N.S. farmers markets to move online amid COVID-19 outbreak

FMNS says it’s working as quickly as posFMNS says it’s working as quickly as possible to make the necessary changes.sible to make the necessary changes. Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia

Farmers markets are closing across Nova Scotia, but will now be popping up online.

The Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) has recommended its more than 30 members cease operations immediately and shift to online stores, which will offer centralized pick-up points and potentially door-to-door service.

FMNS says it’s working as quickly as possible to make the necessary changes.

“By launching these online stores as a unified cohort, we’re showing Nova Scotians that our farmers markets are committed to both safety and cooperation, and that farmers’ markets will continue to play an incredibly important role in Nova Scotia, even during difficult times,” Justin Cantafio, executive director of FMNS, said in a news release.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 5 new presumptive cases in Nova Scotia, bringing provincial total to 12

The transition was made possible thanks to $30,000 from the Department of Agriculture.

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“We are moving quickly to help our farmers’ markets to transition into online businesses so Nova Scotians can continue to have safe access to the locally-produced farm food products they love, even during this period of COVID-19 response,” said Keith Colwell, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Agriculture.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Nova Scotia announces 5 new presumptive cases of COVID-19'
Coronavirus outbreak: Nova Scotia announces 5 new presumptive cases of COVID-19

FMNS is encouraging Nova Scotians to reach out to their farmers markets, many of which are already taking orders. It says delivery options will be available soon.

The farmers’ markets currently participating include:

  • Wolfville Farmers’ Market
  • Halifax Brewery Farmers’ Market
  • Truro Farmers’ Market
  • New Glasgow Farmers’ Market
  • Lunenburg Farmers’ Market
  • Cape Breton Farmers’ Market
  • Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market
  • Annapolis Royal Winter Farmers’ Market
  • New Digby Farmers’ Market
  • Yarmouth Farmers’ Market

READ MORE: Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market building to close Saturday due to coronavirus

FMNS says it hopes to have online stores ready by Saturday, March 28.

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“In less than two weeks, we’ve seen our farmers’ markets go from vibrant spaces for purchasing local goods and social gathering spots, quickly pared down to strictly population-controlled grocery stores, all in an effort to keep safely offering local products to Nova Scotians” says Cantafio.

“In these tumultuous weeks, we’ve continuously adapted to fast-changing conditions to continue supporting our regional producers and small businesses while ensuring as many Nova Scotians as possible have access to healthy, local food and necessities.”

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