A Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia Blog

Call for Board Nominations – Winter 2018

The Board of Directors of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia is a committed team of people who energize and support the vision, mission and development of the organization within the province and beyond.

At our Annual General Meeting, in Truro, on Monday April 30th, an election of four board members will take place.

Do you, or do you know someone who possesses experience and expertise that would benefit our organization and sector, including:
– Accounting and experience as a Board Treasurer (see Volunteer Job Description below)
– Board Governance Experience and/or Coop Procedure
– Strategic Thinking and/or Policy
– Fundraising and Financial Development
– Networking, Public Relations and/or Government Relations.

And who is:

  • Engaged, passionate and committed to fostering healthy local communities, economies and people; and
  • Cares about local production and the farmers’ market movement.

If you, or someone you know, fits this criteria, please give Keltie a call at our office or send an email to connect. Interested and qualified candidates will be put forward at the Annual General Meeting of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia on April 30th in Truro.

Please note that, according to our by-laws and policy document, all Board members need not be from within our membership. We welcome nominees from outside of farmers’ market management and vendorship. A passion for this work is required whether that be the farmers’ market sector/movement, community development, entrepreneurship, rural life, agriculture, or the local food movement.

Please click here for further details regarding Farmers’ Markets of NS Coop and the commitment required of Board members.

Volunteer Job Description of Board Treasurer: The Treasurer will have an active role, as well as oversight, of the organization’s financials. The Board Treasurer will not however be asked to act as bookkeeper or accountant. It is the position of the Treasurer to work with the Executive Director to draft annual budgets and to ensure strong, working systems in regards to the financial management of the organization. It is also the position of the Treasurer to stay up to date on the organization’s financial standing and to relay this information to the Board and to the Membership. It is the position of the Treasurer to review the fiscal year end financial reports, created by an accountant, prior to submission to CRA, etc. The expected commitment is a 3 year term with an estimated 1-3 hours of work biweekly. You must also participate in the monthly Board conference calls and lead the financial committee should the committee be deemed necessary/advantageous. Financial oversight and leadership is one responsibility of the Board with the Treasurer having a leading role. The Treasurer may be a community member, a member market organizer or a vendor.

Keltie Butler, Executive Director
office phone: 902.485.9330; email:
Find us online at
Facebook: Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia

Food Safety Change for Farmers’ Markets & Vendors: Schedule B Permits Eliminated

January 25th, 2018

Below are copies of the letters that are being mailed out to both the vendors of Schedule B foods and all of NS farmers’ markets by the NS Dept of Environment (home of Food Safety). Should any questions arise from the letters, your Public Health Officer (often referred to in our sector as Food Safety Inspectors) are fully briefed on the change and can answer questions directly. Below is a complete list of Public Health Officers by region and their contact information.

Reach Keltie at the Farmers’ Markets of NS Cooperative office with any broad questions regarding the change.

Schedule B Permit removal vendor 2018

Schedule B Permit removal organizer 2018

Kentville Phone: 902-679-6086
Bridgewater Phone: 902-543-4685
Yarmouth Phone: 902-742-8985

Bedford Phone: 902-424-7773
Truro Phone: 902-893-5880
Amherst Phone: 902-667-6205

New Glasgow Phone: 902-396-4194
Antigonish Phone: 902-863-7389
Port Hawkesbury Phone: 902-625-0791
Sydney Phone: 902-563-2100

We’re Hiring! Marketing & Administrative Coordinator

Marketing & Administrative Coordinator
21-30 hours per week
Pictou County, Nova Scotia

Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative is seeking a Marketing & Administrative Coordinator to assist the Executive Director in carrying out the mission of the Cooperative. We are looking for a mature individual who is skilled in marketing and content creation as well as office management, is self-motivated and enthusiastic about farmers’ markets. The position is a one year term, with intent to extend.

The Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative (FMNS) aims to build the capacity of farmers’ markets and their member businesses through professional development, innovation, research, province wide marketing, and advocacy.

Since 2004, FMNS has been working on behalf of farmers’ markets and their vendors, producers and artisans. Created by markets for markets, we serve the needs of our member markets and their vendors while also acting to inform, inspire, and advocate for the farmers’ markets movement to the Nova Scotian public.


The primary responsibilities of this position are:


  1. Bookkeeping

– bookkeeping and payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable using Simply Accounting;

  1. Event Planning

– scheduling and logistics of workshops, trainings, professional development and networking events for our members;

  1. Grant Writing & Reporting
  2. Office Duties

– primary email communication

– annual paperwork such as member renewals, Coop registration, etc.

– file maintenance

– website management

  1. Sale of Our Merchandize, E-Trainings and Resources

– sales strategy and goals

– expand opportunities for sales

– ordering and managing of stock

– record keeping on sales


  1. Marketing & Social Media Management

– on-going management of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts including content creation

– content curation from member markets and vendors

– advertising and promotional initiatives for FMNS events

– film and edit 12+ one-minute videos at member markets across Nova Scotia as outlined in our 2017/18 social media marketing campaign

– management of Farmers’ Market Sector E-Newsletter from monthly writing to audience segmenting and building, sale of resources, etc.

