This Week in the Market – 21 April 2020

Edition 261
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In this week’s Market News:

– Latest Coronavirus information
– Temperature screening continues
– A Better Choice messaging in line with health crisis

Market News

Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

The MMA continues to monitor advice from the Australian Government closely and is in regular contact with relevant State Government Departments, to provide you with up-to-date information concerning your work or business at the Melbourne Market.
The critical piece of advice for Market users is; if you are feeling unwell in any way, you should stay at home and seek medical advice. Do not attend the Market for work, or to purchase flowers or produce.

As previously communicated some operations at the Market have been temporarily changed for the safety of all users, changes include:

  • Entry requires that all persons undergo temperature screening. Any person registering a temperature of 38C or above will be denied entry.
  • Gates 2 and 3 and P1 pedestrian turnstile will be closed until further notice
  • Market cafés are restricted to only providing take away, or delivery services
  • Access to the Melbourne Market is limited to only those carrying out essential core operations
  • Cash payments at the Customer Service Centre have been suspended
  • Electric vehicles, including buggies, limited to one person only (no passengers) across the entire site
  • Market users must adhere to social distancing guidelines wherever possible, keeping a distance of 1.5 metres from others

Detailed information regarding the Coronavirus and its impacts on Market operations can be found on our website at

Temperature screening continues

Temperature screening upon entry continues for every person entering the Market.
We are working through the peak entry periods as quickly as we can, and we thank everyone for their compliance and understanding.
We should remember that while temperature screening is a useful tool to stop the entry of a person displaying a fever, it is not 100% foolproof. As reported in the media, some people can carry and transmit the COVID-19 virus without showing any symptoms.
Social distancing is still the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19. Don’t be complacent with your social distancing practices at the Market just because temperature screening is occurring upon entry.
Keep a distance of 1.5 metres away from others as much as possible and wash your hands with soap and water regularly.

How Coronavirus spreads

Together we can help stop the spread

Littering penalties to be issued

In times like this, the Market community is coming together and making sure we all do the right thing. By practising social distancing, regularly washing hands and correctly disposing of waste, you are helping to ensure the health and safety of all Market users.

Most market users are doing the right thing, and we thank you; however, there are a small number of people who by not following rules, mainly through littering, are putting everyone else at risk.
Recently there has been a significant increase in rubber gloves found littered throughout the Market. This type of incorrect disposal of waste puts everyone at risk, and this is why we will begin issuing infringements and monetary penalties of up to $250 for those found to be intentionally littering. These penalties will apply to all forms of littering, including cigarette butts, disposable cups, rubber gloves and any other waste deliberately discarded incorrectly.

Social distancing in smoking areas

Social distancing rules apply in all areas of the Market, including designated smoking areas. The chairs in these smoking areas have been reduced to ensure adequate social distancing is observed. Please do not carry additional chairs to the designated smoking areas and ensure you correctly dispose of any cigarette butts.
Personal hygiene and practising social distancing at the Market is critical.

  • You must remain at least 1.5 metres from other Market users wherever possible
  • You must be regularly washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly

It’s up to all of us to ensure these practices are being followed, so if you see someone disregarding social distancing rules, call them out, we’re all in this together.

Vale Larry Piscioneri 11.02.1960 – 02.03.2020

The MMA and Melbourne Market community offer condolences to the family of Ilario ‘Larry’ Piscioneri who passed away a few weeks ago after a short battle with cancer.
Larry and his wife Anna operated their family farm in Mildura, travelling to the Melbourne Market and running their stands on the trading floor each week. Larry started his long career in the 1980s and was involved in many areas of the produce industry including logistics, packaging and growing. He has been a fixture at the Market for many years, starting with a stand at the old Footscray site. Larry’s son Cos says his Dad will most likely be remembered in the Market as a cheeky character with his wife Anna always by his side.
Larry is survived by his wife Anna, his four children and 11 grandchildren.
He will be sadly missed by the Market community.

A Better Choice messaging in line with health crisis

The social media campaign as part of the A Better Choice marketing program has been quick to pivot key messages in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The theme of posts on the on Facebook, Instagram and the website broadly fall under three themes:
1.  A Better Choice is reminding the public that independent retailers are still open and fully stocked. Consumers are being encouraged to shop local and support their independent retailer in these uncertain times.
2.  There is a focus on the nutritional value and importance of increasing your fruit and vegetable intake during this pandemic and the upcoming flu season to stay healthy.
3.  Educating consumers of the wide variety of products at independent retailers, many greengrocers have more than just fruit and vegetables.

If you haven’t already signed up as a retailer to be part of the A Better Choice program, now is the time, click here to find out more.

A Better Choice Feedback
Do you have feedback or questions about the A Better Choice program?
Feel free to send an email to


Food safety course

ABEX Training Group has been been in contact with the MMA to offer Market users a government-funded training program in Food Safety and Lean.
Now, more than ever, basic food hygiene protocols are important and will assist business owners as well as staff.
ABEX offers a Nationally Accredited program that delivers food safety training at the highest level. The training reinforces the importance of hygiene in the handling of fresh produce at home and at work.
Another aspect of the training is to reduce waste and increase efficiencies, allowing businesses to become more productive, eliminate waste and ensure quality standards are maintained.
There is the possibility your qualification can be funded, so register your interest at

Industry News

Fruit & Vegetable Consortium launches

Australian horticulture industry groups, including the Melbourne Market Authority, have teamed up with health professionals to launch the Fruit & Vegetable Consortium.
The group was formed last year with the mandate of collectively advocating for comprehensive action to address “Australia’s complacency about eating fruits and vegetables”.
The Fruit & Vegetable Consortium was formed in response to the alarmingly low rates of fruit and vegetable consumption in Australia. Just half of Australian adults – and two-thirds of children – have an adequate daily intake of fruit.
Read more about the initiative on the Produce Plus website.

Smash an avo at home to keep growers in business

With the closure of restaurants and cafes wiping out a significant market for the avocado business, growers have taken the bull by the horns and launched a campaign urging people to smash their avos at home.

Australians are having to do without many things they once took for granted as the virus crisis plays out, but smashed avo on toast – iconic Australian fare – isn’t one.
Read more on the Good Fruits and Vegetable website.

Key Dates

Saturday 25 April – Melbourne Market (including Flower Market) closed

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