The Creston Valley Food Action Coalition (CVFAC), which oversees the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market, was very pleased with the designation of Essential Services for Farmers’ Markets by BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). This designation was made in an effort to assist our Farmers and Food Producers, as well as the public, to be able to supply and access local food sources. The BCCDC requires that Farmers’ Markets modify their operations in order to optimize the health and safety of staff, Vendors, volunteers and the public.
Following feedback from Vendors, the CVFAC Board, and Farmers’ Market staff, and because we are transitioning to a new Market Manager, we have decided to start our outdoor season with Modified Markets on Saturday, May 2nd, 2020. We are very aware of concerns which might be raised about holding a Farmers’ Market in these times, and so will be adhering to the BCCDC Modifications strictly to optimize the safety of all involved. Our organization is mandated to support and advocate for food security in our Valley, which includes ensuring our Farmers and Producers can continue to do what they do best, along with ensuring the public has access to these food sources.
Until further notice, and in adherence to the guidelines set forth by the BCCDC, the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market will be modified in the following ways:
- Vendors will be limited to Farm, Prepared Food, and Liquor. Modified Markets may sell only food which includes fresh, frozen and prepared foods, take-away from food carts and food trucks, and pre-packaged liquor. This includes lower risk foods prepared at home and higher risk foods as described in the Temporary Food Market Guidelines;
- We will be limiting Market access to one entry point, and one exit point, with a one-way flow of foot traffic through the Market;
- The entry and exit points will be monitored by a staff member or volunteer in order to guarantee no more than fifty people (including staff, volunteers and Vendors) are in attendance at one time;
- Hand washing stations will be set up at the Market entrance and exit points;
- Vendors stalls will be set up with adequate distance between stalls;
- No sampling of products will be allowed;
- Vendors selling prepared food will be required to pre-package all food, or to use a sneeze guard and not allow the public to access food items;
- Hand sanitizer, gloves and masks will be required for all Vendors, staff and volunteers.
We will also be asking the public to practice safe social-distancing, to pre-order their product for pick up whenever possible, to attend the Market alone, and to “shop, don’t stop”.
With an increased interest from the public in accessing local foods in this time of crisis, we feel the Farmers’ Market will fill that gap. With vigilance, we feel strongly that we can continue to support our local producers, on whom we rely for fresh, local produce during this time of crisis, and at all times.