In This Issue
- Message from the President
- Education, Strengthening & Networking
- Give the Gift of Healthy Food & Support Your Local Farmer
- Food Safety at Farmers’ Markets
- Member Farmers’ Market Highlight
- Food and Beverage Processing Industry Survey
- A Message from Small Farm Canada
- Marketing Tip
- BCAFM Out and About
- BCAFM In the Media
Message from the President
This is my last message for 2018 and probably my second to last before we meet in Kimberley/Cranbrook for the next conference and AGM.
I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this conference. We have had some great partnerships in this region and maybe I will get to cohost one last time with Erna – won’t that be a show?! But seriously, the opportunity to host our conference in the Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin region for the first time just shows how we are growing and the relevancy of our work around the province. Now, if only I could have gotten the conference in the Cariboo or Northern BC!
I am confident that BCAFM is heading in a great direction and I continue to be excited for the future of BC farmers’ markets. As my six years on the provincial board will be up in March at the AGM, I look forward to working to support the direction of the BCAFM as a vendor.
I would also encourage you to step forward – vendor, market manager, market director – if you have an interest in serving at the provincial level. Applications for the provincial board will be open this month and we need people who can make a commitment and who are excited about moving markets forward. Both myself and Shankar Raina will have completed six years on the board and cannot stand for re-election. This is a great opportunity for new individuals to join the board.
Finally I want to talk about the agility and perseverance of market vendors. Around the province vendors – both primary producers and crafters – have had two difficult years. Two years of fires and floods; of too much snow and not enough snow; of too much rain that washes out crops and roads and too little rain that increases the fire hazard. It has been two years where it has been difficult to know how to plan and what to expect.
And yet – you show up! You plant your crops, you raise your animals, you sit in your barn or your craft room and you bake, make, raise all the glorious products that you bring to market. You trust in your community to come to your market and purchase your products so that you can make enough of a living to do it all again next week, and next month, and next year. Without our vendors there are no markets and so I encourage all of you – be kind to each other, support each other, walk beside each other. We have vendors that are going through troubling times just as we have vendors that are doing amazing. Each of them requires care and attention so that they can bring their best to the market and the market can do what is best for them.
And the same is true for our markets. We have small markets and big markets, and it is not just the size of the market that determines the success. Whether a market has a paid manager or a volunteer manager, they sweat over getting it right. Every market manager does the best job they can supporting our vendors, ensuring that our markets are attractive for the community, following the rules (despite their feelings), and doing what they can so that vendors and markets can thrive. We know that markets have up and down years; every market struggles to stay relevant in their community, and some years are better than others.
The BCAFM staff and board are working hard to provide the support you need to succeed and I am so proud of the work that we have done over the past year. Heather O’Hara as Executive Director has done an amazing job in finding and creating resources and making the right partnerships to move BCAFM forward. We have a great mix of staff – some that have been with us for many years like Georgia, Peter and Anice, and some newer faces like Tahlia and Meredith. The board thanks each of them for their contributions to our association.
Most of all, we would like to say thank you to all our members for continuing to work with us. Here is to an amazingly successful 2019!
Education, Strengthening & Networking
2019 BCAFM Conference – Cultivating Community
Join us in Kimberley (only 20 minutes from the Cranbrook airport) March 8-10, 2019 for the annual conference and gathering of BC farmers’ markets! We are so grateful for our market hosts at Kimberley and Cranbrook farmers’ markets, and invite you to join us in exploring the 2019 conference theme, Cultivating Community.
- Click here for early bird tickets, hotel rates, call for proposals, volunteer opportunities, and the Farmers’ Market Award!
Mary Forstbauer Grant
Applications for the second annual Mary Forstbauer Grant are now open. The $500 grant supports a farmer selling at BC farmers’ markets to implement a new initiative on their farm. It can be used towards supplies, training, new equipment, services, contractors, staff or consultants. Deadline to apply is January 15th, 2019
- Learn about the grant and eligibility criteria
- B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program. Support for agri-business planning and disaster recovery planning.
- Buy BC Partnership Program: Logo Licensing. Make it easy for consumers to identify and support BC farmers’ markets, food and beverage, and more.
- Buy BC Partnership Program: Cost-Shared Funding. Available for agriculture and seafood producers, processors and co-operatives, industry associations, and agricultural fairs and markets.
- General Investment Agriculture Foundation. Application deadline: Feb 8, 2019.
NEW – BC Organic Regulations Tool Kit for Market Managers:
On September 1, 2018, the B.C. government implemented new regulations regarding organic labelling. Now, all products sold in B.C. that are marketed as, or use the word “organic”, must be certified through either provincial or federal programs. The BCAFM, along with the Ministry of Agriculture, created a guide to help farmers’ markets navigate the new organic regulations.
What We Are Reading + Learning:
- Temporary Migrant Farm Workers in BC (BC Organic Grower)
- WEBINAR: Introduction to Reconciliation (Reconciliation Canada, Tamarack Institute)
- TRAINING: MarketSafe – 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 temporary food markets
- Census data on the Canadian farming population ( 2016 AG-POP) – a socio-economic portrait of the Canadian farm population
- Community Food Analysis Lab – a community food and water analysis lab now open in Courtenay
- futurpreneur – provides ﬁnancing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39
- AgSafe – a health and safety association for agricultural producers in BC
Give the Gift of Healthy Food & Support Your Local Farmer
Spread the Word This Holiday Season
Give the gift of fresh, locally grown food to families facing economic barriers, while supporting BC farmers. Individuals, local businesses, sports teams and other organizations can donate directly to the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program and be eligible for a charitable tax receipt.
