Message from the President & CEO
As some of you may already know, the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce staff have been working around the clock these past few weeks to make necessary- and TEMPORARY- adjustments so that the Lodi Certified Farmers Market can begin as scheduled on Thursday, May 14. While we are saddened by the fact we are not in Downtown Lodi, our goal is to return to School Street as soon as some of the regulations lift and we are allowed to do so. Currently, Governor Gavin Newsom and staff are preparing to enter 'Phase 2' of their re-open California initiative to include retail businesses, but so far, events like the Lodi Certified Farmers Market are not a part of the deregulation.
Luckily for us, the community at First Baptist Church offered to host our Essential Farmers Market so that we could comply with the new regulations passed down from the California Department of Food & Agriculture (if you would like to read them, click here). As an operating Certified Farmers Market, we are already more regulated than a normal Farmers Market and must have documentation from farmers on their growing practices, must have signs for the health department indicating which farmers are "certified" and are open to more frequent inspections. With the new regulations, not only to we have to account for social distancing of 6 feet between our attendees, we must also maintain strict entry and exit points to the market, as well as keep count of how many people are within the boundaries. This new and temporary location gives us the space and the ability to bring fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as essential vendors like humus, specialty cheese, olive oil, etc. to our community.
We also want to clarify that we believe ALL business and ALL vendors are essential. Unfortunately, we are bound to adhere to the guidelines passed by the state of California on which businesses are classified as essential vs. non-essential. We wish we could have our retail vendors at the essential Lodi Certified Farmers Market, but until the events regulations change, we will have to wait until we are back on School St. to invite our wonderful vendors back to the market.
The decision to make these changes was not taken lightly by any of our staff. In fact, we agonized over it for weeks on what the right thing to do was. After much deliberation, we found that temporary changes outweighed not having a Farmers Market at all. We are excited to support out local ag and bring these quality produce products to our community. It also would not be possible if it weren't for our extraordinary sponsors. Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor Sanborn Chevrolet, Event Sponsors Harrah's Northern California, Tokay Heating & Air, Lodi Toyota, F&M Bank, and HERLIFE Magazine.
We invite you to join us to the Essential Lodi Certified Farmers Market:
WHEN: Thursdays beginning May 14
TIME: 9am - 1pm
WHERE: 267 N. Mills Ave
Until next week. Stay Strong, Lodi. The light is at the end of the tunnel!