Buying a locally produced alcoholic beverage to accompany this summer’s abundance of fresh produce is now just a booth or two away at many B.C. farmers’ markets.
More than 100 B.C. liquor manufacturers have now set up at farmers’ markets in over 40 different communities around B.C. - from Creston Valley to the Cowichan Valley, from Maple Ridge to Gibsons - taking advantage of the opportunity to build face-to-face relationships with their customers, provide tasting notes and offer samples and first-hand product knowledge.
- Based on a community-centred approach, liquor manufacturers apply directly to the farmers’ markets where they wish to sell their products and it is up to the market association to determine which are accepted, subject to municipal bylaws.
- To help ensure responsible service and prevent sales to minors, liquor vendors must have Serving it Right certification.
- The Liquor Policy Review recommendation to allow licensed manufacturers of beer, wine, cider and spirits to sell their products at B.C. farmers’ markets was implemented on June 21.
John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform -
“With more than 100 liquor manufacturers who have already set up shop at farmers’ markets throughout the province, British Columbians are already seeing the benefits of these changes. In 40 different communities, shoppers are shaking hands with the producer of their bottle of B.C. wine, beer, cider or spirits and helping to support their local economy.”
Jon Bell, president, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets -
“Linking consumers and farmers with knowledge and understanding of food production is at the heart of all farmers’ markets. The addition of liquor sales at B.C. farmers’ markets is a great extension of the Buy Local and Make it, Bake it, Grow it, philosophies. These recent changes have been seen as positive by vendors and customers.”
- B.C. currently has 275 wineries, 89 breweries and 37 distilleries.
- More than 100 of a total 403 manufacturers that are licensed have applied to sell their product at a farmer’s market - that is approximately 25% of all B.C. manufacturers already taking advantage of this opportunity.
- According to the BC Association of Farmers' Markets, the number of farmers' markets in B.C. has more than doubled in the last 10 years.
Details about eligibility, policies and how manufacturers can receive authorization to sell at farmers' market are available at: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/docs-forms/policy-directive-2014-11.pdf
For information about the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, visit: http://markets.bcfarmersmarket.org/
Learn about the B.C. Liquor Policy Review: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/liquorpolicyreview
Read the B.C. Liquor Policy Review final report: http://bit.ly/1beqi8i
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice