This Week in the Market – 13 November 2018

Edition 205: Why bees matter
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In this week’s Market News:

– Why bees matter
– Strawberry promotional packs available for greengrocers
– We answer our first question from the rumour file

Market News

Could your business sustain a 35% drop in productivity? – Why Bees Matter

There will be a hive of activity at Melbourne Market this Thursday 15th  November as beekeepers swarm in for National Pollinator Week, to make a buzz about Why Bees Matter.
Beekeepers are doing a walk through the Market with live bees in an observation hive to explain what’s happening to bees around the world, why beekeepers are worried, and why farmers, wholesalers and retailers should be too.
“If your business handles fresh produce, then you’re likely exposed if we experience pollinator decline” says Fiona Chambers, CEO of Wheen Bee Foundation.
Honey bees are the most efficient and widely used pollinator in the world, but they are facing numerous challenges. In Australia, these include impacts of pesticides, maintaining access to quality nutrition through access to forests, and threats from pests and disease.

Click here to read more on the MMA website and look out for the Wheen Bee Foundation team walking around the Market with their observation hive full of bees.

Victorian strawberry promotional packs available for greengrocers

The Victorian Strawberry Industry Development Committee (VSIDC) have supplied a range of promotional material for greengrocers to hand out to customers in-store.
2019 Calendars – The calendars include delicious recipes and feature articles on Victorian strawberry growers.
Recipe Cards – A6 cards to be given to customers with two popular recipes.
Promotional signage – to be placed in-store to encourage customers to buy and receive calendars.

The VSIDC suggests retailers use the calendars as a gift with purchase of Victorian Strawberries throughout the month of November (or until given out).  For example: Buy 2 punnets and get a free 2019 Strawberry Calendar.

The promotional material can be picked up from the back of the historical truck outside the Customer Service Centre.
Due to popularity we ask you limit to one box of calendars and one packet of each recipe card per store.

Be sure snap a picture in store of your promotional display and tag @vicstrawberries and use the hashtag #vicstrawberries on your social media accounts!

Next info session

The next information session to learn more about ‘A Better Choice’ will be held on Monday 19th November from 6.00am – 6.20am, level 1, above the Customer Service Centre, Tenancy 80.
Click the button below to RSVP your attendance.
Come along to learn more about the program and enjoy a coffee on us!

RSVP to the next ‘A Better Choice’ information session

The Rumour File

Q: Why would the MMA want to open the Market to the public, it will put added pressure on our customers who are already under pressure from the supermarkets? – Anonymous

Hi Anonymous
The MMA are always looking for ways to promote the Market and add value for our tenants and buyers. A review of the idea to open the Market to the public had been conducted a number of years ago and found little support, however Fresh State floated the idea again of public access to the Market recently in their magazine (you can read the article here). This prompted the MMA to undertake another consultation with the Market community to re-test support for the idea.

Our consultation has concluded that there is insufficient support to progress the public access concept, however the MMA continues to investigate options that engage the greater food network and supply chain in the operations of the Market to the benefit of our buyers and sellers, for example, targeted one-off promotional events and open days. This would give us an opportunity to promote the Market to the wider food industry.

The MMA are also funding the ‘A Better Choice’ program in Victoria for its first year – ‘A Better Choice’ is the first national program designed to unite the fruit and vegetable industry and win back customer loyalty by encouraging consumers to shop for fresh produce at their local greengrocer.

Heard a Market rumour you’d like to know is true or not? Send an email to to have your question answered. 

Fresh Five

This week we talk to Anna Benito from Moon Bean Cafe which opened at the Market three weeks ago.
1. Your role at the Melbourne Market: 
I’m the co-owner, with my husband Joel, of Moon Bean Cafe, located at store 105. We pride ourselves on high quality food and service. Everything is prepared and made fresh in the cafe daily and all produce is sourced directly from here at the Market. We’re looking forward to doing some exciting new things like theme weeks, featuring different cuisines.
2. If you could only take three fruits or vegetables with you to a desert island, which would you take:
Apples for water content, bananas for potassium, and some spinach for energy.
3. When was the last time you bought flowers for someone (or had them bought for you):
On Mother’s Day I sent flowers to my Mum overseas and Joel bought me some flowers.
4. Tell us something that is on your ‘bucket list’:
Bungee jumping, bit scary but I want to try it.
5. What do you most enjoy about working at the Melbourne Market:
Meeting new people, and getting to know everyone. I love seeing all the wonderful fruits, vegetable and flowers here too, it’s a great place to work.

Moon Bean is located at store 105 and open from 11:00pm – 12:00pm Sunday to Thursday and 12:00am – 8:00am Fridays. 

Full site emergency evacuation drill

On Tuesday 27th November at 11am, we will be conducting a full site emergency evacuation drill. Although we conducted an evacuation drill two months ago, given recent events in Melbourne we need to be diligent in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Market tenants and users.
The previous emergency evacuation exercise did not include the PropertyLink warehouse precinct tenants and employees. A joint exercise will ensure maximum benefit and efficiency.
The drill will evacuate all tenants on Market land, including all administration building tenants, Buyers’ walk tenants, warehouse tenants, visitors, and subcontractors on site.
Upon hearing the site evacuation tones everyone will need to follow site evacuation procedures and follow the directions of Market Relations Officers.
The drill should take approximately 20 minutes.
We look forward to your participation.

Industry News

Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum

Learn what it takes to build innovative and sustainable food production systems and agribusiness in Australia at the Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum.
The Forum will explore:

  • changing consumer demands in the food-related industries
  • emerging markets and the power of data analytics
  • how science research impacts on food production and agribusiness models
  • how advanced technology impacts food manufacturing
  • the future of robotics and AI in food production systems
  • digitisation of supply chains and the effect of the IoT on Australia’s food and agribusiness
  • how new business tools and models (lean canvas, platform economics and blockchain etc.) can be applied to Australia’s food and agribusiness value chains.

Date: Thursday 15 to Friday 16 November 2018
Where: La Trobe University, Bundoora
Cost: $200
Click here to register and to learn more.

Australian cherry crop sizes up well

As Australia’s early-season cherry harvest gets underway, hopes are high for a record crop. Cherry Growers Australia president Tom Eastlake said all major production regions were cropping well, with growers on track to surpass the 16,000 tonne mark for the first time. Cherry growers in New South Wales and Victoria are optimistic about crop forecasts, and this upcoming 2018/19 season will see mainland cherry growers send fruit directly to China via airfreight for the first time.
Click here to read more.

Eat more vegetables: The big diet change Australians need to make

Government health authorities have issued a new report on how Australians eat, and it’s more or less a stern parental warning to eat more veggies and less junk.
Most Australians fall short of targets for the five major food groups: fruit, vegetables, grain foods, meat and meat alternatives, and dairy and dairy alternatives.
Australians earned the poorest grade on veggies: the guidelines prescribe five serves a day but almost 100 percent of the population falls short, averaging about three serves.
Read more, including strategies developed to increase vegetable intake, by clicking here

What would happen if the world’s bees disappeared? Watch this short video to discover what a world without bees would be like.

Key Dates

Thursday 15 November – Bee pollination awareness event
Monday 19 November – A Better Choice information session

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