In light of recent developments related to COVID-19 and the call for social distancing, we’ve decided to officially move our annual ‘Mother’s and Others’ Day Market’ to an online platform. With regards to our plans for the South Osborne Farmers’ Market, we are closely monitoring the situation and will make a well informed and collective decision as things become more clear.
Unsurprisingly, there has been a lot of discussion among farmers and farmers’ market operators alike in our province about what this upcoming season will look like. Many have expressed their concern that continuing farmers’ market operations, even with added precautions taken, could mean putting the health of our communities at risk. On the other hand, many local food producers and advocates are deeply worried about the impact that restaurant or farmers’ market closures will have on the local food system-- and argue that farmers’ markets are just as much an essential service as grocery stores. For example, both Alberta and Ontario have listed farmers’ markets as essential services and intend to keep them open amidst social distancing mandates. What everyone can agree on, however, is that now more than ever, Manitobans are in need of access to healthy and nourishing local food!
We believe that both these perspectives voice valid concerns and we will take them into consideration as we assess and make decisions for the immediate future of our operations.
Rest assured that the health and safety of our customers, vendors and market staff is at the forefront of our minds. At the same time, we are doing our best to find creative ways to support our producers and consumers given these circumstances. Stay tuned to our social media for more updates about how we’re dealing with the crisis and the potential changes to our upcoming season!
Asha Nelson, on behalf of Farm Fresh Food Hub