– regular media outreach and scheduling as well as writing (i.e. press release, column, etc)

– recruitment and retention copy writing


The Marketing & Administrative Coordinator will report to, and work closely with, the Executive Director. The Marketing & Administrative Coordinator will also collaborate with, and support, contractors hired to complete projects.



The qualities, skills and experience required for this position are:

  • copywriting and content creation across a range of media (eNewsletter, social media, press release);
  • social media strategy and management
  • online sales strategy;
  • photography and videography including video editing;
  • basic website/Wordpress skills or familiarity;
  • media experience and/or contacts are an asset;
  • bookkeeping experience;
  • administrative skills and experience such as email communication, file maintenance, systems thinking and basic document writing, etc.;
  • grant writing and reporting experience or relevant skills;
  • event planning and logistics experience or relevant skills;
  • interest and experience in working collaboratively as a small team;
  • self-motivated, able to work independently;
  • an interest in local production, agriculture and/or community development.



The skills and experience to be gained in this position are:

  • a deepening of marketing skills and experience including copywriting, videography and photography;
  • grant writing and reporting;
  • project management;
  • office management;
  • communications;
  • problem solving;
  • further development of administrative, planning, and organizational skills;
  • non-profit sector;
  • membership/cooperative mandate.



  • Sage Simply Accounting



This position is made possible through an employment initiative. As such, to be eligible for this position, you must be either

  • currently unemployed, and
  • a resident of Nova Scotia, and
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and
  • confirmed eligible by Career Connections Nova Scotia Works following being offered the position.


  • a Canadian post-secondary graduate, and
  • 30 years or younger as of July 1st, 2017, and
  • Must not have participated in any other Youth Employment Strategy programs (ie. Career Focus), and
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

: This position will be based at our rural office, 1999 Millsville Road, Scotsburn, Nova Scotia (Pictou County). Working from this location on a daily basis is not necessary however a weekly day at the office is required.
Start Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017. This employment contract is a one year term position with intent to renew/extend.
Wage: $16.00 – 17.00/hour according to experience.
Hours: 21-30hr/wk. Occasional evening and/or weekend work may be required.
Travel: Expect to travel within the province once per month. Overnight travel will be rare however. Access to a vehicle is required with mileage paid at $.40/km.

TO APPLY Please email a cover letter and resume, including 2 references, to Keltie Butler at Please submit your application in the form of a single pdf document with all required elements included and in the following order: cover letter, resume, references. Supporting documents to illustrate technical skills and/or experience in photography, videography, graphic design, etc. are requested.

DUE DATE: May 28th, 2017 (midnight).

Thank you to all applicants for their time and interest. Short-listed applicants will be contacted, with interviews scheduled for early to mid June.

Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, visible minorities, First Nations, and persons with disabilities. Diversity is a stated value of FMNS and, moreover, diversity in the farmers’ market community is a strength that must be cultivated.


Coffee/tea and morning snack upon arrival provided by the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market

9:30AM Welcome, Announcements & Introductions/Meet Your Neighbour

10:15AM Official Meeting of the Cooperative:

  • 10:15 Approval of the Agenda – any other business to add?
  • 10:25 President’s Report, Ashley Marlin
  • 10:45 Executive Director’s Report, Keltie Butler
  • 11:15 Financial Report, Vice President Wayne Edgar
  • 11:45 Nominations to the Board & Introductions
  • 12PM Vote to Elect Board Members
  • All Other Business and close of official meeting of the Cooperative.

12:15PM lunch, suggested contribution of $10pp

1PM Forming A Partnership With Your Municipality – Geralyn MacDonald, Director of Community Economic Development, Town of New Glasgow

  • Q&A followed by table discussions

2:15PM afternoon break with coffee/tea and snacks thanks to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market

2:30PM How To Know If Your Social Media Is Working – Gillian Wesley, Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative Social Media Specialist

  • Q&A

3:15PM Tour of the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market

4-5PM NETWORKING EVENT. Special Guests to include:

  • Karen Wong-Petrie, Director, NS Dept of Environment (Food Safety)
  • Kim White, Director of Workplace Education, NS Dept of Labour & Advanced Education
  • Deputy Minister Murray Coolican, NS Dept of Business
  • Sheila Stevenson, Director of Slow Food Nova Scotia
  • Linda Best, Founder of FarmWorks Investment Cooperative
  • Emily Haynes, Executive Director of Taste of Nova Scotia

All member markets are asked to attend and vendors are also welcome. There is no cost to attend however you must RSVP to our office by Thursday, April 27th. A locally sourced lunch will be provided with a suggested donation of $10. Partners are welcome to join us for the networking hour, 4-5PM. Again, an RSVP is required by Thursday, April 27th.

