This Week In The Market – 20 July 2021

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In this week’s Market News:

– Do your part, follow COVID restrictions
– Changes to freight worker permits
– Whittlesea council visits the market

Market News
Current COVID restrictions
The Melbourne Market is currently operating under stage 4 restrictions.

We all need to help ensure the Melbourne Market remains open
The most important thing you can do to protect your business and livelihood is to wear your face mask at all times and wear it properly.
From what we’ve learnt from the government, and based on the number of positive cases coming through each day, the delta strain is highly transmissible, passing from person to person with only fleeting contact. 
Do not assume the Melbourne Market is unique; should an infected individual enter the market, significant business interruption would follow anywhere from 24 hours to 14 days during the testing and isolation period. 
In the event of person-to-person COVID transmission in the market, there is a real risk that the DHHS may close the market to avoid a widespread outbreak.

Wearing your face mask is not just about following a rule; it’s about doing everything we can as a market community, working together to keep businesses operating, and keeping us all safe and healthy.

Eating and drinking
Obviously, your face mask must be removed when consuming food and drink, but it should be done responsibly. For example, market users walking through the market carrying a coffee cup without wearing a face mask puts themself and others at risk of COVID transmission. 

Change to COVID penalties
In response to the heightened risk the current COVID outbreak poses to market businesses and safety, the MMA is increasing the severity of penalties for non-compliance for mask-wearing and social distancing as of Tuesday 20 July, 10 pm.
1st offence – official warning recorded on users file
2nd offence – 24-hour suspension
3rd offence – 14-day suspension
On Monday morning, several official warnings were recorded on market users’ files, and six 24-hour suspensions were issued.  

Please do your bit for the market and wear your face mask correctly, and call out those who are not doing the right thing – don’t risk your business; we’re all in this together.

Exposure sites
We ask that every market user regularly check the Victorian exposure site list. The online list is sorted by most recently added, and can be found at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites. Save the link in your phone and make a habit of checking it before you leave for the market each morning. If you have attended an exposure site, you must strictly follow the DHHS directions. 

Remember, Do not attend the Melbourne Market if you are feeling unwell.If you are experiencing COVID symptoms, get tested and isolate until you receive a negative result.

Changes to freight and specified worker permits


The Victorian Government has tightened the criteria for freight and specified worker permits to manage the risk of those required to travel between NSW and Victoria.
This includes changing the definition of a Commercial Freight Worker to a person who is subject to the Freight Code. It includes a heavy vehicle driver, rail crew or a support worker.

It’s critical that any freight drivers comply with these requirements.  
The updated criteria blocks removalists who have been in a Red Zone or delivery drivers (being drivers of vehicles under 4.5 GVM) that have been in a Red Zone within the last 14 days. It also blocks freight workers who are unable to unload cargo in a COVIDSafe manner from entering Victoria – for example, if they are unable to avoid contact with other people, or unable to avoid entering residential premises.
 
From 11.59pm Friday 16 July, freight drivers are required to be tested for COVID-19 every three days and a letter will now be required from an employer to confirm specified worker eligibility. A template for the letter can be downloaded here

Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) Permit holders arriving from a Red Zone must also:

– Not carry any person as a passenger in the driver’s cabin of a vehicle, other than for the purpose of providing specified work
– Keep detailed records of all travel and each place they stopped (including accommodation)
– Wear a face mask at all times in all: indoor public places, outdoor public places and vehicles, if the person was in a vehicle with any other person
– Minimise contact with other people except in cases of emergency
– Practice physical distancing.

To apply for a permit go to the Service Victoria website.

City of Whittlesea Administrators visit Melbourne Market
Last week the MMA welcomed the Executive Team from the City of Whittlesea, including the recently appointed CEO, Craig Lloyd to tour the Market. 
The team visited the flower market, trading floor, Buyer’s Walk and viewed the progress of the canopy construction before finishing up for a light breakfast at Moon Bean cafe. 
The visit allowed council administrators to see the inner workings of the Market, an icon of the municipality, and learn about our achievements and challenges. 
Most of the guests on the tour had never visited the market previously, and all walked away suitably impressed by the work ethic of the market community and the scale of operations. 
Visits like these strengthen our ties with key stakeholders and help identify potential future business opportunities to bring value to market users.

