BC Association of Farmers' markets
Supporting BC farmers and sustaining our local food supply means ensuring we have land to farm and fresh food to eat. It's a way to nurture the places we live and visit.

2016 Conference Workshop Descriptions

2016 Conference Workshop Descriptions

Below are the workshops being held at Nourish + Flourish. Workshops are subject to change, so check back later for any updates!

Workshop and Session List

Social Events

Workshop Descriptions

20 Things You Need to Know About BC's 2018 Organic Regulation Commitment

Shauna MacKinnon, Canada Organic Trade Association

In 2018, the BC government will be enacting regulation that limits the use of the word “organic” to certified organic producers and processors. In the lead up to 2018, the province is working to increase awareness about what organic certification means among consumers, retailers, farmers' market managers, and producers, and is providing extra resources to assist producers with the transition to organic certification.

This session is your opportunity to test your own knowledge about organic certification and get answers to the most common consumer questions with an interactive quiz and take away FAQs.

Participants will also find out about the transition support programs being implemented, and the social media and marketing promotions taking place in 2016 to promote BC organic products. Print and online marketing materials will be available at the session for markets and organic vendors, and participants will have a chance to give input into the types of education resources that will be developed in the coming years.

Blow Your Own Horn

Cat Majors, Armstrong Farmers' Market and Michelle Wolf, Whole Green Heart. Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia

Many opportunities abound to advertise and promote your farmers' market and vendors as a non-profit community group. Knowing how to access the valuable information necessary to catapult your organization into the public eye will take a little savvy detective work and research time. The volunteer investment can be FUN and well worth it. Think of involving all manner of community media including radio, TV, videos, newspapers, magazines, and social media. Learn how to put together a simple press release and conduct interviews to make your market the "talk of the town!" You are doing something important, so don't be afraid to raise your profile.

Buy Local Funding and Farmers' Markets

Ingrid Baron, Vernon Farmers' Market; Vickey Brown, Comox Valley Farmers' Market; Helen Fathers, White Rock Farmers' Market; and Peter Donkers, Investment Agriulture Foundation

Buy Local Funding is back! Are you interested in learning more about this funding that is available to farmers' markets? According to the provincial government, they will be funding a Buy Local program in 2016. While we don't have the details of changes for this year, Buy Local funding has been available for a couple of years now. We have assembled a panel of farmers' markets who have previously received Buy Local funding, and they will share their insights to the application process, what initiatives they carried out, and what the results were. We will also have a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture or the Investment Agriculture Foundation to talk about Buy Local funding. 

Connecting With Your Community to Turn Food Waste Into Food Security

Tara Immell, Recipient of a Vancouver Coastal Health Community Food Security Grant

This session’s focus will be on making the most socially and environmentally responsible choice when deciding what to do when the harvest is too bountiful. Opportunities for profit, albeit smaller, will be highlighted. Charitable donation receipts for non-refundable tax credits and Ontario’s food donation tax credit for farmers will be described. Community groups in Greater Vancouver who purchase food at below-market cost and accept donations in return for a non-charitable donation tax receipt will be identified, as will groups in Greater Vancouver preserving excess for donation and profit.

The overlapping objectives of producers, processors, and community non-profits will be emphasized to prevent food waste. An example would be food security funding from Vancouver Coastal Health in 2015 that offered preservation classes to Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program recipients using “food waste.”

An interactive round-table discussion will be encouraged around each alternative to food waste to illustrate which fruits and vegetables are still good to preserve.

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be:
  • able to reflect upon their own food waste from a triple-bottom line approach (people, planet, profit) in order to identify potential revenue-generating ideas
  • introduced to social and environmental strategies for waste reduction from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including: Source Reduction; Feed Hungry People; Feed Animals; Provide for Fuel Conversion/Digestion; and Compost
  • introduced to a specific community program supporting food literacy that turns summertime food waste into wintertime food security for Farmers’ Market Nutritional Coupon Program recipients

Cosmetic, Soap and Body Product Regulations

Jan MacDonald, Bodylove Bathworks

In order to legally sell soap, cosmetics, or body products in Canada, there are regulations that must be followed. These include Cosmetic Notification Forms, labeling requirements, and some licensing requirements. As more vendors are seeking to sell their products, it is imperative that both vendors and markets are aware of their responsibilities and liabilities in order to protect consumers from products that may be harmful if manufactured incorrectly. The Creston Valley Farmers' Market has made adherence to the above regulations a condition of participation in the market. The requirements for health supplements may also be presented in this workshop.

Creating a Wellness Plan for Market Managers

Melissa Maltais, Royal City Farmers' Market

Through this session, participants will identify and work to resolve wellness issues that are occurring for market managers across the province. The workshop's focus will be on:
  • identifying risks in the work place
  • creating a work/life balance
Participants will also look at materials that are available to managers to create their own personal Wellness Plan, and a Health and Safety binder for their farmers' market.