- Spread the word this holiday season & share the link: bcfarmersmarket.org/donate
Food Safety at Farmers’ Markets
We’d like to hear from you!
Our annual meeting with the BC Centre for Disease Control is coming up. We’ll be checking in regarding food safety at BC farmers’ markets, and share feedback from the past season. We’d like to hear from you on this important matter. Your feedback will inform possible changes BCAFM recommends to the “Guideline for Sale of Foods at Temporary Markets”
Please take a few minutes to share your feedback regarding:
- Food safety issues or questions that arose this season at your farmers’ market
- The current “Guideline for Sale of Foods at Temporary Markets” and their implementation at your markets
- Feel free to include ongoing challenges that you have shared with us previously
Share your feedback by December 10 @ 10am. Multiple submissions from the same farmers’ market are fine.
Member Farmers’ Market Highlight
Penticton Farmers’ Market Wins Tourism Excellence Award
Congrats to the Penticton Farmers Market – winner of the Tourism Excellence Award from the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards! The awards recognize Penticton and area businesses, organizations and individuals that are setting a new standard in excellence in their respective fields.
Coquitlam Farmers Market President Named Sustainability Champion
Congrats to Tabitha McLoughlin, Executive Director of the Coquitlam Farmers Market, who was named Sustainability Champion at the Women’s Collaborative Hub’s 2nd Annual Women Influencers Awards! The awards recognize the unsung heroes who make a mark in the communities of the Tri-Cities, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
Food and Beverage Processing Industry Survey
Are You a Food Processor in BC?
The Ministry of Agriculture, UBC and industry partners are developing a Food Hub Network with the goal to facilitate access to processing facilities, equipment, technology, research and development, knowledge-sharing and innovation-related services for those involved or wanting to be involved in food and beverage processing or value-added activities across the province.
They are conducting a province-wide survey to identify the current needs, challenges and opportunities of BC food and beverage processors and those looking to enter the industry. Share feedback before December 7.
A Message from Small Farm Canada
Wow, a Canadian Magazine Just for Small Farmers!
For 14 years Small Farm Canada magazine has been helping small-scale producers farm more efficiently and profitably. Every issue is jam-packed with articles on equipment maintenance, poultry, pasture management and the latest in agriculture-related research, as well as in-depth features on trends in farming.
Our archives are now home to hundreds of articles that, taken as a whole, amount to an encyclopedia of small-scale food production! No wonder we often get requests for every single back issue!
So, if you want to stay current on the latest news, subscribe to Small Farm Canada. To advertise contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Really Likes Squash! Takeaways from our social media post
Who knew our followers enjoy their squash so much?! In October, we posted this graphic as seen on the right, showing different types of squash, their names, and how to cook them. People loved it and it quickly became one of our top Facebook post. It was shared 1,341 times, reached over 113,000 people, and earned us over 200 page “likes” in a few days.
Here are a few social media tips to keep in mind that may come in handy if you ever have an unexpected increase in profile views:
- Ensure your social media profile info is always up to date. With so many views, you want to be sure you’re sharing the correct contact info, website link, address, hours, bio, etc.
- Monitor and be prepared to reply to questions and comments your followers may have. You are the voice of your market in person and online too.
- Give credit to the person who took the photo or the website where the image was found. It’s just common courtesy and best practice
BCAFM Out and About
- Feb 1-2: Islands Ag Show (Saanich)
- March 8-10: BC Farmers’ Market Conference (Kimberley/Cranbrook)
WHERE WE’VE BEEN:
- Sept 21-22: Destination BC All Sectors Meeting (Vancouver)
- Sept 23: Mid-Autumn Harvest Fest (Coquitlam Farmers Market)
- Oct 3: ProcessSafe Steering Committee Meeting (Vancouver)
- Oct 11: Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services (Surrey)
- Oct 16: MarketSafe Steering Committee Meeting (Vancouver)
- Oct 17-18: 3rd Annual Indigenous Agriculture Forum (Kamloops)
- Oct 20: KPU Farm School presentation (Richmond)
- Oct 23: Destination BC / Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Industry Forum (Burnaby)
- Nov 1-4: Food Secure Canada’s Resetting the Table Assembly (Montreal)
- Nov 6: BC Ag Day at the Legislature (Victoria)
- Nov 13: Every Chef Needs a Farmer Every Farmer Needs a Chef (Vancouver)
- Nov 19-20: Unpacking White Privilege in the Food Movement (Vancouver)
- Nov 22-23: Good Food Summit (Victoria)
BCAFM In the Media
- Sept 2018, Kootenay Business, Launch of Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin Farmers’ Market Trail will strengthen relationships
- Sept 24: Sing Tao, 推廣食用本地蔬果-華裔農夫教煮中菜
- Oct 11, Vernon Morning Star, B.C. farm markets look to expand tourist trail program
- Nov 13: Coast Reporter, Farmers’ market coupon season wraps up
- More media stories