Capital Region Farmers Market has taken numerous measures to stay on top of the changing and challenging Covid-19 environment. See our full list of implemented measures here.
Farmers Markets have been deemed an essential service, providing the ACT community the opportunity to purchase fresh regional food from known sources/ growers at a time when there is a need to maintain food supply and healthy diets.
With a strong volunteer base from the Rotary Clubs of Hall and Jerrabomberra, and the Rotoract Club of the University of Canberra to help at the market each weekend, with our farmers and producers, we have all worked together to ensure our Market has been able to remain open by keeping on top of health advice provided by the ACT Government.
There has never been a better time to buy your fresh and regional produce in a safe and enjoyable environment.
Our stallholders are prioritising the safety of themselves and their shoppers by each having a Covid-19 safety plan in place and making sure that they are following all guidelines set for their areas. You’ll notice that each stallholder has a signed declaration on their stall. This declares that their Covid-19 safety plan is in place, that no one working on their stall is unwell, and that they haven’t been exposed in a known hotspot ‘venue’.
Yes, we do! Our sanitiser is made right here in Canberra by Underground Spirits and is available for you to use upon entry and exit at both the carpark entry and the pedestrian entry. We ask that everyone sanitises their hands as they enter the market.
At this stage we do recommend wearing a mask while attending the Market, however it is not mandatory. We do ask that you follow all recommendations as provided by ACT Health and be aware that the situation can change quickly. Make sure you stay up to date with ACT Health.
We can’t wait to invite you to sit down and have a cuppa and a good long breakfast with us at the Market. But right now, we have to be quite careful and vigilant, and so we ask that you come and get what you need and then leave as soon as you can. There are two reasons for this:
1) to minimise everyone’s contact with each other while at the Market and
2) to keep the number of people at the Market to a reasonable level.
We do have a maximum capacity number and by asking people to Shop and Go it means we can continue to welcome shoppers into the Market without having to close the gates when we hit our maximum capacity. No one enjoys waiting out in a queue! So with ‘Shop and Go’ we can get everyone access to all the produce each week.
Another way you can help us keep numbers manageable is by only having one or two family members attend the Market per visit.
We really appreciate your assistance in following our guidelines while visiting us, and we thank you for being respectful to our volunteers who give their time every weekend. We ask that you help our volunteers by being mindful of their requests for shoppers to keep moving throughout the Market and assisting with queuing at stalls.
No, the Market is not entirely cashless. However, the majority of stallholders do have options for card AND cash payments. Keep an eye out for signs on each stall advising the payment methods they offer. We do have our ATMs on site every weekend and our friendly ATM owner Bruce sanitises the machines on a regular basis.
Our stallholders are no longer offering taste testers to minimise the risk of virus transmission where multiple people are having hand to mouth interactions – e.g. food tasting plates. While we all miss our samples of cheese, olives and sausages on a Saturday morning, our stallholders are all too happy to talk in great detail about their product and how you can prepare it and who it may be suitable for. Keep an eye out for the virtual taste testings we’ll be sharing on our Facebook and Instagram accounts soon.
There’s a couple of reasons that we still have the tables and chairs removed from our ready to eat area.
Initially this was to meet requirements for us being an essential service as the restrictions in Canberra only allowed take away meals. While this particular restriction has lifted in the ACT, we still have a number of challenges.
1) By not sitting to eat your meal and following our Shop and Go guidelines it allows us to keep shopper numbers manageable and not exceed our maximum capacity of shoppers (which means no lines to get into the Market!)
2) As a volunteer organisation, we just do not have the staff numbers to attend to the requirements needed by a sit-down food court as required by ACT Health.
But please don’t let that stop you from enjoying breakfast at the Market! Our stallholders can package your food up to take home or to have as an easy on-the-go meal.
For the time being, we ask that you do not bring refillable containers to the Market to reduce the risk of transmission on items brought into the Market. This applies to all containers that are not able to be sanitised such as cardboard egg trays or containers such as keep cups. Glass containers that can be sanitised prior to filling and before returning to the shopper (such as glass bottles where only the exterior is handled) may be allowed if the stallholder feels comfortable doing so.
Because Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) is closed to the public and the main entrance is used for the Covid-19 testing centre, the only vehicle access is via Old Well Station Road, which is easily accessed off the Federal Highway. For those who like to walk or ride you can still come through via the pedestrian access at Gate 4 (next to the Service Station).
The most important thing to remember is to NOT come to the Market if you are feeling unwell, no matter what the symptoms. We also ask that you do not attend the Market if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive with Covid-19, or you have recently attended a known hotspot (find out about ACT Health’s guidelines on hotspots here https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/).
Our stallholders have faced challenge after challenge in 2020. Starting with drought, they then faced bushfires, loss of income, damage from hail, flood and waterlogged paddocks, smoke and now Covid-19. Many farmers and producers are from regions where the entire community is struggling to recover due to bushfires and loss of trade. By coming to the Market and buying your fresh food and produce from our farmers you are supporting not just the stallholder and their family, but their whole community.
The most important thing you can do to help our farmers and producers is to help us stay open by following our Covid-19 safety guidelines. If we had to close due to not being able to provide a safe essential service, it would be a devastating loss of trade for our farmers.
So, come down and enjoy all the fresh produce our region has to offer, support our farmers and stay safe! We’ll continue to adapt as our new health environment requires us to, and we look forward to being here to serve the ACT community throughout.
We thank you for your continued support and co-operation. Our farmers and the Rotary Club of Hall thank you for helping us to remain open and supporting our regional producers and the many people who benefit from Rotary’s charitable programs within our community.
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