MEDIA RELEASE: 26 March 2020
Farmers’ Markets are an Essential Service – Keep them open!
The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) is working to assert and secure everyone's right to access nutritious food grown and distributed in ethical and ecologically-sound ways.
Farmers' markets are excellent sources of this food grown by Australia's small-scale farmers, and play a critical role in ensuring food security for Australians, while also ensuring the ongoing viability of small-scale farmers and food producers.
AFSA has received information from farmers and eaters around the country of the threat of closures of their local markets during the COVID-19 pandemic, while supermarkets, butcher shops, and bakers have permission to trade with safety protocols in place – as they should.
We assert that all farmers' markets should be allowed to remain open as an essential service, just as other venues that sell food for household consumption, with all precautions taken for community safety. Farmers’ markets are, by virtue of being outdoors, inherently lower risk for disease transmission than their indoor retail food market counterparts.
Markets around the country are continuing to trade responsibly, by only allowing produce stalls to remain open (no non-essential consumer items), with strict rules around social distancing, including no more than one shopper at each stall, no handling of produce, and provision of hand sanitising facilities.
We are calling on all levels of government to protect our farmers, and the community's right to access safe, nutritious, ethical, and ecologically-sound produce through this unprecedented crisis.
If you are a farmer or eater in need of support to advocate your right to hold or attend a local farmers’ market, with strict safety guidelines in place, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Tammi Jonas, President
0422 429 362