Agriculture Co-op will run outdoor markets - and new online option

Gabriola Agricultural Co-op

Press Release

Wednesday, April 8 2020

There’s been a lot of hard-to-digest news about the COVID-19 pandemic in recent weeks - and it’s time for some good news. The Gabriola Agricultural Co-operative is launching an online farmers’ market this spring to complement its outdoor markets.

“The Co-op’s outdoor farmers’ market at the agricultural hall will start as usual on May 16” said Lisa Butler, co-op director and co-owner of Watercliff farms. “Just over a week ago farmers’ markets were declared an essential service. We’re glad we can offer our outdoor markets - and concerned that they are limited to fresh, frozen and packaged food this year. Our wonderful artisan vendors can’t participate.”

The Co-op will be diligent in implementing the many new regulations for outdoor markets that are designed to keep us all safe.” said Butler, “And we’re glad to be able to include local artisans and crafters with our new online market”

“We are working hard to help our market vendors get their products to market in this difficult time.” said Laura-Jean Kelly, co-op director and owner of Topographics Landscape Architecture.  

The markets will take a great deal of extra effort to plan and run this year due to the many restrictions and requirements needed to ensure we’re all safe.”

“Creating this new, online option for our vendors is uncharted territory for us - and we’re up to it.”said Kelly. We may be asking our members and the community for help before May 16, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we get it all going.”

The online market option is funded by the Buy B.C. program of the provincial ministry of agriculture and delivered through the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM). 

The program currently offers fee-free participation for up to 70 markets in a Canadian e-commerce program designed and operated exclusively for farmers and farmers’ markets.