City Authorizes Liquor Sales at Farmers’ Market

The City of Duncan approved a policy at a Special Council meeting on July 7, 2014 that authorizes the Duncan Farmers’ Market to accommodate wineries, breweries, and distilleries, with on‐site store endorsement to sell their products (for off‐site consumption) at its Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The Province recently announced changes to its liquor regulations to give Farmers’ Markets the authority to allow wineries, breweries and distilleries to participate in the Farmers’ Market, subject to local government giving approval to the Farmer’s Market to host these liquor vendors.

The policy endorsed by Council largely mimics the liquor control and licencing branch directive but puts a cap on the number of licenced manufacturers allowed in the Farmer’s Market at one time. Currently the policy authorizes up to 7 vendors on any given Saturday; the Duncan Farmers’ Market advised there is the potential to accommodate up to 18 vendors. Council will monitor the program over the summer to gauge its success and may revisit the policy based on its success.

Mayor Phil Kent stated that “The Cowichan Valley draws a number of tourists to the area with its wineries and cideries. By hosting these vendors in a market atmosphere, it will further enhance the vibrancy of the downtown and bring more tourists to the downtown core. The Farmers’ Markets across BC have been wanting this legislation for some time and Council is pleased that the Liquor Control and Licencing Branch has approved this initiative in time for the summer season.”