The B.C. farmers’ market community will descend upon Kelowna this weekend, March 4 to 6, to attend the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets’ (BCAFM) annual conference, Nourish + Flourish.
Co-hosted by the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market, the conference will bring over 140 delegates from across the province, including Northern BC and Vancouver Island, to the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort & Conference Centre for three days of learning.
“We are so pleased to co-host the 2016 BCAFM Nourish + Flourish conference in our beautiful city with its award winning local wineries, incredible art community, bustling businesses and wonderful atmosphere where healthy living is promoted every day. We extend a very warm welcome to all the participants,” said Bev Wiens, President of the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market.
With the conference theme being, “Healthy Markets Make Healthy Communities,” farmers’ market organizers, farmers, artisans, and community leaders will attend workshops such as Striving for a Healthy Sustainable Food System: Connecting Farmers to Community Food Action and Food Policyand “20 Things You Need to Know About B.C.’s 2018 Organic Regulation Commitment. Presenters include representatives from Interior Health, the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council, and the Investment Agriculture Foundation.
In the past year, BC farmers’ market sales have increased by 11 per cent, and their popularity continues to grow. Since 1995, the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market has grown from six vendors to over 200 regular season vendors and day vendors.
“Our ‘make it, bake it, grow it’ policy assures our customers that they are purchasing fresh food from local, sustainable farms and crafts from artisans who in turn support the community,” said Wiens about the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market.
The conference will include the third annual Farmers’ Market Awards, an event that celebrates those who have made outstanding contributions to B.C.’s farmers’ market sector. The top farmers’ markets, market manager, and vendor of 2015 will be honoured at a banquet dinner, featuring locally sourced food and drink, Saturday, March 5 at the Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel and Villas.
The public and media are invited to attend. Tickets and more information are available on the BCAFM website.
The BCAFM is a registered B.C. society that represents over 125 farmers’ markets across the province. Its mission is to develop, promote and strengthen the capacity of farmers’ markets. The BCAFM was founded in 2000 and operates out of Vancouver. Visit www.bcfarmersmarket.org.