CORONAVIRUS & CA FARMERS MARKETS
As the full affects of Covid-19 continue unfolding, we at CAFF are watching closely to find out how this pandemic will impact California family farmers as well as farmers markets. However, one thing is clear: now more than ever, farmers markets are an essential public service that must remain open to keep providing locally-grown food, health and resilience to our communities.
What to know about Farmers Markets now:
Updated 3/24/20: With California declaring a statewide “shelter-in-place” order, residents are being asked to stay in their homes and limit all but essential business operations. Thanks to recent advocacy, farmers markets have been deemed “essential” by the Newsom administration (alongside grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.) However, enforcement and interpretation is left up to local governments, which means your city and county must also permit farmers markets and farm stands to remain open. Check the orders from your local government to determine whether markets in your neighborhood have been categorized as “essential”. If not, please contact CAFF here and we will assess the situation and, if conditions are in fact safe, we will follow up with advocacy to help re-open these vital community food hubs.
Farmers Market Best Practices:
- Space booths accordingly to increase social distancing among patrons in line and walking about the market.
- Ensure that social distancing of six feet per person for non-family members is maintained and make clear that family members can participate in activities together, stand in line together, etc.
- Limit the number of customers at any given time as necessary to reduce outdoor/indoor crowding and lines to meet social distancing guidance.
- Eliminate events/marketing that target individuals that CDPH has identified as higher risk of serious illness for COVID-19.
- Encourage activities such as pre-bagging to expedite purchasing.
- Suspend sampling activities.
- Increase frequency of cleaning of tables, payment devices, and other surfaces.
- Eliminate non-essential/non-related services, such as bands or other entertainment.
SOURCE: California Department of Food & Agriculture, Office of Public Affairs. Posted March 16, 2020.
The full guidance is available here.