 

Free webinars


Melbourne’s North Food Group, has been regularly running free webinars over the past year. Regardless of whether you’re a member of not, you can access the free recordings via the MNFG website. There are over 50 webinar recordings available to view; they cover a whole range of topics including:Today’s employment scenario: fact vs fiction. The future of HR: Key issues in 2021.Your business and climate shocks: Are you ready?5S workplace layout and visual management systems for the factory, warehouse and office. SEO trends for 2021: Elevate your online presence. Process mapping and process improvement: How well are your current processes performing? Click here to view the entire list of free business webinars. 

Are you eligible for up to $28,000 in employee wage subsidies?



A few weeks ago, we caught up with James Milne and Graham Gee from the Happy Apple to hear about their experiences in undertaking the Certificate III in Greengrocery.

With a thumbs up all around, it’s the perfect time to remind retailers of the financial benefits when enrolling students in the course.
Did you know eligible businesses can receive an incentive that will pay up to 50% of an employee’s wage up to $28,000 when they enrol in the Certificate III in Greengrocery?
These generous incentives make putting your employees through a recognised course so affordable, but government funding will only be available for a limited time, so don’t miss out! 

Email Theresa for more information and to find out how to register. 

It’s never too late to get qualified; find out more at www.melbournepolytechnic.edu.au/study/certificate-iii/greengrocery/

Increase to waste to landfill charges
The Victorian Government has imposed an increase on Municipal Industrial Landfill Levy, which came into effect on July 1. 
The purpose of the levy increase is to ‘provide additional and ongoing funding to support efforts by government, industry and the community to reduce waste’.  
To reflect these industry changes and rising costs, market cleaning contractor IKON increased the charge for general waste disposal at the market recycling transfer station, as per the table below, as of Wednesday 14 July. 

The good news is, with a 98% recycling rate, market tenants are already doing a great job of sorting and disposing of their waste at little cost, so most businesses will see no significant impact.
For market businesses that separate waste at the point of generation into recyclables, there continues to be no charge incurred.  



Industry News
Citrus yields and quality high but soured by labour shortage and glut



It’s a bitter-sweet season for citrus growers in the Riverina.On one hand, they are recording high yields and are producing some of the best fruit they have in years.On the other they face abandoning fruit due to a glut in the domestic market, low farm gate prices and no one to pick the fruit due to the labour shortage.
Read more at Good Fruits and Vegetables

Australian mango crop down for 2020



The 2020 Australian mango crop produced the lowest volume in seven years, defined by a later start, no real peaks, less product being exported, and the constant dance with COVID-19 all to blame.
The lower volume resulted in fewer households buying mangoes (down 7.2 per cent). However, AMIA observed shoppers were prepared to pay a higher average retail price due to the limited fruit. 
Read more at Produce Plus.

Melbourne Market Job Board



Do you have a vacancy to fill in your business?
Email submissions@melbournemarket.com.au 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. 

Mumford Wholesalers – Casual store/picker person
Casual Monday to Friday between 12 am – 8 am
Duties include (but not limited to):
– Liaise with Sales team
– Picking customer orders
– Quality check stock
– Assist with store displays
– Must be punctual and reliable.
Forklift license preferred but not essential.
Please contact Domenic Luzza on 0438 237 486.
 
Sciclunas – Various positions (retail and warehouse)
Are you a Green Grocer, Manager, Driver or Chef?
Seeking enthusiastic full-time Fruit and Vegetable/Food Industry Professionals to join our lively team. You will either work in one of our retail stores in Sorrento, Mentone and our newly renovated Tooronga Village store, or at our Dandenong South warehouse as a Driver or a Picker.
Please email your application to hr@sciclunas.com.au or refer to job vacancies at www.sciclunas.com.au

View full online job board

Ask the MMA
If you’ve got a question for the MMA email it to: submissions@melbournemarket.com.au.
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