Covid-19 and Farmers Markets

March 17, 2020

How does the farmers market community respond to Covid-19?  

3-26-2020 We just received this information from the Illinois Department of Agriculture,

"Farmers’ markets are deemed essential in the EO. They do not have to be “certified.” The social distancing requirement must be demonstrably conveyed to all farmers’ market participants."

3-25-2020 ILFMA and our partners are working to determine what "certified" farmers market means moving forward.  Stay tuned.  

We need your help!

Now more than ever, we need to know the economic impact of farmers markets across Illinois. Farmers Market vendors, please take the following survey to be counted! It is anonymous and only 4 questions. Complete the survey once, compiling all sales at all farmers markets for a one time entry.

Update;  E-Commerce Stores for MarketMaker profile users

The e-commerce platform with LocalLine through a MarketMaker profile was beginning to roll out as producers and farmers markets were looking for quick, alternative methods for selling products direct to the consumer.  As with any roll out there is a learning curve and lessons learned. 

There are two options for farmers markets.  A free e-commerce store offered through MarketMaker and the subscription service offered directly from LocalLine. 

How does the free e-commerce store work for farmers markets?  Farmers markets and vendors can create a free, only paying a 5% transaction fee, e-commerce store with MarketMaker.  Set up is simple and we will be publishing tutorials to assist you. 

A farmers market can tag its vendors and likewise a vendor can tag the farmers markets where product is sold.  However, each a customer will have a login for each individual vendor under the free platform.  The farmers market is designated as the pick up point for product, prepayment is collected and then product is delivered through the farmers market.

A farmers market that is an umbrella, with one login for all vendors selling at the market, is a subscription based service with LocalLine.  The farmers market and each vendor must pay the subscription fee for each farmers market they are a part of offering this service.


Under the Govenor's Executive Order, farmers markets are considered essential. 

These are considered essential:
Stores that sell groceries and medicine. Grocery stores, pharmacies, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of groceries, canned food, dry goods, frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries, medicine, including medication not requiring a medical prescription, and also that sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and 

Full Executive Order, click here

ILFMA is committed to farmers markets and the food and value they bring to their customers and community.  Local food is even more important moving forward.  

Many winter farmers markets across the state have implemented on-line ordering, curbside pick up or delivery in response to their local communitys' regulations and recommendations.  Be sure to check in with your local farmers market via Facebook or email, for specific information. 

As we look toward summer, and the uncertainty ahead, ILFMA is committed to working to provide reliable and up to date information on resources for farmers market managers and vendors. 

Below are links to partners providing multiple farmers market resources;

New from University of Illinois Extension; Farmers Market Guide

Farmers Market Coalition

University of Illinois Extension

ILFMA will update resources as they become available. 

Also, please subscribe to the Facebook Group; Illinois Farmers Market Association Managers Network, to share ideas and collaborate with other farmers market managers.  This is the time to collaborate, share ideas and work together.  

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