VFM: Essential to Local Farms

In March 2020, the Province of BC designated farmers markets an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, Vancouver Farmers Markets (VFM) has been operating multiple weekly farmers markets under strict COVID-19 protocols in order to serve the community’s need for fresh, healthy food.

Our markets also play an vital role in the livelihoods of local producers. In our new digital series, Vancouver Farmers Markets Are Essential, we’re sharing stories from our community that highlight how important markets are to people’s lives and livelihoods. This week, we’re showcasing some of our farms, including River & Sea Flowers, BC Garlic, Empire Valley Beef, and Organic Farm Connection. Stay tuned for more stories in the coming weeks!

Photo: Kaishin Chu/onelushlife.com

River & Sea Flowers


“Attending Vancouver Farmers Markets has allowed me to grow our cut flower farm business slowly from the ground up by selling our organic flowers directly to our wonderful customers every week. Our family has attended Vancouver Farmers Markets for two generations as three distinct businesses selling produce, eggs and flowers. Markets have been an essential part of our family’s livelihood over the years. Selling our farm’s products locally is important to us!”

– Rachel Ryall, River & Sea Flowers. Learn more about the flower farm here.

Photo: Mansa Photography

BC Garlic


Farmers markets have enabled us to bring the 50 garlic varietals that we grow directly to customers, ensuring that they get a year-round supply of fantastic local flavour. Markets are where we educate city folks to ‘savour the flavour’ of organic garlic while showing off produce cultivated right here. Because for us it is essential to connect about food security both now and in the future. We can honestly say that VFM has helped us to build trust in local garlic production more than any big box grocery store could have.”

– Sabita & Abdul Majid, BC Garlic. Learn more about their farm here.

Photo: Empire Valley Beef

Empire Valley Beef

“Empire Valley Premium Beef has been part of the Vancouver Farmers Markets since May 2008. We chose these markets because we wanted to connect with consumers that care about where their food comes from and to eat healthy! Over the years, we have built a large client base through the VFM that keeps growing even in difficult times like COVID. It proves that more consumers are choosing to support local, healthy and sustainable businesses and there isn’t a better place to do that than the Vancouver Farmers Markets.”

– Joyce Holmes, Empire Valley Beef. Learn more about the Empire family here.

Photo: Kaishin Chu/onelushlife.com

Organic Farm Connection


VFM and the Organic Farm Connection Collective have grown together since the Croatian Centre’s parking lot venue in 1996. Cultivating long term relationships through constructive co-operation is the keystone of our mutual success. Friesen Farm and Glorious Organics grow certified organic food for folks and VFM links us to the folks we feed.” 

– Mark Cormier, Glorious Organics. Read more about Glorious Organics farm here.

Vancouver Farmers Markets remains committed to providing safe and thriving farmers markets for the City of Vancouver, now and in the future. To find out how to support us in the work we do, visit eatlocal.org/support-us

Banner photo: Kaishin Chu/onelushlife.com