B.C. farmers’ markets will gather in Kelowna for the annual BC Association of Farmers’ Markets conference, Nourish + Flourish.
The organizers, farmers, and food producers will gather from March 4th to 6th at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre. More than 100 organizations will explore how healthy farmers’ markets can help support communities in the coming season.
“Many of our 125 member farmers’ markets are extending their reach beyond the market, to serve as community hubs where issues of healthy eating, food supply security and sustainability can be tackled,” said BCAFM Executive Director, Elizabeth Quinn. “Farmers’ markets, big and small, support healthy local economies, by bolstering small business development and keeping dollars within the community. In the past year, farmers’ markets sales have increased by 11 per cent in B.C.”
B.C. farmers’ markets contribute significantly to the local economy, injecting nearly $170 million annually, according to a 2012 Social and Economic Benefits study by the BCAFM and Dr. David Connell of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).
Over 15 events and workshops will be led by B.C.’s health and local food experts on hot topic issues including, food waste reduction, farmland protection, and food safety. Speakers will include Shauna MacKinnon from the Canada Organic Trade Association, Dr. David Connell from UNBC, and representatives from Interior Health, Kamloops Food Policy Council, and the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council.
The event will also include the third annual Farmers’ Market Awards, which celebrate those who have made outstanding contributions to B.C.’s farmers’ market sector. The public and media are invited to attend. Tickets and more information are available on the BCAFM website.