We welcome you to review our COVID-19 and CoronaVirus Safety practices in this visual PDF. Created 4/13/20
COVID-19 and CoronaVirus Market Updates
This information is updated regularly. Last updated 4/27/2020
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have published guidelines for the operation of Certified Farmers' Markets during the COVID-19 outbreak, naming farmers’ markets as essential food service businesses during this time of need. NCGA will continue operations of our farmers’ markets following the strict guidelines established by CDFA and CDPH. As the community responds to the current health crisis, maintaining a locally sourced supply of healthy food is of critical importance.
Across the state farmers’ markets are remaining open. Farmers’ markets are a critical access point for local food and will eliminate any non-essential services and activities. NCGA encourages the community to use the farmers’ market as a resource by continuing to access local, nutritious food at the market.
We require that vendors who attend the market commit to the following:
- Wear a mask while at the market.
- Suspend all food sampling
- Practice good hand hygiene and wear gloves when handling food/money. Change gloves/sanitize/wash hands before touching food, and after touching money, phone or any non-food surface.
- Consider adding a hand-washing station to your booth (required for prepared food vendors).
- Have a designated money handler separate from the person handling produce if possible.
- Remind staff about best hygiene practices including washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Do not allow customers to handle or touch any items at your booth. Please select and bag items for them. Add signage like, “Please don’t touch the produce, we will assist.” or “Please touch with your eyes.”
- Practice social distancing and communicate social distancing protocols with customers at the market. Maintain 6 feet between customers (except those who are family members/share a household). This may mean only 1 household may shop at your booth at a time. No one other than you (the vendor), your employees, or market staff may enter your booth during market.
- Arrange your booth to encourage distance and direct the flow of customers. Add rope/ribbon or an empty table at the front of your booth to create a boundary and enforce spacing between customers and products to ensure items are out of reach. Consider spreading out tables in a single line, rather than a U shape. Set tables back from the front edge of the booth to prevent contamination. Add signage as needed.
- Consider having “Display Only” items for customers to view (not touch), and have items for sale further back in the booth to prevent contamination. Pre-bag/pre-package produce/food as much as possible.
- Create a boundary at the back of booths. Do not allow customers to cross or go between booths.
- Consider displaying a sign at the beginning of your line across the sidewalk in the grass that lists everything you have available so shoppers are prepared when they enter your booth.
- Encourage customers to pre-order/pre-pay as much as possible and only pick-up at market.
- Ask for exact change when possible. We recommend that you add payment options like credit cards, or hands-free payment options like Venmo or Paypal.
- Wipe down payment cards and point-of-sale devices between each transaction.
- Minimize conversations with customers to focus on the transaction.
- Frequently clean tables and other high-contact surfaces.
- Prepared food vendors must eliminate the use of shared condiment containers and instead provide single use packets or individual condiment cups for customers.
- Prepared food vendors must use a protective screen between customers and the food service/prep area.
- Prepared food vendors must only offer food to-go, not for on-site consumption. Food must be covered and no utensils may be offered.
- Inform the Market Manager/Assistant Manager of unsafe situations requiring immediate attention.
NCGA is taking the following public safety measures:
- Spreading out the spacing of market vendor booths to increase social distancing among patrons standing in line and walking about the market.
- Increasing signage and other market infrastructure to assist with social distancing, line management and customer communication.
- Adding rope at the front and back of vendor booths to create a space boundary between vendor tables and customers, and to prevent customers from entering the market between vendor booths.
- Clearly marking where lines begin and enforcing 6 foot distance between customers.
- Monitoring the number of customers at the market and working to reduce the total number of people on the Plaza by limiting access at the corners.
- Inviting the Arcata Police Department to have a presence on the Plaza as ambassadors of education and to share awareness about the importance of social distancing and not congregating in the open spaces.
- Continuing to provide additional hand washing stations at the market.
- Continuing to provide hand sanitizer and gloves at the info booth as well as signage around the market encouraging safe prevention methods.
- Continuing to remind staff and vendors about best hygiene practices including washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Continuing to wipe down payment cards and point-of-sale devices regularly.
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning tables and other high-contact surfaces.
- Requiring sanitary gloves be used by market staff, especially when handling money.
- Requiring staff change gloves and sanitize/wash hands before handling produce.
- Eliminating non-essential services such as craft or non-food booths, bands, or other entertainment.
- Communicating with the public. Information for the public is now available on our website and social media pages. We encourage you to share those documents and use the same language with customers and the media as questions arise.
Supporting local farmers’ market vendors during this time of uncertainty also contributes a positive boost to the local economy. CalFresh/EBT will continue to be accepted and Market Match is available.
For the full set of guidelines for “Retail, Food Beverage and Related Services” from CDPH click HERE
For more information please contact North Coast Growers’ Association: firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 441-9999