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The Alliance's Response to COVID19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that our state, cities, and communities operate, and farmers' markets play a key role in this dramatic shift. Governor Newsom's Stay At Home Order identifies farmers' markets as part of the State's critical infrastructure sectors, as an essential service. At the same time, other local municipalities have listed farmers' markets to be essential businesses. The essential role that farmers' markets play, in community access to healthy food and farmers' livelihood, is apparent in this crisis.

The California Alliance has been working hard on behalf of farmers' markets. In partnership with the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and others, we have been advocating for farmers' markets to remain open during the pandemic. We are also piloting and aggregating the State's best practices for a COVID-19 response in a farmers' market context.

Many of you have felt the pressure to "step up" and respond to new official state and local requirements and guidelines: increasing staffing, extending shifts, providing sanitization and other supplies, and modifying and creating new procedures to keep customers, vendors, and staff safe.  We must do this. The industry is on the line, and most importantly, so is the physical and economic health and safety of our key stakeholders.

We are here to support you. Please feel free to reach out to us.

In solidarity,
Carle Brinkman                                                Madaly Alcala 
Ecology Cen ter                                                   Ecology Center 
Food & Farming Director                                    Food & Farming Manager

In this Newsletter
Welcome the Alliance's New Program Manager:
  Madaly Alcala!WelcomeMA

Madaly joined the Ecology Center in 2020. As the Food and Farming Program Manager, she supports and promotes the work of the California Alliance of Farmers' Markets, as well as the Ecology Center's national work on SNAP/CalFresh nutrition incentive programs, through the National Nutrition Incentive Hub . Madaly comes to the Ecology Center from the Mindful Life Project where she focused her social justice passion to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline through Mindfulness Education to East Oakland and Richmond communities. Madaly has also worked on healthy food access and equity projects through the non-profit Fresh Approach, where she managed the operations and sales of a mobile farmers' market truck that served Richmond/Antioch/San Pablo/East Oakland. Learn more about Madaly here .

The Alliance's COVID19 Farmers' Market Response and Best Practices GuideAllianceBP

The Alliance, like so many across the
state, is concerned with ensuring the health and safety of everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic. We've been working diligently to keep farmers' markets open and a safe place for comm
unity members to access fresh, healthy, nutrient-dense foods, and to secure the livelihood of our small and mid-sized farmers.

We've developed a Best Practices Guide , so market managers can glean ideas and information about complying with necessary guidelines and requirements related to the C-19 containment. The content in this document has been collected from farmers' markets across the state and the country who are working quickly to comply with public health official's guidance and requirements.
Please contact us if you have something to add!

As always, we recommend that farmers' markets work closely with their local public health department, and other city staff, to ensure the health and safety of customers, farmers, and staff.

A Letter to Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross LetterKR

On March 16th, 2020, the Alliance sent a letter to Secretary Ross at the California Department of Food and Agriculture , and her colleagues at the California Department of Public Health and the Governor's office, urging her to declare Certified Farmers' Markets as essential services and equate them with grocery stores for the purposes of COVID19 containment policies. In just two days, we received over 1,400 sign-ons in support from farmers' market operators, farmers, vendors, allied organizations, businesses, and customers. Clearly farmers' markets matter to many of us. Three days later, the Governor's Stay Home Order was issued, listing farmers' markets as essential businesses.

See the sign-on letter here. We have also created a template letter that you can use to urge local decision makers to keep your market open during this time.

Resources for Farmers and Farmers' MarketsResourcesFarmersFM

  • American Farmland Trust: Farmer Relief Fund 
    • This awards any small and mid-size direct-market farmer with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. APPLY HERE .
  • USDA: Extension of Grant Application Deadlines for  FMLFPP and RFSPP Grants  now May 26, 2020. Read announcement.
  • Safe Handling Practices for Fresh Produce in a Time of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by Jennifer Sowerwine, Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC ANR/UC Berkeley March 17, 2020. Find Presentation here .
  • CAFF is compiling tips, resources, and guidelines to help keep farmers safe, informed, and in business during this crisis. See more here .
  • EcoFarm and CAFF are partnering to provide a webinar series in April for Farmers to discuss the challenges currently faced and the different strategies folks are implementing to navigate those challenges. Register here .
Upcoming Webinars Webinars

What: COVID19 Response Best Practices at Farmers' Markets
When: Monday, April 13:  9:30 - 11am PT
Host: CA Alliance of Farmers' Markets
Register Here (After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting)       
What: Farmers' Markets Physical Redesign for Covid-19 Mitigation 
When: Monday, April 6: 3pm ET / 2pm CT / 1pm MT / 12pm PT / 11am AT
Host: Farmers' Market Coalition 
Register Here (After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting)

The Big Picture of SNAP/EBT Processing and Technology
Wednesday, April 8: 1 - 2pm PT / 4 - 5pm ET
Presenter: Peter Relich
Register Here (After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting)

Facebook Group for Farmers' Market Managers  facebook

Join the Facebook Group for Certified Farmers' Market Managers. An easy way to connect with California farmers' market managers, operators, and staff.

This is a closed group. To participate, follow the link and "request to join", answer the basic questions and as long as you're a market manager, staff, or operator, we'll let you in!

As a member of this group, you have ability to ask questions, share events, seek resources and build community with farmers' market professionals from across the state.

In the News News
Market JobsMarketJobs

Have a job to promote? Send it to Madaly !

 California Alliance of Farmers' Markets

Contact Us

510.548.2220 Ext. 243 | madaly@ecologycenter.org   | farmersmarketalliance.org