Farm markets are preparing for the 2020 season by adding online sales and other measures to prevent crowding. (B.C. Association of Farmers Markets)

B.C. farmers markets restricted to food sales only due to COVID-19

Food producers, community gardens designated essential

B.C. farmers markets are an important way to deliver healthy food, but they have to stick to food vendors only during the coronavirus pandemic, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

Henry announced her latest public health order March 27, limiting community markets and farmers markets to food sales only.

“This is recognition of how important it is for us to be able to access locally grown and produced food, and the farmers markets are an important part of that,” Henry said. “But we don’t want them to be areas where people are going to be going and mingling in large groups because of the risk right now that that entails.”

The COVID-19 public health emergency has already seen her order bars to close, most restaurants to go to pickup and delivery only, and gatherings outside of family groups to be limited with individuals kept apart. The provincial state of emergency powers announced this week designates food producers and community gardens as part of a list of essential services.

RELATED: Farmers markets moving to online platform in pandemic

RELATED: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies

To help with Henry’s orders regarding physical distance to prevent transmission of the virus, The B.C. Association of Farmers Markets is helping its 145 member markets move to online sales. The B.C. government has provided $55,000 to the association to cover member fees to join and set up their own online presence.

The funding comes from the province’s Buy BC program that promotes B.C.-grown vegetables, meat and seafood for sale in stores. As markets set up and offer online sales, their locations will be added to the association’s market tour website, bcfarmersmarkettrail.com.

“Our member farmers markets continue to modify their operations to ensure the health and safety of customers, vendors and market organizers alike,” said Heather O’Hara, the association’s executive director. “In further response to COVID-19, our new B.C. Farmers’ Markets Online platform will offer a new shopping channel for the peak farmers market season this summer.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hope Mountain Centre shuts down summer programs amid COVID-19 gathering restrictions

Difficult to maintain physical distance, safety of attendees and staff, at popular summer events

Potential for gravel removal this summer in Chilliwack has riled river stewards

Group says no ‘discernible merit’ for gravel mining when balanced off with the environmental damage

Drug-pricing petition garners thousands of signatures

Petition started by Chilliwack mom also drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

Ken Monkhouse, ‘Monkey’ on Highway Thru Hell TV show, passes away

Monkhouse passed away Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Harrison Hot Springs Resort eases in to reopening

Reservations available Friday, May 29

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BREAKING: Gabby’s Country Cabaret in Langley announces ‘heartbreaking’ permanent closure

Owner Steve Gallagher ‘holds out hope’ of a new future for the 35-year-old nightlife establishment

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Officials looking for answers after Abbotsford football star found dead in Sask. lake

Saskatchewan Health Authority looking into circumstances surrounding Samwel Uko’s hospital visit

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read