Starting at 8am on Saturday, May 8​ and effective until further notice, ​Nova Scotia​’s circuit breaker restrictions for the province-wide lockdown will be intensified. Changes to health and safety restrictions are highlighted on pages 2-5 of ​our updated COVID-19 prevention plan, which you can view by clicking here.​

Please note that farmers’ markets are still allowed to operate in all regions throughout Nova Scotia. Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) continues to hold that public markets are essential food infrastructure providing essential economic services. The Province of Nova Scotia recognizes most farmers’ market vendors as essential service workers. ​

Key ​updates for all of Nova Scotia include:

  • ​​F​​armers’ markets should consider adopting a pre-purchasing and pick-up system, which may include operating an online marketplace. Should you require support to do so, contact FMNS immediately. Stay tuned as FMNS works to secure funding from the NS Department of Agriculture to assist our members with these costs.
  • Farmers’ markets should only allow vendors who sell essential products at their public markets. Essential products includ​e:
    • Food and food products
    • Personal hygiene products and cleaning products
    • Baby and child products
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Pet and animal supplies
    • Nursery items and gardening supplies​
  • Rules for travel:
    • Farmers’ market vendors who sell essential products (see above) are considered essential workers and are permitted to travel throughout Nova Scotia so long as that travel is solely to sell at a farmers’ market.
    • Only one member per household should shop at a farmers’ market.
    • Customers should only shop at the farmers’ market in their own communities.

Note: If you are a vendor who doesn’t sell a product on the abovementioned list, please take advantage of FMNS’ partnership with Square Online Store to create a free online marketplace. You can set up a store for free and begin selling online immediately by clicking here.

Further information:

​All of Nova Scotia remains under a Provincial State of Emergency, and farmers’ markets must continue to adhere to restrictions contained in the most current Nova Scotia Health Protection Act order. Please note that the situation can change at any time. Go to to stay updated on the situation.

All farmers’ markets should observe the measures outlined in the directives on pages 2-5 of this document and adopt a regionally appropriate COVID-19 prevention plan for their farmers’ market’s operations. Additional resources are available at the end of this document (page 6).

FMNS is Nova Scotia’s farmers’ market sector association. FMNS regularly provides updates and directives to farmers’ markets so that they may continue to safely operate. We continue to work with various Government of Nova Scotia departments to stay updated on efforts to contain the spread COVID-19.

FMNS continues to hold that farmers’ markets may be able to serve more customers and generate more sales for vendors through adopting a pre-ordering and/or pick-up model, which may include operating an online marketplace. A hybrid approach may offer your farmers’ market more opportunities for vendors and patrons while helping your market adapt to any future restrictions.

FMNS encourages those farmers’ markets that run public markets to ensure that the primary focus of the market is on promoting commercial activity for their vendors, with an emphasis on creating safe, population-controlled spaces with social distancing measures and/or physical barriers.

Farmers’ markets should consider adopting a pre-purchasing and pick-up system, which may include operating an online marketplace. Should you require support to do so, contact FMNS immediately.

FMNS continues to hold that farmers’ markets are the social, cultural, and economic backbone of communities across Nova Scotia. They’re small-business incubators, job creators, and hubs for community building. By adapting and observing restrictions we’ll keep ensuring that our farmers’ markets continue to safely operate and support our communities.

Please note that all farmers’ markets—even if not presently operating—are urged to contact FMNS immediately for sector-specific support and guidance.