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

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

Just Posted

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

File photo
Paramedic training returning to Castlegar

Emergency Medical Responder and Primary Care Paramedic training to take place in Castlegar

Emerson Potter, a Grade 3 student at Blewett Elementary, advocated for changes to help him use his wheelchair on the school grounds. He’s seen here with his parents Lindsay Thompson and Keith Potter, and Blewett principal Tim Mushumanski (right). Photo: Tyler Harper
‘Pretty awesome’: Nelson-area student advocates for school to improve outdoor accessibility

Emerson Potter, who lives with cerebral palsy, had trouble moving around Blewett Elementary’s grounds

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

Most Read