This Week in the Market – 29 January 2019

Edition 212: Is your forklift licence up to date
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In this week’s Market News:

– Is your forklift licence up to date?
– MMA Board and Management visit growers and retailers in Shepparton
– Get your staff qualified with a certificate in greengrocery

Market News

Is your forklift licence up to date?

Do you operate a forklift or employ people that operate them in your business?
The MMA will be holding an information session to explain current forklift licence requirements.

Information session:
Wednesday 30 January
6:00 – 6:45 AM
Ground floor conference room, Melbourne Market administration building

WorkSafe Victoria now classify operating a forklift as high-risk work.
Previously, when you obtained your forklift licence it never expired, however to operate a forklift you must now hold a high-risk work licence, and these must be renewed every five years.

The table below indicates what you, or your staff, are required to do based on the type of licence you currently hold.

Check your expiry date – this is the current high-risk work licence and it must be renewed every five years.
If your licence looks like this and it has not expired, no action is required.
If your licence looks like this, under Victorian law you will be required to complete a high-risk work licence training course and pass a competency-based assessment to receive your forklift licence and legally operate a forklift.
Under Victorian law you will be required to complete a high-risk work licence training course and pass a competency-based assessment to receive your forklift licence and legally operate a forklift.
To help ensure all Market forklift drivers are compliant, the MMA have engaged our training partner, Melbourne Polytechnic, to deliver forklift licence training courses on-site at the Market for your convenience.

Business listing for each Victorian greengrocer on the A Better Choice website

It’s exciting to share that A Better Choice is heading towards 200 members across Australia! Victoria has had a strong take up, with new members joining the program each day.
Over the last few months, A Better Choice has focused on getting new members, merchandising stores and establishing a strong social media presence.
Do you know the A Better Choice website has a business listing for each fruit & veg shop in Victoria and consumers can search for and set their local store as their ‘favourite’?
Greengrocers who are A Better Choice members receive a premium website listing as part of their membership which includes a logo, photos of the store and staff, as well as a link to their own website (which helps boost their own website’s Google search rating).
Check out the ‘Find my local store’ function on the website and discover other great content like recipes, tips, articles and more.

Not a member yet? Click the link below to complete your application form or click here to book one of our team to come and see you in your store to discuss the program.

Click here to download a member application form

Calls for nominations to join the new advisory committees

Do you want to be part of the group who work with the MMA to advise on matters relating to Market operations and the fresh produce industry?
Advisory committee members have an important role in the Market that help shape strategy and key initiatives.
The three year term of the current advisory committees has reached an end and therefore nominations are now being called for interested individuals to hold office for a period of three years commencing 1 March 2019 for the following committees:
– Fruit & Vegetable Wholesalers Committee
– Fruit & Vegetable Growers Committee
– Fruit & Vegetable Retailers Committee
– Flower Industry Committee

Past and current advisory committee members are eligible to reapply.
Nominations should be submitted in writing no later than 3.00pm on 1st February 2019 to the Chief Executive Officer, Box 1, 55 Produce Drive, Epping VIC 3076.
Nomination Forms and Terms of Reference are available from the MMA Administration Office or can be downloaded from the Melbourne Market website by clicking here.
For any questions please call David Whitchelo on 9258 6100.

MMA Board and Management visit growers and retailers in Shepparton

The MMA Board and management team recently travelled to Shepparton to visit a number of businesses in the local area.
The trip is part of the MMA’s commitment to continue to obtain a better understanding of the needs of our customer base and the challenges facing the industry.
The board visited Fruitworks, commonly known as the ‘Shepparton Market’, Barolli Orchards and La Manna Premier Group’s Lancaster Farm.

– Fruitworks has been in operation for over 20 years as a greengrocer and the business also operates as a providore for the local food service industry. They have recently expanded the business to offer other product lines, transitioning into a gourmet food store, which includes a juice bar and delicatessen.
– Barolli Orchards are growing a new variety of apple not seen in Australia called the Red Moon apple. It has crimson skin and red-coloured flesh. Barolli Orchards will be one of only five distributors across the world, and the only grower in Australasia of the Red Moon apple. Barolli Orchards supply Bresha and Piccolo at the Melbourne Market.
– La Manna Premier Group’s Lancaster Farm is Australia’s first hydroponic gourmet farm featuring a retractable roof. This environmentally sustainable growing facility minimises water and power usage while increasing yields, quality and consistency.

The three businesses visited represented different sections of the supply chain, and were different in size and scale, but all were innovating in their own way to adapt to a changing environment.

The board are keen to do more external site visits, if you are interested in hosting the MMA Board for a tour, please email

Market Charity Golf Day

Fancy a round of golf with an AFL celebrity or golf pro? Have you checked out who you can bid for in the celebrity player silent auction?
Click here to find out how you can donate to a worthwhile cause while rubbing shoulders with celebrity players at the Melbourne Market Golf Day.

There is still time for teams of four to register before the early bird cut-off on February 1, and all teams that register before this date will receive two free drink cards per player.

To download a registration form, or for more information visit the Fresh State websiteor contact

Chinese New Year celebrations

To celebrate Chinese New Year the Chinese Dragon and dancers will be coming through the Market on Thursday 7 February.
For those businesses wanting a blessing during the dance please email and be sure to have your offering for the dragon ready on the day!

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

Industry News

Bush food industry booms

Australia’s bush food industry is growing, with produce such as finger limes, lemon myrtle and wattle seed in demand. But Indigenous representation in the supply chain — from growers to farm managers and exporters — is less than 1 per cent, according to an ongoing research project. Read more on the ABC website.

Key Dates

Thursday 7 February – Chinese New Year Market Celebrations

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