More support coming for B.C. farmers’ markets

May 2, 2022 at 11:32 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Additional federal-provincial funding is coming to the BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program, further supporting the province’s local farmers’ markets and vendors.

“Each public market is a privileged meeting place between our agri-food producers and consumers where relationships of trust are built,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “While supply chains are under pressure, using shorter supply chains is one way to promote food self-sufficiency. This new investment will allow many of British Columbia’s public markets to be even better equipped to serve their communities.”

The BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program is reopening, making $142,500 available to eligible farmers’ markets that did not receive funding in the first round. Each successful applicant can receive as much as $15,000.

“Farmers’ markets are the heart of our communities, and it’s extremely important they’re able to continue operating, especially during times of need such as emergencies,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “The response to the initial round of funding was so great that it was clear we needed to help more markets in their efforts to expand and operate during critical times. This will help support local food security and build a strong food economy for B.C.”

Funding for this one-time, reimbursement-based program is being shared by the federal and provincial governments through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and is being delivered in collaboration with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. The program will help farmers’ markets grow and to operate during emergencies, while supporting the markets’ long-term success and contributing to resilient local food systems.

“The BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program has made everything we have been working toward a reality,” said Madeline Bourette-Knowles, executive director of the Esquimalt Farmers’ Market, a recipient of program support in the first round of funding. “This program has provided us with the support we needed to increase the effectiveness of our systems, support emerging vendors, grow to a twice-weekly market, and increase our capacity in terms of both vendor numbers and sales.”

The program reopens on Monday, May 2, 2022, when it will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is fully allocated. To apply, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/fmexpansion

Funding is provided by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports 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.

Quick Facts:

  • In its first round of funding, the BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program provided $475,000 to 57 B.C. farmers’ markets.
  • Program funding can be used for:
    • signage and merchandising, including promotional, directional or COVID-19-related 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, and trailers and shipping containers needed to move equipment, signage and infrastructure; and
    • power and operations, including power supply systems, tents, tent weights, tables, chairs, barricades, two-way radios, PA systems, temporary staging, lights, heaters, misters and generators.
  • Eligible farmers’ markets must have been in operation since before November 2020 or have operated in summer 2021.

Learn More:

To apply for funding under the BC Farmers’ Market Expansion Program, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/fmexpansion

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

To learn more about the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, visit: https://bcfarmersmarket.org/

To read the announcement about the first round of program funding, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/26039

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership: https://agriculture.canada.ca/en/about-our-department/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership

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