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.