Florida has declared farmers’ markets an essential service during COVID-19. In light of all of the health concerns around gathering, many markets across the state have decided to temporarily close their locations or make changes to their operations. Below the FFMA has put together a list of guidelines and precautions for farmers markets that are able to continue to operate during the pandemic. Thank you to all who are working hard to keep our communities safe and fed.
- Before opening or re-opening, talk with your vendors, market board, and local officials about how to do so safely
- Limit vendors to essential services (such as food and personal care items)
- Rethink and re-organize the market layout to encourage social distancing
- Limit exits and entrances to help re-organize layout and manage/limit number of shoppers allowed into market at one time
- Communicate clearly and on a regular basis with your vendors to ensure an understanding of your market’s new policies and procedures
- Ensure that vendors and customers understand that they are not allowed to attend markets if they are sick or are showing any symptoms of COVID-19: fever, dry cough, shortness of breath. Managers should monitor vendors and customers and feel comfortable asking those showing any symptoms to leave immediately
- Ensure that vendor stalls are spaced 6 ft apart
- Waive any cancellation fees for vendors
- Consider communicating new policies to customers through signage and handouts
- Suspend tastings, demos, entertainment or anything else that gives the impression that markets are operating as business as usual.
- Remove or block off any seating areas to encourage get-in-get-out shopping
- Make hand washing and hand sanitizer stations available and encourage vendors to make sanitizer available at their stands
- Consider helping vendors set up new ways to sell products including pre-orders, drive thru options, etc.
- Vendors in high-risk categories, showing symptoms, or anyone knowingly in contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home
- Create clearly marked lines with 6ft spacing for shoppers and ensure a safe distance between yourself and customers during transactions
- Minimize or eliminate the ability for shoppers to touch produce they are not purchasing
- For vendor table set up, avoid materials that are not easily sanitized (i.e.: tablecloths)
- Wear gloves and masks (and change gloves often!)
- Dissenfect all market equipment thoroughly before and after market including tabletops, POS, cash boxes, etc.
- Consider creating new ways for shoppers to purchase products including pre-orders, drive thru options, etc. and let your customers know how they can access your products
- If you are showing any symptoms, are in a high-risk category, or are in contact with anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 do not attend markets
- Plan your shopping ahead of time to minimize time spent in the market. Get in and get out.
- Practice social distancing. Stand 6 feet from everyone, use hand sanitizers, wash hands often and wash produce when you get home
- Consider purchasing products from farmers and vendors through alternative avenues such as pre-orders, drive-thru options, etc. Ask vendors about these options
10% bleach mixture (bleach & water) is a good way to sanitize surfaces (https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214356/&sa=D&source=hangouts&ust=1587141028443000&usg=AFQjCNFVe-J7OksBhYirroOTq3CocNyJtA)
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