Safe Food for Canadians Act

April 7th, 2017

RE: Safe Food for Canadians Act

The Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative is directly composed of more than 20 member farmers’ markets across the province and works with an additional 40+ farmers’ markets across Atlantic Canada. Across Canada, the Farmers’ Market Sector continues to grow. In Nova Scotia, we saw three-fold growth in the sector from 2004 to 2014. Nova Scotia is currently home to the highest number of farmers’ market per capita in Canada and boasts more than 1500 farmers’ market-based businesses. According to research recently conducted by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, new entrant farmers – defined as those in their first five years of operation – overwhelming use direct marketing to sell their product and build their business including farmers’ markets and CSAs (Barriers to Growth). According to Stats Canada (2011), Nova Scotia was the only province in Canada to show an increase in the number of farms since 2006.

The producers based in our Farmers’ Market Sector are (1) new entrants and start-up operations, (2) businesses in a stage of growth and incubation and (3) farms which are focused long-term on direct to consumer sales. Many of these producers also sell into other eastern Canadian provinces, particularly the Maritime provinces. Given this, we write to submit our concerns and recommendations regarding the Safe Foods for Canadians Act Regulations. Specifically,

  • To date, whole fruits and vegetables have been outside of interprovincial trade regulations, as they have been understood to be low risk and unprocessed. They Safe Food for Canadians Act Regulations, as it has been drafted, is a sharp departure as it views whole fruit and vegetables that have been rinsed or washed of field soil and/or trimmed to be “processed”. The idea that rinsing, washing or trimming (for example the green leafy tops of carrots or the roots of garlic removed for display and sale) is equivalent to “processing” is a gross overstatement and, most importantly, will limit the marketing opportunities of our primary producers. We recommend that whole fruits and vegetables not be categorized as “processed” and that farms and their whole fruits and vegetables would continue to be regulated as per the legislation in the sold-in province.
  • The Safe Food for Canadians Act Regulations includes an exemption to what it refers to as “micro farms”, farms with a gross annual income of $30,000 or less. Assuming that this exemption is meant to serve small-scale producers, the dollar amount set is much too low. Considering the growing non-commodity farm sector in Atlantic Canada, and the profitability of direct to consumer sales, this exemption will only serve to limit small farm growth and profit.
  • We recommend that the Safe Food for Canadians Act Regulations exempt from registration farms that sell direct to end-users including farmers’ market, CSA boxes programs and restaurants. End user sales are based on trust and direct exchange between farmers and customers. Through direct sale, the public interacts with growers – a powerful way to build public trust in Canadian food and agriculture. Further to this point, we echo the words of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture and of New Brunswick farmer Tim Livingstone, whose letters we have included below.
  • An additional core concern of ours is the creation and requirement of each farm selling across a provincial border to have a “Preventative Control Plan” or PCP. As is directly stated in the Safe Foods for Canadians Act Regulations, this annual cost for a farm to comply with this proposed requirement is $6,370. Given the food safety record of direct to market producers, the requirement of a PCP and its cost, are an unnecessary burden and, most importantly, an obstacle to a sector which needs support.
  • Given the geography and demographics, we recommend that the Safe Foods for Canadians Act Regulations treat Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as one unique regional entity, equivalent to a province. Taken alone, the size/population of each of the Maritime provinces creates a challenge for farms to access a sufficient customer base as well as sufficient inputs and infrastructure. Federal regulations which hinder sale across the Maritime provinces threaten the accessibility of local food. In addition, treating the Maritime provinces as one entity could support the development of food hubs and other local food initiatives.
  • The Farmers’ Market Sector is also home to the growing Organic movement. We recognize that the Safe Foods for Canadians Act Regulations, as it is drafted, includes the Organic Sector and organic standards. We look to the expertise of the Canadian Organic Growers organization and the Canada Organic Trade Association. We ask that you do the same.

Lastly, we ask the question of “what is safe food?”  The Safe Foods for Canadians Act Regulations is first and foremost designed around large-scale, commodity production. In its drafted form, it lacks an understanding of direct to consumer production – a growing agricultural sector across Canada and, certainly in Nova Scotia. Direct to consumer farms are producing safe food for their communities – our vibrant Farmers’ Market Sector is proof of that.

We are calling for a regulatory environment that supports location production, that acknowledges differences in risk and business model, and that refutes a one-size-fits-all mentality. We ask that you familiarize yourself with how these regulations will impact direct-to-market farms, the growing non-commodity agricultural sector in Atlantic Canada and, in turn, access to local, fresh, healthy food.

Thank you for your consideration; please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions on this matter.

PS: The Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative is a member of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. We add our name to their letter submission found here. We also add our support to a letter written by New Brunswick farmer and direct to market producer Tim Livingstone, found here.


Keltie Butler
Executive Director
Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative

The opportunity to submit closes on April 21st, 2017.
The full disclosure of the Safe Food for Canadians Act and what it means can be found here.
To complete the consultation survey, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website at