COVID-19 Guidance for Farmers' Markets

Recognizing that Farmers’ Markets are not only an important source of food, but also beneficial to the local economy, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) supports the operation of local markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in order to ensure the health and safety of both vendors and the public, markets will have to operate differently this year.

The EOHU is therefore allowing Farmers’ Markets to operate as long as they follow the guidelines developed by Farmers’ Markets Ontario (FMO) and respect Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

Please consult the resources above as they provide detailed information regarding COVID-19 and food safety measures to help vendors at Farmers’ Markets operate safely.

Applicable Guidelines

  • The majority of vendors (at least 50% +1) must be farmers selling their farms’ produce and products.
  • The use of masks or face coverings is acceptable when physical barriers and social distancing are not feasible.
  • High-risk processed food such as low-acid preserves and canned meats are not permitted.
  • If any vendors have questions about processed products, ask them to contact the EOHU.
  • Refrigerated and frozen products must be maintained at proper temperatures.
  • Record the names of all vendors for each market day; maintain these records and produce them upon request.
  • The EOHU may conduct surprise spot checks to ensure compliance.

Option 1: Multi-Vendor, Multi-Stand Market

  • Approvals must be obtained from the municipality and the landlord of the market site.
  • Submit a detailed plan to the EOHU for approval and ensure that you are claiming a Farmers’ Market status since all other types of events are not permitted at this time. Follow the instructions when filling out the forms as incomplete applications may cause a delay in the approval process. Consult the EOHU’s website for more information and a copy of the Special Events Organizer’s Notification Form.

Option 2: E-Commerce/E-Market

  • Approvals must be obtained from the municipality and the landlord of the pickup sites.
  • Submit a detailed plan to the EOHU for approval and ensure that you are claiming a Farmers’ Market status. Follow the instructions when filling out the forms as incomplete applications may cause a delay in the approval process. Consult the EOHU’s website for more information and a copy of the Special Events Organizer’s Notification Form.
Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario