SC Commissioner Hugh Weathers: Farmer’s Markets

Seasonal farmers markets are starting to open for the year, and Certified South Carolina produce is popping up at markets around the state. Commissioner Weathers is here to talk about farmers markets during the pandemic.

  • Early in the pandemic response, there was some pressure on farmers market to close, because many people considered them events or large gatherings.
  • SCDA and other groups have pushed for markets to remain open if they can do so safely.
  • Farmers markets are no different from grocery stores: They’re a place to buy food.
  • SC farmers need venues to sell their products, especially with restaurants and schools closed.
  • Our own State Farmers Markets have remained open, with new practices and signage to enforce social distancing.
  • We designed a tip sheet with some best practices for all farmers markets, including:
    • Increasing handwashing and sanitizing of surfaces
    • Segregating duties behind the market table – so, one person handles money, one person handles food
    • Suspending non-essential activities
  • Several farmers markets are opening in limited format. Examples:
    • Summerville Farmers Market opened what’s it’s calling the Essential Farm Goods Market
    • Uptown Market in Greenwood is running a drive-thru market. Customers can either order online or using the drive-thru style menu.
  • SCDA also runs the Certified Roadside Market program and helps market the state’s many Community-Based Farmers Markets. You can find market listings on our website.