November 26, 2020 | FMNS statement regarding new regional restrictions

Nova Scotia’s farmers’ markets are essential infrastructure providing essential services to Nova Scotians in communities across the province. Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) wishes to stress that farmers’ markets can continue to safely operate public markets in Nova Scotia, including those that operate in the specific regions of Halifax and Hants in which new restrictions came into effect this morning.

FMNS wishes to reaffirm that as of today, all farmers’ markets in Nova Scotia are still allowed and are very much encouraged to operate public markets, retail stores, and online marketplaces. FMNS is Nova Scotia’s farmers’ market sector association and we meet regularly with government officials to ensure our sector meets or exceeds all provincial health and safety protocols. We’ve been constantly updating our sector-specific COVID-19 prevention plan. You can view the most recent version by clicking here.

Farmers’ markets that are found in the specific regions of Halifax and Hants in which new restrictions just came into effect have two important new rules to follow, until at least Wednesday, December 9:

  • Farmers’ markets must restrict the population limit of people in their building to 25% of the total building capacity (also known as occupant load).
    • This population restriction applies to public markets, retail stores, and any other space where customers are entering a farmers’ market building to purchase a product.
    • The 25% number includes shoppers, vendors, and staff.
  • Sit-down dining is not allowed anywhere on a farmers’ market’s premises.
    • Food and drink may still be sold so long as it is on a “to-go” basis only.

Farmers’ markets that aren’t located in these specific regions can continue to operate by following FMNS’ most recent sector-specific COVID-19 prevention plan. Farmers’ markets that do fall into these regions should follow the plan but must additionally adhere to the two points above until at least December 9, 2020.

During these difficult times, our farmers’ markets and their vendors have always risen to the occasion, constantly adapting their business models to continue safely serving Nova Scotians, ensuring vendors can continue selling their products and supporting their community. Our farmers’ markets are not only supporting local businesses; they are safely addressing the current fragility of Nova Scotia’s food system, keeping jobs alive, and providing food and necessities to Nova Scotians. They will continue to do so as essential infrastructure in this province.

To find out which farmers’ markets are operating in your region, please view our interactive farmers’ market map by clicking here.