Support for British Columbia farmers’ markets to grow, operate in emergencies

News release

January 5, 2021 - Victoria, British Columbia - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Farmers’ markets in the province are receiving funding from the governments of Canada and British Columbia to help cover the costs to expand local food and beverage sales, and operate 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 to ensure communities throughout B.C. have continued access to the food. The one-time program is providing $475,000 in funding, with up to $15,000 available for each eligible applicant.

Farmers’ markets can use the funding for signs and merchandising, storage and transportation, and power and operations costs. 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.

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. It will help markets to come back stronger from their pre-pandemic operating levels, set a strong foundation for future growth and long-term success, and support efforts to strengthen B.C.’s food security.

Applications will be accepted until January 28, 2022, at noon (Pacific time), on a first-come, first-served basis or until available funding has been fully committed. To apply, visit:

BC Farmers' Market Expansion Program.

Funding is provided by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada's agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

Quotes

“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. This investment will help B.C. farmers bounce back in the coming years by making sure farmers’ markets can serve our communities in times of need.”

-       The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“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. Through the pandemic and extreme weather events the province has seen over the last year and a half, the importance of local food has never been greater. Markets will be able to grow and welcome more vendors while keeping everyone healthy and safe.”

-       Lana Popham, B.C. Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries

"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. 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."

-       Heather O’Hara, executive director, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Quick facts

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

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

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Contacts

Marianne Dandurand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
marianne.dandurand@agr.gc.ca
343-541-9229

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@agr.gc.ca
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Dave Townsend
Media Relations
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
250 356-7098
250 889-5945 (mobile)

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