, and we came out on top with an “A+” from BCBusiness’ Report Card!
Our #FarmersFeedMe Photo Contest is happening now! Spread the word with your shoppers for their chance to win $100 to spend at your market or a Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner.
To enter, shoppers must take a photo of a farmer at the market and post it on Instagram or Facebook. The caption should include who the farmer is, why they love them, and the name of the market. They should also use the hashtag #FarmersFeedMe and tag us.
Deadline is September 2. Full contest details here.
BCAFM in New Zealand!
Report back from Wylie Bystedt
As former BCAFM President and current member and vendor at the McLeese Lake and Quesnel Farmers’ Markets, it is always fascinating to meet and learn from others in the sector, even on the other side of the world! Recently, I returned from the Farmers’ Market New Zealand Conference where I gave a talk about BCAFM and also learned from our colleagues down under.
In New Zealand vendors are called “stall holders” and all markets within the Farmers’ Markets New Zealand association are food only (primary, value added, ready to eat). Fresh local milk can be purchased in glass bottles at the market, egg producers can do basic grading of their own eggs, and they seem to have more variety within their grades.
There is a real love for local food in New Zealand, and the inspectors and professionals who work with markets are all very keen to help with their success – which included both reasonableness and latitude in how food is prepared and presented.
When it comes to music and entertainment, it is an honoured tradition and the market is a great place to keep it and the culture alive.
Although it was obvious from the number of orchards and fields that we passed that it was their winter season, there were still a considerable amount of fresh fruit and vegetables available. We were even able to pick fresh lemons, oranges and grapefruits from backyard trees – something we definitely can’t do in BC!
During my presentation, I shared the history of the BCAFM, key projects and how we have been able to use these projects to push the mandate of the organization, and to keep farmers’ markets front and centre in local agriculture discussions. In particular, I spoke about the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program (FMNCP) and the BC Farmers’ Market Trail, and how they have not only been able to ensure that vendors and markets have profited, but how they have shown how critical the connection between farmer and consumer is.
I spoke about the level of support BCAFM provides to markets, manager, and vendors, and how other provinces and countries have not managed the same level of detail, support, research, marketing and capacity building as the BCAFM. I also talked about the value of having paid staff. Having dedicated staff makes a substantial difference in the capacity of the organization and what we are able to accomplish. Hopefully by sharing more details of our work will provide tools for other jurisdictions to imagine what they could be doing.
Do you have questions about promoting your market? Are your vendors looking for insurance? Does your board need a copy of our policies? Visit our member-focused website, bcfarmersmarket.org, and you will likely find what you need, along with a slew of other information.
Browse the Tools & Resources database, read through BCAFM publications, check out our Programs & Campaign, and if you have an upcoming event you’d like us to promote, let us know and we’ll include it in our Events calendar.
- Accessibility Project Grant
- Local Food Infrastructure Fund
- Canadian Experiences Fund
- Support for Small Business and Not-for-Profit Organizations (B.C. Fires 2018)
- More funding opportunities
Creating Accessible & Welcoming Events
at BC Farmers’ Markets
Case study: Mid-Autumn Harvest Festival
By: BCAFM and hua foundation
BC Organic Regulations: A Tool Kit
for Farmers’ Market Managers
By: BCAFM and B.C. Ministry of Agriculture
- 4-H: consider connecting and engaging with a 4-H club near you and see how you can support each other’s missions through your love of local food and agriculture
- InTents: if you’re a small farmer, food maker or market manager – find expert advice and ideas to grow your market business and to reduce your stress with InTents
- Canada’s first national Food Policy: “Everyone at the Table!”
- Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund invests in BC Women Entrepreneurs
- Sustainable Consumption for All: Improving the Accessibility of Sustainability-Produced Foods in Canada
- Task force to boost B.C. agriculture through tech, innovation
- More economic opportunities coming to the Cariboo
- 2018 Local Economic Development survey conducted by BC Government and UBCM
- 2019 Food Systems Development Practitioner Survey (US and Canada) results
Bringing the little ones to the market and need a place to breastfeed, change diapers, or rest? The Kelowna Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market now has a dedicated area just for those things. The Kelowna Doula Association recently approached the market with the idea of having a “Baby Friendly” tent where they also offer children’s activities and certified child care while the parents shop.
From the Ground Up Trade Show
Apply by August 31
Get discovered and connect with buyers, distributors, media, and other food industry supporters at this unique trade show.
Sprouts and Microgreens Canada meeting
August 19; 10am
Participate in valuable discussions about the microgreen industry with Kaiping Deng, PhD, Sprout Safety Alliance Coordinator, and Wassim Khoury, National Manager, CFIA. Join by calling: 1-866-247-3380
“A” BC HACCP Workshop
August 27 & 28; 9am – 5pm; Courtenay
Join the Small Scale Food Processor Association for their Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points workshop.
Farmers’ markets play an increasingly important role in the economic impact of a community and serve as a unique niche and opportunity for Agri-tourism and Culinary Tourism. BC Farmers’ markets are one of the leading sales distribution channels for farmers within the province and we are proud to partner with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) and Destination BC to support and promote farmers’ markets in the province.
The Kootenay Rockies region has a vibrant food and farming community and is renowned for its orchards, pastures and farmlands. Travellers to BC have expressed a desire to experience everything that makes a particular area unique, including locally sourced food and artisans. By working alongside BCAFM we can increase number of visitors to the local markets and add richness to their tourism experiences while they are here.
To see how Kootenay Rockies Tourism can help elevate your farmers’ market presence, please contact us at: GoogleMyBusiness@KootenayRockies.com
Words or phrases preceded by a hashtag (#) become searchable, and make it easier for users to find specific content related to a theme. It can also increase your target audience. The following hashtags are ones we have identified to use for social media, including the promotion of the BC Farmers’ Market Trail initiative. We encourage you to use them in your posts too, as you see fit:
- Global News Morning TV, Find a Farmers’ Market near you
- Westcoast Families, Your Guide To BC’s Best Farmers’ Markets
- Victoria News, To market, to market all across B.C.
- Whistler Pique Newsmagazine, BC Farmers’ Market Trail connects locavores to food vendors around the province
- BC Business, BCBusiness Report Card
- Foodgressing, BC Farmers’ Market Trail: A guide to 145+ BC Farmers’ Markets
- BC Gov News, Buy BC at local farmers markets this summer
- Read more media stories