Farmer Bob at the Farmers Market in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)

BC Farmers Markets move to online platform amid COVID-19 concerns

The B.C. government is providing $55,000 to help cover fees associated with the online transition

The BC Association of Farmers Markets (BCAFM) has announced it will move to an online model to continue providing consumers with locally grown and prepared food products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s important to support your community and each other during this time of uncertainty, and a virtual shopping trip to a farmers market is an easy way to get the groceries on your list and to buy BC, while ensuring physical distancing measures are being followed,” said Lana Popham, minister of agriculture.

“Moving farmers markets online will help ensure the health and safety of vendors and consumers, while still providing the same fresh and local food that families all over the province count on.”

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP make changes to lessen COVID-19 impact

The 145 BCAFM member farmers’ markets operating in British Columbia play a key role in many communities’ food supply and support the livelihood of many farmers and their families. These markets are eligible to receive funding to help transition to an online market platform, which will enable them to continue selling their food products to customers in their communities.

“The critical importance and resiliency of local food and farmers has never been clearer than now, and B.C. farmers markets are an essential retail sales channel for British Columbians to access local food and sustain the livelihoods of thousands of farmers and food processors across our province,” said Heather O’Hara, executive director for BCAFM.

”Our member farmers markets continue to modify their operations to ensure the health and safety of customers, vendors and market organizers alike, and in further response to COVID-19, our new BC Farmers’ Markets Online platform will offer a new shopping channel for the peak farmers market season this summer.”

READ MORE: Kelowna West MLA confident in Interior Health during COVID-19 pandemic

British Columbians are encouraged to see which of their local markets have launched online operations in the weeks and months ahead by visiting this link.

The B.C. government is also providing $55,000 to the BCAFM to cover fees for individual farmers markets joining the online platform and to set up their digital market store presence. Each participating farmers market will create its own virtual market store to best serve its communities.


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
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