The St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative has been awarded a Grand Prize of $49,698 in the 2017 Aviva Community Fund competition for its “Green Dining at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market” project. Funding from the Aviva Community Fund will allow the Cooperative to purchase all the supplies it needs to equip a zero-waste dining space that will provide reusable plates for on-site meals and reusable takeout containers for customers bringing their food home. “The Aviva Community Fund had the honour of supporting St. John’s Farmers’ Market in 2015 and it’s been incredible to see their positive impact growth in the St. John’s community,” says Debora Hendrickson, Senior Vice President, Aviva Canada. “A big congratulations goes out to St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative and their amazing community of supporters. We can’t wait to see their green dining project come to life!”
At the moment, up to 2500 customers, a day pass through the Market, many of them grabbing a meal – and all of those meals come in disposable containers. Managing this waste is a major challenge for the market; with limited composting capacity in Newfoundland, most of it must also end up in the landfill. With the Market preparing for a move into a much-larger permanent home, and for a big increase in customer traffic, creating a zero-waste dining space was a must. “The St. John’s Farmers’ Market will soon be getting a lot bigger,” says Joshua Smee, Chair of the Cooperative’s Board of Directors, “but with this incredible support from the Aviva Community Fund, our environmental footprint doesn’t have to grow with us.”
The zero-waste dining space will be a key part of the market experience at the new St. John’s Community Market, currently under construction in the former city bus depot on Freshwater Road in St. John’s.
Two years ago, a contribution from the Aviva Community Fund to the Cooperative’s fundraising campaign helped catalyze this project, led by the City of St. John’s with support from both the Provincial and Federal governments. The result will be a state-of-the-art 14,000 square foot facility that will serve both as a farmers’ market and as a multipurpose community space.
On behalf of City Council I congratulate the St. John’s Farmers Market Co-operative on this exciting announcement,” said Councillor Ian Froude, Council Lead for Public Works. “We all have a role to play in reducing waste and I commend their innovative approach to divert waste from the landfill. I am thankful to Aviva for recognizing the hard work of the co-operative and for stepping up as a community partner. The St. John’s Community Market will provide opportunities for local entrepreneurs and organizations to grow. This initiative helps them do that in an environmentally conscious way, and I look forward to the grand opening in 2018.”
For more information or to schedule interviews:
Chair, Board of Directors
St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative