In accordance with all local, state, and federal directives regarding COVID-19, the Cartersville Farmers Market will continue previously scheduled operations beginning May 2, unless otherwise mandated. The Georgia Department of Agriculture is emphasizing the need for businesses involved in the state’s food supply chain to continue production according to a press release on March 19th. It is critical that our food supply chain maintain—and even be prepared to expand—operations throughout this state of emergency. The farmers market will serve as an open-air grocery store to provide locally sourced food products to the community while supporting our local agriculture system.
Farmers Markets who operate during the COVID-19 outbreak are required to follow the same federal and state-mandated directives as other “essential” businesses. This necessitates a modified version of the current market, which includes eliminating its social gathering function. Offering access to locally sourced food and agricultural products to the community will be the sole purpose of the market. Non-food/agriculture based products such as arts or crafts will be excluded until further notice.
Of course, there will be many new safety precautions taken to ensure that any risks to consumers and vendors are minimized. All vendors will be required to participate in a market food safety training course in April, which will include the most current recommendations and best practices. We will also follow the safety guidelines included in the Farmers Market Coalition and UGA Farmers Market Food Safety links below.