Market to comply with Gov. Scott’s revised State response to COVID-19
The Capital City Farmers Market will not go forward tomorrow, Market Board member John Snell announced today.
As recently as yesterday, market manager Keri Ryan said the market planned to reopen on April 11 with new safety measures in place, including curbside pick up and six-foot social distancing rules. But following a telephonic board meeting this morning with Dept. of Agriculture legal counsel Steve Collier, the Dept. of Health, and Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets Secretary Anson Tebbetts, Snell said Board agreed to refrain from hosting the event.
“The [telephonic meeting] started out that we were ok to go ahead with our plans for a pickup location,” Ryan said. “I requested a list of approved items to sell, as we were unsure about things like soap, lotion, salves, starter plants and seeds, as well as a request for help getting access to a supply chain for sanitizer. Tebbetts agreed to help with both.”
But before the call was over, Collier told Ryan that based on “new information” from the Dept. of Health, the market was advised to cancel the April 11 event, including curbside pick up. The Board was not told what the new information was, Ryan said.
“For farmers who have taken pre-orders, we acknowledge customers may be expecting to pick up [orders] tomorrow,” Snell said. “We suggest farmers who cannot make other arrangements to deliver these orders should make arrangements to distribute orders safely tomorrow at the Heney Lot from 11 am to 1 pm by incorporating safe distancing, pre-packaging all goods, and offering sanitized payment options.”
Snell said the Board will continue to work with the Governor and the Dept. of Agriculture to demonstrate that farmers and customers can safely be allowed “more vital exchanges than this arrangement allows,” Snell said.
“While the Board does not agree with the governor’s decision, we are willing to step back from what we have been planning in order to comply with the guidelines,” he said.
“Vermont has been viewed as a State that thrives on local agriculture. The fact that we’re destroying this local food chain is devastating,” Ryan said. “If the community values the supply of locally-grown, organic food, I strongly encourage our neighbors to contact their legislators and Governor Scott and demand that this supply chain is deemed essential.”
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