This Week In The Market – 11 May 2021

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In this week’s Market News:

– Vale Frank Costa
– Des Hopwood – the newest member of the Retailer Advisory Committee
– Solar Undercover Parking Canopies Update

Market News

Vale Frank Costa AO

The MMA and Market community offer our deepest condolences to the Costa family on the passing of fruit and vegetable legend Frank Costa AO.

Frank was a revered figure within the Melbourne Market who helped shape the market into the place it is today.  Costa Group’s CEO Sean Hallahan described Frank as many within the market community would remember him. “All those who came into contact with him were struck by his generosity of spirit, his genuine interest in their personal welfare, his wise counsel, and his positive outlook on life.”

After inheriting Costa Group, the family’s produce business, in the late 1950s, Frank and his brother Adrian grew Costa Group into a billion-dollar company, one of Australia’s leading grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Frank is survived by his wife Shirley and eight daughters, 24 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A State Memorial Service will be held for Frank Costa on Wednesday 12th of May, at the GMHBA Stadium, Geelong.

For more information on the service, please click here.

Rest In Peace, Frank.

Construction Work Update

While you may not have noticed a lot of visible construction activity over the last few weeks, there has been much prep work going on for the solar car park canopy build.

One of the biggest considerations in our car park construction is ensuring the disruption to market operations is as minimal as possible.

Over the last few weeks, the construction team have been preparing the column footing areas with removable steel plates (pictured). When construction begins each day, the steel plates will be removed for works to be carried out. Then before market trade starts again, the areas are cleaned up, and the steel plates replaced. This minimises the amount of permanent barricading required, allowing vehicles to travel through the space without disruption.

Large-scale construction is not without its downsides, and it is anticipated works will become quite noisy this week when drilling is undertaken for the column footings.

The works will run from Tuesday 11 May – Friday 14 May, from 10 am – 7 pm each day, in both the north and south courtyards.
The noise of the works may cause disruptions for businesses working in the vicinity, particularly those in level 1 offices on the Buyers’ Walk.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your understanding as we work to create a more efficient market facility for everyone.

The MMA welcomes Des Hopwood, as the newest member of the Retailer Advisory Committee

Your role at the Market:
I see my role as someone who guides and nurtures my brothers in the process of buying from the markets and running our Henrys Mercato stores.

Tell us about your career in the fresh produce industry.
I started work in the market about 20 years ago; first for Louis Melbourne, then as a salesman at Market City Fruits. From there on, we began our venture of our own family business.

What are you most passionate about in the industry?
It’s a great industry to be in, so long as you have persistence and are prepared to work hard. I am passionate about forming relationships with new suppliers, growers and customers as I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for the industry?
Competing against the major supermarkets, as a smaller retailer poses as a challenge. People are very time poor these days, so you have to give the customer sufficient reason to come to your store, whether that’s a better product, better experience, or better price.

What are you positive about for the future? 
There are lots of good, hard-working agents and growers who come to the market and will give you great opportunity to thrive in your business. I also believe that there has been a shift in customer behaviour and they are more interested in buying from independent retailers; therefore, providing our market community with greater opportunities for success.

Why did you want to be a member of the advisory committee?
I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts and opinions and then seeing the outcomes of those realised in the market and industry.

What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
Those who know me know everything about me. I’m married to the job, always working.

Advisory committees work with the MMA to advise on matters relating to Market operations and the fresh produce industry, and committee members are a great source of information and advice for Market users. To find out who all the members of the advisory committees are, please visit the MMA website. 

The next advisory committee meetings are running on 1st and 2nd of June. You can ask your advisory committee members to raise questions or ideas with the MMA. Find out who your advisory committee’s representatives are, on the MMA website.

Is your store doing all it can for the Shop & Win campaign?

Last week the Victorian A Better Choice! team visited Signorelli’s Fresh Fruiterers in North Balwyn. As an A Better Choice! member, Signorelli’s is taking part in the latest ‘Shop & Win’ competition and have all the point-of-sale material displayed in their store, giving customers a chance to win some amazing prizes.

And it worked! Signorelli’s was lucky enough to have a prize winner, who nominated them as their local fruit and veg shop. Congratulations again to Cherlyn Ng for winning the Philips Airfryer XXL. Ensure you display the competition advertising in your store, so customers have the chance to win big each week by simply scanning the QR code.

A Better Choice feedback
Do you have feedback or questions about the A Better Choice program?
We’d love to hear from you, send an email to

On-site Market filming this Thursday

The MMA have engaged photographers to do some filming on site next Thursday, consisting of drone footage and hand-held cameras.

Whilst the crew will be escorted by Market Relations Officers, please be mindful of their presence particularly when operating forklifts or electric vehicles in the vicinity.

We ask that you don’t acknowledge the drone camera; for example by waving. Thank you for your cooperation.

Emergency Response Training – This Wednesday

There is still time to register attendance for this week’s free emergency response training session. This session, that MMA is running, is open to all market tenants and users. Safety for all market users is a priority, and we encourage at least one person from each market business to attend.

When: Wednesday 12th May 2021 6:00 am – 7:00 am
Where: Conference Room, Ground Floor, Administration Building

If you wish to attend, please e-mail with your name, and how many people will be attending.

M80 Ring Road – Sydney Road to Edgars Road Closure

The M80 Ring Road Altona-bound ramp will be closed each night between 10pm – 5am until late May. Refer to the detour map for recommended detours. You can find out more about upcoming road closures by clicking here

Industry News

MNFG Business Briefing and Networking Forum 19 May

Melbourne’s North Food Group (MNFG) and the City of Whittlesea are hosting the MNFG Business Briefing and Networking Forum on Wednesday 19 May at 5:30pm at Quest Epping.

This event is a chance to network and build great relationships within the food and beverage sector.

There will be an opportunity for guests to have input and learn more about MNFG activities and services, which are tailored to support local food and beverage businesses. To find out more click here.

Contiki off the cards? Come work in horticulture

After leaving high school – year 12 students are being encouraged to think about picking crops for a gap year.

Growcom has teamed up with Australia’s largest digital platform for high school leavers, Year13, for a new campaign to entice young Australians to consider horticultural work as a gap year option.

Employers wanting to take on school leavers will need to demonstrate their commitment to fair employment practices through Fair Farms Certification or demonstrated commitment to good work practices. To find out more details click here.

Melbourne Market Job Board

LaManna Premier Group – Various employment opportunities
Ripening, Store Person or Picking experience?
We are on the lookout for new talent!
If you’re keen to explore fresh opportunities, send your resume to 
Do you have a vacancy to fill in your business?
Email for the position to be placed on our online job board.
Looking for a new role? Check out the online job board via the button below.
View full online job board

Ask the MMA

If you’ve got a question for the MMA email it to:

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