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B.C. farmers’ markets receive support to operate in emergencies


February 7, 2022
By BC Ministry of Agriculture

Farmers’ markets in British Columbia will be receiving federal and provincial funding to help cover costs during emergencies.

The new BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program will support the expansion of farmers’ markets to accommodate more vendors and maintain operations during emergencies. The one-time program is providing $475,000, with up to $15,000 available for each eligible applicant.

“With the floods and wildfires in B.C. this past year, farmers’ markets give us a chance to directly support our local farmers, who, despite all the challenges, continue to deliver great food for us,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

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BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program funding can be used for:

  • signs and merchandising, including promotional, directional or COVID-19 specific signs, merchandising racks and display stands for promotional materials.
  • storage and transportation, including secured storage, dry storage and cold storage facilities, and shelving for storage units, as well as trailers and shipping containers required to move equipment, signs and infrastructure.
  • power and operations, including power-supply systems, tents, tent weights, tables, chairs, barricades, walkie-talkies, public-address systems, temporary staging, lights, heaters, misters and generators.

Eligible applicants include non-profit groups, co-operatives, for-profit corporations, local governments and First Nations that operate a farmers’ market that primarily sells B.C. food and beverage products. A farmers’ market must have been in operation for at least one year (established prior to November 2020) or operated in the summer 2021 season to be eligible.

“This new program funding will help ensure farmers’ markets can stay open and operate during emergencies so British Columbians can access the foods they count on,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

The funding is a one-time, cost-shared, reimbursement-based program delivered through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, in collaboration with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Its goal is to help markets come back stronger from their pre-pandemic operating levels.

“Community-based farmers’ markets across B.C. are a key anchor for local and regional food systems supporting thousands of local farm, food and artisanal businesses,” said Heather O’Hara, executive director, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. “The BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program is a critical investment in the resiliency of local farmers’ markets, which have risen to the challenge and fed our communities in both good times and throughout COVID, forest fires and flooding.”

Applications will be accepted until Jan. 28, 2022, at noon (Pacific time), on a first-come, first-served basis or until available funding has been fully committed. To apply, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/fmexpansion

Funding is provided by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60% federally and 40% provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

For more information about the BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program:
https://bcfarmersmarket.org/for-markets-vendors/bc-farmers-market-expansion-program