The Murwillumbah Farmers’ Market is located at the Murwillumbah Showground. It is an outdoor market with fresh air and sunshine on most market days.
ESSENTIAL SERVICES The government announced and confirmed that food markets ie farmers’ markets are considered essential services, as per public transport, supermarkets, medical facilities etc and are permitted to trade mindful of ancillary public safety provisions. This was the case from the beginning of the management of COVID -19 and continues to be the case.
As restrictions ease state by state so did the MFM’s restrictions with our priority always being the wellbeing of staff and customers. As they tighten and or new restrictions are implemented these are reflected in the market’s response.
Well Being of Staff and Customers
Market management regularly reviews our site plan and makes adjustments based on the circumstances surrounding COVID case numbers being reported and the associated actions required. From the outset all stall placements were adjusted ensuring that they are well spaced and with adequate social distancing for customers queuing.
Physical distancing markings are evident across the market site and within stalls when required.
Signage is in place in key areas reminding customers of their responsibilities in relation to hand hygiene, physical distancing, shop and go, and to stay away if symptomatic. Wearing face masks is a recent hand written addition reflecting current mandates.
At peak times (ie when restrictions are announced by NSW Health) the market becomes a Shop and Go Market. At others it resumes regular market protocols.
Hand sanitising stations are set up at three entry points and all stallholders have hand sanitiser available.
All stallholders are kept up to date with our COVID SAFE policies and procedures. These include instructions for good hygiene practices, the wellbeing of their customers/staff and how to set up their stalls to implement and maintain social distancing.
Signage was produced and is updated to reflect changes. Corflute signs are placed around the market and being 600 x 900 they are easy to see. A4 bright pink laminated signs are used throughout the market when deemed necessary.
At the outset the priority was to inform shoppers of the need to adopt all the new procedures including frequent hand washing, social distancing, if you touch it you buy it and SHOP n GO/ TAP n GO and take away food only. Speedy cashless food shopping was encouraged! These measures are reinforced when the situation requires them and relaxed when appropriate.
HYGIENE AND CLEANING
Signs identifying hand sanitizer stations are placed at each of the three handwash stations. There are also handwashing signs in the toilet block with pump hand wash.
All sanitizing stations, toilets and any other public surfaces within the market are sanitized regularly.
Stallholders ceased open food sampling from the outset of COVID-19 restrictions and this continues to date.
QR codes and a manual record-keeping sheet are set up each week at each sanitising station. During lockdown a staff member is at the main entrance to aid with the registration.
Mask wearing is now mandatory in outside organised events in regional NSW and the market social media, customer and stallholder newsletters promote this mandate. As at this latest edit all stallholders must wear masks and they are not permitted to set up.
Signs have been hand edited and now request customers to wear masks.
GENERAL MARKET STANDARDS:
- MFM provides three hand sanitising stations positioned at the main entry/exit points.
- All stalls and the market’s information desk have hand sanitisers. Signage advises frequent sanitisation.
- Stallholders exhibiting symptoms prior to any market day have been advised that they MUST NOT attend the market until the symptoms dissipate. They are advised to follow self-isolation or medical advice as deemed necessary.
- If there is any reason to believe that a stallholder or a visitor to the site may be exhibiting COVID -19 symptoms, or may have returned from overseas countries they will be asked to withdraw to a location away from interaction with others and may be requested to leave the market site.
ALL STALLHOLDERS AGREE TO:
- Have their own bottles of hand sanitiser (minimum 70% alcohol) and use this regularly (at peak times of escalation in NSW – between serving customers). In addition food stalls cooking or providing food to eat must have standard handwashing facilities – soap and a 20 litre container of water along with a bucket to collect this as per the NSW Food Authority food and hygine standards.
- Sanitise stainless steel bowls used for weighing produce after each use.
- Ensure all staff manning market stalls wear masks at all times whilst the market is in operation.
- Using non-absorbent easily cleaned material – not the formerly preferred hessian or fabric materials for table covering – fabrics such vinyl or plastic for ease of wiping down and best hygiene practices.
- Clean and sanitise all surface areas after each market (and during when possible).
- Use marking paint or sports field markers to mark entry and exits points at each stall and to mark physical distancing within stalls and outside stalls.
- Provide clear bright signage about NOT TOUCHING unpackaged produce (see the examples provided below) when necessary.
- Minimised the use of cash by encouraging/using electronic transactions like Paywave during peak periods. If handling cash ensure high levels of hand sanitising as outlined above.
- Provide clear bright signage about NOT TOUCHING unpackaged produce (see the examples provided below) during peak times.
No Reusable Coffee cups, Plates and Utensils –No reusable serving ware, cutlery or cups (including Keep Cups and BYO mugs) are permitted during peak COVID transmission times.
- Hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities available for all patrons to use at entry/exit points.
- Regular toilet cleaning and appropriate signs in the bathrooms.
- Signage about compliance with COVID -19 safety actions