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Farmers market plans for coming season

The Fort St. John Farmers Market says it is working with health officials to open this season and be a safe access point for fresh local food during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
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The Fort St. John Farmers Market says it is working with health officials to open this season and be a safe access point for fresh local food during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Farmers markets have been deemed an essential food service, and Fort St. John market organizers say they plan to move forward with a food-only market this year, with consideration to start dates, location, and social distancing until restrictions are lifted.

“At this time, the FSJ Farmers Market is committed to keeping our market open as an essential access point for fresh food as long as public health officials deem it safe to do so,” the executive said in an update March 21.

“We are seeking advice from local health authorities regarding their requirements for continuing to hold our market during the 2020 season.”

The full details are still to be determined, and the executive is hopeful to have the full suite of market vendors join at some point during the season.

The BC Association of Farmers Markets says the majority of markets in B.C. will start this year beginning in May, though a number of them are already open.

The association said markets across the province are being innovative as they find solutions to the situation, including online pre-ordering and offering delivery.

“We strongly believe in the value of farmers’ markets to BC communities and the local food system, especially in these times of uncertainty,” the Association said in a March 16 update.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.