Your PCFMA Farmers’ Market and Coronavirus

Posted April 03, 2020

Certified farmers’ markets, like those operated by the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), have been designated by Governor Newsom as essential businesses as part of the Shelter in Place order issued in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. At PCFMA, we are committed to operating our farmers’ markets safely, to provide the Bay Area with fresh produce during this challenging time. Because of the current COVID-19 crisis, we have been required to close some of our markets. We will continue to update which of our markets are open here on our website. To help keep everyone safe at our markets and support social distancing, we have enacted the following changes:

  • Eliminated all sampling
  • Halted entertainment, promotions, seating areas, or anything that encourages customers to linger
  • Farmers/Producers may not touch reusable bags belonging to customers
  • Farmers/Producers will bag all food items, customers may not touch products for sale
  • Customer access to stalls will be restricted
  • Limited the number of stalls that a producer can set-up adjacent to each other (no 2×2 or 2×3 arrangements)
  • Created additional space between vendor booths, 10 feet wherever possible, and reconfigured markets for easier access and departure
  • Designated areas 6 feet away from vendor booths where customers can safely wait to shop
  • Posted signs with farmers’ market safety guidelines
  • Provided handwashing stations or hand sanitizer stands for customers where possible
  • Required producers/farmers to bring handwashing stations or hand sanitizer and gloves for their staff
  • Ensured the tables in vendors’ stalls are set up to prevent customers from crowding in vendor booths
  • Unpackaged food and cash/scrip may not be handled by the same person, pre-packed handling is OK
  • Producers/Farmers handling cash or scrip must wear gloves
  • Vendors are required to wear face coverings and will not be allowed to sell without any face covering
  • Vendors will refuse service to customers that do not observe the farmers’ market safety guidelines
  • PCFMA staff are required to wear masks at farmers’ markets
  • PCFMA staff are actively emphasizing social distancing and compliance with the farmers’ market safety guidelines
    • Customers will be asked to leave if met with refusal

Practicing social distancing requires everyone’s participation to be effective. We need your help to create a social distancing friendly environment and are asking you to follow these guidelines when you visit our markets:

  • If you are sick, stay home and ask a friend or family member to pick things up for you instead
  • Maintain 6 feet of space from other shoppers and allow others their space when shopping
  • Shop quickly to limit crowding
  • Buy pre-bagged items whenever you can – farmers are preparing them ahead for you
  • Minimize the size of your group when shopping and keep your group together – this is especially important when shopping with young children
  • Wait outside the booth until it is free of other shoppers, then take your turn
  • Don’t spend time socializing or linger at the farmers’ market
  • Customers may only touch items for sale if the farmer/producer provides a disposable glove, tissue paper, or other single-use items. Alternatively, the farmer/producer may  provide a hand washing station or hand sanitizer before handling items. The farmer/producer will need to pick out what you want and bag it for you if either option is not provided.
  • Bring small bills and pay with exact change or tell your farmer to keep the change to minimize exposure and speed up your transaction
  • Wear face coverings. You will be refused service if you are not wearing one.
  • Thank your farmer

Remember to:

  • Wash all produce thoroughly before using it
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds
  • If you need to sneeze or cough, sneeze or cough into a tissue or into the crease of your elbow
  • Wash your reusable produce bags between visits