Crisis Communications Training and Simulation

Trevor Hargreaves, BC Diary; Sion Shyng, BC Centre for Disease Control; and Keir Cordner, First Nations Health Authority

Following last year's plenary session on Crisis Communications, the BCAFM is ready to debut a toolkit for markets and the association. In this session we will introduce the toolkit and have opportunities for you to try it out with a few simulations. Included in the session will be representatives from the BC Centre for Disease Control and First Nations Health Authority who will talk about what role they play in foodborne outbreaks, including what steps they take to investigate and mitigate the situation, as well as how we can communicate and collaborate with them during an outbreak that may have a connection to a farmers' market.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Food Safety at Farmers' Markets

Keir Cordner, First Nations Health Authority and Sion Shyng, BC Centre for Disease Control

This session will provide an understanding of the different standards and approval requirements as they apply to the various types of food services operating at temporary food markets.  Standards for lower risk food vendors, higher risk food vendors, vendors providing food samples, and vendors serving food for immediate consumption will be covered.  The roles of Environmental Health Officers, BC Centre for Disease Control – Environmental Health Services,  Temporary Market Managers, and Market Vendors will be explored while examining the various categories of food service.  The requirements for FoodSafe and MarketSafe training will also be reviewed.

Guerrilla Innovation - Bootstrap Methods to Grow Your Business

James Street, Stellar Food Group and Red Seal Chef and Angeline Street, Stellar Food Group

This will be an interactive discussion and informative lecture showcasing numerous ways to innovate your farm market business. Focusing on three main categories: marketing, product lines, and booth display, the workshop will begin with a quick introduction and then dive right into why innovation is so important. This workshop is designed to give vendors both a roadmap and a list of free resources to help them create action.

Innovation, like marketing, is applied more often as a buzzword than in action itself. The workshop
will address how innovation aids in staying competitive, increases market share and brand loyalty, and increases overall satisfaction. Participants will learn about successful methods used by Stellar Food Group and their colleagues. Workshop participants will also interact with each other and brainstorm ideas on a case study.

Healthy Markets Make Healthy Communities - Innovations and Initiatives at Markets

Vade Donaldson, Washington State Farmers Market Association; Chris Hergesheimer, Author and Farmers' Market Specialist; and Michelle Wolf, Whole Green Heart, Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia

There are exciting innovations and initiatives happening at farmers markets' around the world. In this session we are going to take a tour with our three presenters and hear stories and ideas about farmers' markets from their neck of the woods. Vade Donaldson is an agricultural & food law attorney and Food Access Programs Manager at Washington State Farmers Market Association. Chris Hergesheimer is a former market vendor, a researcher, policy analyst, and author of The Flour Peddler, A Global Journey into Local Food. Michelle Wolf is the director of training for Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia, and founder of Whole Green Heart consulting.

How to Present as a Delegation to Your Local Government

Helen Fathers, White Rock Farmers' Market and Rebecca Lawrence, CGA, White Rock Farmers' Market

Participants in this workshop will learn about delegations and presentations to your local government, and how to make a business case for farmers' markets by highlighting their successes.

Merchandising Best Practises - 100 Booth and Display Photos to Inspire Your Best Booth Ever

Michelle Wolf, Whole Green Heart, Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia

Fantastic product and a great personality are two of the three ingredients in successful direct selling. The third is merchandising and how you set up your displays. Join us for this dynamic workshop featuring over 100 photograph slides from farmers' markets and farm stands around North America, to study the do's and don'ts of successful merchandising and setting up a winning display for your product.

Protecting BC’s Farmland: How to Understand and Assess Local Land Use Policies

David Connell; Lou-Anne Daoust-Filiatrault; and Katie Eistetter, University of Northern British Columbia

How strong is your local government’s legislative framework for protecting farmland? How would you measure its strength? This session provides you with insights and tools to help answer these questions. The Agricultural Land Commission Act is the foundation of a strong, centralized legislative framework for protecting the province’s farmland. Within this framework, beyond the minimum requirements, local governments can choose the extent to which it aligns its land use priorities with the provincial interest. However, the recent amendments to the ALC Act have changed the playing field for local governments by stressing the need for greater flexibility. First, relying on flexibility can undermine the strength of planning policies. Second, a higher level of flexibility within the provincial legislative framework means there is a greater need to consider local land use priorities. Thus, more than ever, it is important for farmers and members of the public who are interested in protecting BC’s farmland to help shape the new legislative environment for agricultural land use planning. In this session, we present a toolkit that helps participants to understand local legislative frameworks and how they can be strengthened to protect farmland. This toolkit is based on four guiding principles of land use planning: maximize stability; integrate public priorities across jurisdictions; minimize uncertainty; and accommodate flexibility. Examples will draw from current national and regional research projects.

