This Week In The Market – 18 December 2018

Edition 210: Market hours trial – where to from here
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In this week’s Market News:

– Market hours trial – where to from here?
– A Better Choice stores getting decked out
– Details of the next Greengrocery training course intake

Market News

Market hours trial – where to from here

Since October 1st this year, modified trading hours have been trialled in the Market; opening consistently at 3:30 AM, five days per week (this is an hour earlier on Tuesdays and Wednesdays).
Informal feedback during the trial period has been mostly positive, with sellers commenting the 1-hour change on Tuesdays and Wednesdays has had very little impact on the running of their businesses.
Gate entry data of buyers, looking at the difference between 2017 and 2018 figures for the same period, shows that whilst the amount of entries between the two years is about the same, the time of those entries has changed significantly.  Approximately 45% of buyers (excluding regional buyers and warehouse tenants) have taken advantage of the new trading hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and are coming in at 3:30 AM instead of 4:30 AM.
The gate entry data and informal feedback indicates that there is widespread support for a shift to a consistent opening time of 3:30 AM five days per week permanently.
We are asking for your feedback on whether you agree or disagree that we should adopt the trial trading hours on a permanent basis. Please send your feedback via email over the next week to

“Santa Claus is coming to… the Market”

Keep an eye out on Thursday morning when a special visitor with two helper elves will be visiting the Market to spread some Christmas cheer!
Santa will be giving out some goodies and taking the opportunity to collect money for ‘Kids Under Cover’ a charity for homeless youth, so if you are feeling generous you can place your spare change in Santa’s tin.
Find out more about Kids Under Cover by clicking here.

A Better Choice roll out – greengrocers around Victoria embrace the program

Over the last few weeks, greengrocers’ stores around Victoria have embraced A Better Choice.  Our professional merchandisers have been busy.  Check out a few of the newly decked out stores.

Have you arranged for your merchandise kit to be installed in your store yet?
Order your launch kit for $198 and it will be professionally installed for you. Book it in today, call our team on 9258 6192.
Make sure your customers know you’re part of A Better Choice.

Exclusive customer giveaway for A Better Choice members 
The MarketFresh Schools Program educates around 15,000 students each year.  It is an essential program that teaches children about the importance of fruit and vegetables, the supply chain, and allows students to taste test fresh produce.  This fully catered for incursion gets rave reviews and in January we are going to give ten MarketFresh Schools sessions away.

Watch the MarketFresh Schools promotional video
All A Better Choice members will receive competition entry forms, and details in the coming weeks.
If you would like to participate and join the A Better Choice program, then complete your application form today.
Click here to download a member application form

Thank you to all who donated produce to the MarketFresh schools program in 2018:

Fresh Five

This week we talk to Arthur Ponte from C & S Ponte Produce.
1. Your role at the Melbourne Market: 
I’m the third generation running the business. My grandfather started at the Queen Vic Market, my father was in charge at Footscray and now I’m giving it a whirl at Epping. I started out in the business pushing the broom, eventually got on the forklift, then moved onto filling orders, I’ve worked every facet of the business and now I’m managing it. Our business was founded on hard produce; potatoes, onion, pumpkin, which we specialise in, but we also sell other produce when in season like mangoes, citrus, tomatoes. We also exclusively sell Jumaluk citrus, which is a premier product.
2. If you could only take three fruits or vegetables with you to a deserted island, which would you take:
Potatoes, potatoes and potatoes, (ha-ha) they’re versatile and easy to use. I’d also take oranges and apples to keep me going.
3. When was the last time you bought flowers for someone (or had them bought for you):
Last week for my mum, for no particular reason at all, and of course I got them from here at the flower market.
4. Tell us something that is on your ‘bucket list’:
I’m living my dream – working in the family business is really rewarding
5. What do you most enjoy about working at the Melbourne Market:
For me it’s the pride factor, I’m proud to represent our family name. It’s also the relationships we forge with our growers and customers. People that aren’t in this industry will never fully understand how special it is.

Weekend trading during Christmas/New Year

All buyers will have access to the Market on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd December as well as Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th December for the collection of pre-orders.
It is important to remember the buyers’ walk will be closed, as it is not a trading day, but access to stores is available from the rear. If you want to take advantage of picking up produce over the weekends during the Christmas/New Year period, individual arrangements must be made between buyers and sellers.
The Market will be open on regular days and hours through the holiday period, (Monday – Friday, 3:30am – 7:30am) except for public holidays, when the Market is closed.
Tuesday 25 December – Market Closed
Wednesday 26 December – Market Closed
Tuesday 1 January – Market Closed

Get your staff qualified with a certificate in greengrocery

Help your staff achieve the only formal qualification available in the fresh produce industry.

Key course information:
223390VIC – Certificate II in Greengrocery
22340VIC – Certificate III in Greengrocery
Certificate II – 18 months
Certificate III – 2 years
Course structure:
– 5 hours per month of classroom tuition (Monday 5:00pm – 9:00pm or Wednesday 9:00am – 1:00pm, delivered at Melbourne Market or Melbourne Polytechnic Epping Campus)
– Monthly workplace visits to your store by Melbourne Polytechnic trainer
– Complete activities in self-paced student workbook
Certificate II – Only $550* per student
Certificate III – Only $870* per student
Classes Start:
Monday 11 February 2019

Call 9269 8400 to book your staff into the next information and enrolment session

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has arrived

The all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van has arrived at 3 Point Motors in Epping. With incredible new technology, efficient drivetrains and outstanding safety, comfort and practicality, Australia’s most popular large van is now even better.
The new Sprinter adds the futuristic MBUX interface, with touchscreen technology, voice controls and smartphone integration, making it the most advanced van available.
With more than 1000 possible configurations to choose from, the new Sprinter is ready to be customised to suit your needs.
Visit the team at 3 Point Motors Mercedes-Benz, across the road at 380 Cooper Street, Epping. Alternatively, call Sales Manager, Jake Smith on 9409 9999 to arrange an appointment at your convenience to view the all-new Sprinter.
3 Point Motors opened in Epping early this year. A family-owned business since 1961, 3 Point Motors Epping showcases the full range of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, vans, utes and Mercedes-AMG vehicles, as well as a vast selection of pre-owned vehicles. The modern service centre is open from Monday to Saturday, with flexible booking times available.

Industry News

First bananas grown without soil to be harvested

Soil-borne fungal pathogen, Fusarium wilt, threatens banana production throughout the world. In an attempt to avoid this damaging pathogen, the first bananas have been grown without the use of soil. Read more on the Produce Plus website.

We’d like to wish the entire Market Community a Merry Christmas as well as a safe and prosperous 2019.

This will be the last edition of This week in the Market for 2018.
Look out for your weekly updates to resume in mid-January 2019.

If you have any queries or require updates during the Christmas period call 9258 6188.

Key Dates

Tuesday 25 December – Christmas Day Market Closed
Wednesday 26 December – Boxing Day Market Closed
Tuesday 1 January – New Year’s Day Market Closed

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