Updated: May 8th, 2020

Farmers’ Markets have been designated by the province as critical services. They are important places for Manitobans to access fresh, local food, while supporting the livelihoods of local farmers and producers.  In a time of unrest, they are a vital part of the food supply chain. 

**As of May 4th, farmers’ markets are now allowed to sell all items on site.

Direct Farm Manitoba encourages all of its markets to stay up to date and closely monitor current information pertaining to COVID-19, and to follow all guidelines set by Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Livingand the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Most of Manitoba’s markets will not be opening their 2020 season until late May onwards. As the situation evolves, it remains our top priority to maintain the health and safety of all customers, market staff, farmers, and vendors.

DFM encourages coordinators to reach out to their Local Health Authority to discuss the measures the market is taking to mitigate risk and ensure the health of market attendees, vendors, and staff.

An addendum has been released that should be used in conjunction with the Farmers’ Market Guidelines for the 2020 market season. You can find that here: Guidance for Farmers’ Markets

All farmers’ markets within Manitoba must implement the measures listed below.

Physical Distancing

  • Market operators must provide adequate space to ensure physical distancing of two metres (six feet) between customers and vendors. Limit the number of customers within a space (inside or outside a building) to practice safe physical distancing and manage line-ups at entryways and booths.
  • Vendor booths must be set up with enough space between them to allow customers to maintain a two metre (six feet) distance from one another while moving through the spaces.
  • Entry and exit points should be minimized to control the number of customers within the market space, as well as the directional flow of customers.
  • For more crowded venues, it is suggested to use a one direction flow for the public to follow. This can be achieved by using signs, tape, pylons etc. to direct customers, and still allow for the two metre (six feet) distancing requirements.
  • Seating areas for customers to dine or congregate should be removed.

Additional measures

  • Food vendors should not attend the market if ill with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms.
  • Market vendors need to provide customers with facilities for handwashing and/or access to hand sanitizers.
  • Vendors can’t supply food samples.
  • The markets cannot provide food buffets, self-service of food or items, such as napkins, cutlery and straws.
  • Customers with re-usable bags must bring clean bags and bag their own purchases. Otherwise, market vendors should provide plastic bags.
  • Product handling and touching should be minimized. Ideally, products should be pre-packaged prior to arriving at the market.
  • Permitted food operators, such as pushcarts, mobile food trucks and temporary food booths can provide only take-away meals.
  • Vendors should offer payment methods that promote minimum contact, when possible.
  • Market coordinators are encourage to post signage reminding customers and vendors not to attend the market if ill with COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms.
  • Market coordinators should remind vendors to increase frequency of cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces. Items that are frequently touched by the public such as doorknobs or handles should be cleaned and disinfected every two to four hours, or more frequently as needed, and a minimum of twice a day. More commonly touched items such as pay pads that are not hands free need to be disinfected after each use.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a hot dog cart/mobile food truck. Can I still operate at a farmer’s market?

Yes, you can operate once you have your Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living permit approved for 2020. All food needs to be packaged by the food vendor for take-out only, and all condiments added by the food vendor. No self-service of condiments, other foods or drink, napkins, cutlery and straws.

Can a farmers’ market still have temporary food vendors?

Yes, temporary food vendors can operate once they have been approved as a temporary food vendor and received their Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living permit from the public health inspector. All food needs to be packaged by the food vendor for take-out only and all condiments added by the food vendor.

No self-service of condiments, other foods, drinks, napkins, cutlery or straws.

I make cookies, cakes, bread and jams at home. Can I still sell these items at the farmers’ market?

Yes, you may sell non-potentially hazardous foods you have made at home at the farmers’ markets once reviewed by the public health inspector. Food handling should be limited on-site at the market, so you are encouraged to pre-package and label sale items as per the Farmers’ Market Guidelines.

If I make non-potentially hazardous foods at home and pre-package and label my cookies, muffins, or jam, can I drop them off at the market to be sold by the market organizer or do I need to be at the market to sell my own items?

All non-potentially hazardous foods must meet the requirements in the Farmers’ Market Guidelines and must be pre-approved by the public health inspector. You can drop off your pre-packaged items at the market, but they must be sold by you or the designated market organizer.

Can I set up on-line orders for the non-potentially hazardous foods I make at home and have the items ready for pick up at my designated Farmers’ Market?

All non-potentially hazardous foods must meet the requirements in the Farmers’ Market Guidelines and must be pre-approved by the public health inspector. You can have your pre-orders ready for pick up at the market, but they must be sold/delivered by you or the designated market organizer.

I have sold my cookies and breads I make at home at Farmer’s Markets in the past. Can I now sell my home-prepared foods on-line direct to customers and not through the farmers market?

No. Only on-line sales are allowed by a market vendor who is registered with an approved Farmers’ Market operation, and customers need to arrange for pick up at the Farmers’ Market location. The market vendor/organizer or their staff need to complete the transaction at the market.

Can the market set up live entertainment, face painting, and other gathering activities?

No, markets must cancel all activities that promote gatherings at this time.

 

For more information please visit:

Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living

Public Health Agency of Canada- Corona Virus

For questions about the COVID-19 you can also contact Health Links: To speak to a Health Links – Info Santé registered nurse, please call 204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257.