Learning Outcomes:
  • improved knowledge to support stronger land use planning solutions that address pressures of non-farm developments and loss of agricultural land
  • improved ability to articulate the underlying rationale of land use policies
  • ability to use a toolkit for making and evaluating agricultural land use policies

Strategies for Market Diversification Through Institutional Selling: Experiences from the UBC Farm

Lisa J. Powell and Véronik Campbell, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm

In this session, representatives from the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm will discuss the farm’s three primary marketing avenues: direct sales (farm markets and CSA); wholesale to restaurants; and farm-to-institution. While direct sales have long been a core marketing strategy for farmers’ market vendors, farm-to-institution initiatives, which are designed to increase the amount of locally produced foods served by institutions (e.g. schools, universities, hospitals, correctional facilities, and senior care centres), also present an opportunity both to expand markets for farmers and increase the quality of food served at these institutions. We will discuss how the UBC Farm develops its marketing strategy, the relationship among the three marketing channels, as well as the synergies and tensions that have resulted from pursuing these channels simultaneously. We will also discuss steps to exploring and initiating sales to institutions, and the challenges the farm has faced in attempting to broaden farm-to-institution sales beyond the university’s campus dining outlets. The lessons learned from UBC Farm’s marketing strategy combining direct sales, wholesale, and farm-to-institution experiences, will be of interest to a range of farmers and farmers’ market stakeholders. We will also provide additional context and background on how farm-to-institution initiatives are faring across BC.

Following our initial presentation, participants will use a World Café format to consider such questions as:
  • how are farmers participating in varied marketing channels simultaneously? (participants are invited to bring information to share about their efforts and sales across different marketing channels)
  • what role can farmers’ market stakeholders (boards, managers, vendor networks) play in helping farmers to explore new marketing channels or better negotiate those they are currently involved in?
  • what role might farmers’ markets play in facilitating farm-to-institution initiatives, for example through a food hub model?
Participants can except to:
  • learn whether farmers and others involved in farmers’ markets are looking for new or diversified sales outlets, or are deciding how to balance competing demands for their products
  • acquire increased insights into the possibilities and challenges of farm-to-institution initiatives, and of combining direct sales with other marketing channels
  • network with others interested in exploring farm-to-institution initiatives

Striving for a Healthy Sustainable Food System: Connecting Farmers to Community Food Action and Food Policy

Laura Kalina, Interior Health & Kamloops Food Policy Council and Jill Worboys, Interior Health, Central Okanagan Food Policy Council

This workshop will focus on partnership and collaboration, and how those involved with farmers’ markets can take action to support food security outside of the market. We must take a collaborative approach to address food security and support a more sustainable food system. Participants will learn what communities are doing around BC, in partnership with the local farmers and farmers' markets to support a healthy sustainable food system. The workshop will describe the food security continuum and provide examples of how farmer’s markets are important players in emergency food provision, capacity building, and municipal policy development. Some examples include marketing of local food, gleaning, Farm to School, waste reduction, fundraising, and urban food policy development. The workshop will invite participants to share how they are involved in food action and what works well in their community. Participants will also have an opportunity to generate ideas for novel approaches to this work.

Objectives for each intended audience group include:
  • Market managers and staff will learn how they can tie their marketing and promotions to the provincial government’s goals of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. They will also learn about the benefits of collaborating with other community based groups and non-profits, and come away with ideas to create stronger partnerships.
  • Farmers’ market boards will learn about the benefits of partnering and working alongside local governments to support food policy development, and come away with ideas on how to strengthen relationship with local government.
  • Farmers will learn about the benefits of being involved in food action through partnerships with schools, community based food policies, and food action groups.
  • Government stakeholders will learn how they can collaborate with farmers’ market in the interest of food policy, economic development, and supporting a healthy community.
  • Community partners will learn about partnering with farmers and farmers’ market to support local community food action.

The Cost of a Dozen Eggs

Jillian Merrick, Jillenium Consulting

Join us as we crack open the true cost of our food and the hard-boiled truth of small scale egg production. Learn how to do your own cost of production analysis. With Jillian’s help, participants will find that complex number-crunching is really not so hard! Farmers, hobbyists, and consumers alike will enjoy this presentation and benefit from learning the cost of a dozen eggs.

Social Events

BCAFM Board of Directors Open House and Consultation

What’s on your mind? The new Society Act, SOCAN, membership, project ideas, EHO’s  –  these are topics that are on our mind and we would like to talk to you about them. We need your feedback. This is your opportunity to sit down and have some great conversation with the Directors. As we head into a new cycle of strategic planning we would love to hear what’s on your mind!

Welcome Reception

Come connect with other BCAFM members! The reception includes scrumptious appetizers, a voucher for a local beverage, and cash bar.

Date: Friday, March 4
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Where: BNA Brewery (1250 Ellis St. Kelowna)


Banquet & Farmers' Market Awards

Join us for a sumptuous feast of food and drink. This evening will feature our third annual Farmers' Market Awards

Date: Saturday, March 5
Time: 7pm - 10pm
Where: Manteo Resort, Waterfront Ballroom (3762 Lakeshore Rd. Kelowna)
Shuttle transportation provided from the Delta Grand
MC: Wesla Wong, Meteorologist for Global Okanagan
Musical Entertainment: Sonder