Province funds farmers’ markets five-year plan

VICTORIA – A $75,000 grant from the Province will enable B.C.’s farmers’ markets to better meet British Columbians’ growing demand for fresh and local foods.

The funds will be used by the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets to help implement their 2011-16 strategic plan to ensure a network of 125 markets throughout the province continue to connect British Columbians with farmers and food producers. The number of farmers markets in B.C. has more than doubled since 2000. This rapid growth has played a leading role in promoting awareness and support for eating local foods.

While some markets run year-round, most begin or increase activity with the milder weather and new spring produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables, locally raised meats, sustainably caught seafood, artisan cheeses, jams, sauces, honey and even dog treats are examples of products commonly sold at markets. B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets vendors make, bake or grow their products and only producers and their families are permitted to sell at their markets.