This Week In The Market – 3 August 2021

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The market community is mourning the loss of a young market user after a fatal traffic accident occurred in the market yesterday morning.  

We offer our thoughts and condolences to the deceased’s family, his employer, his co-workers, and the wider market community during this difficult time.  

This tragic incident serves as a reminder to us all that workplace safety is vital.

If these events have impacted you, or you are concerned about your own or someone else’s emotional well-being, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or

In this week’s Market News:

– 40-year celebration wall installed on Buyers’ Walk
– Vale Amato ‘Tim’ Varapodio
– New mural celebrating fresh produce journey

Market News

40-year celebration wall 

The Melbourne Market is not just a place to come to work, we are a community, and to many, the market is like an extended family. 

The MMA recognise market participants who have worked in the industry for 40 years or more. When you become a 40-year member, you receive a gold access card, which has no fee applied, as well as a commemorative framed certificate. 

Now the MMA further recognises the life-long contribution of our gold cardholders with the installation of a 40-year wall. 

The wall is filled with the names of all those who have hit the 40-year milestone in a bold display of colours, next to store 51 on the Buyers’ Walk. It has been designed so names can be added each year as market users reach the significant milestone. 

Names that appear on the wall are based on our records; however, there may be market users who have worked in the industry for over 40 years but have never applied for the gold card. 

To become a gold card member you need to apply by downloading and completing the 40-year service award form from the website. 
If you think your name should be added to the wall, we invite you to apply for a gold card. 

In the coming weeks, we hope to hold a small event in the market to officially mark the installation of the wall; however, it will be dependent on COVID restrictions. 

The Melbourne Market is made up of a diverse, hard working and proud group of individuals, that make the market the unique and special place it is.

The MMA is delighted to honour the longest-serving members of our community with the 40-year celebration wall.

Current COVID restrictions

The following COVIDSafe rules are currently in place in the Melbourne Market. 

– Face masks need to be worn at all times while at the market in both indoor and outdoor locations. Masks are vital
in reducing the risk of the transfer of the virus.
– Gates 2 and 3 and the P1 pedestrian turnstile will remain closed, with all vehicle and foot traffic required to come
through Gate 1; this allows Market Relations Officers to ensure that all market users are wearing a face mask. 
– Only one person per electric vehicle or buggy to ensure social distancing.
– Social distancing must be strictly adhered to; you must keep 1.5 metres from others wherever possible.

We ask you to be vigilant and continue to follow COVIDSafe practices.

– 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.

Vale Amato ‘Tim’ Varapodio

The MMA and market community offer sincere condolences to the family of Amato ‘Tim’ Varapodio, who passed away last week. 

Tim worked in the market for over 60 years. He was a highly respected member of the market community and regarded as a true gentleman. 

Tim played a key role in the transition from Queen Victoria Market to Footscray Road in 1969. In 1972 Tim became a charter member of the Lions Club of the Melbourne Markets, and during this time, he was instrumental in the formation of a single united wholesaler’s association, known today as Fresh State. 
Tim was elected President of the Lions Club in 1983 and again for another term in 1990, where he was involved in countless projects helping those in need. 

A funeral service will be held for Tim on Wednesday 4 August at 11.30 am. Due to funeral capacity limits, a live stream of the service can be viewed at:

Rest in Peace, Tim. 

New mural celebrating fresh produce journey
If you pass by the rear of the administration building, you will notice the once drab grey wall is being transformed into a work of art. 

A mural is being painted to cover the entire wall to add a splash of colour to the market surroundings. The mural has been designed to capture the journey of produce and flowers from paddock to the consumer and is painted by Justine McAllister. 

Weather permitting, the artwork should be completed by the end of this week. 
We look forward to sharing the finished result. 

Deep Cleaning of the Buyers’ Walk
From Monday 2 August between 12.00 pm and 4.00 pm, heavy-duty machinery will be operating on the Buyers’ Walk to undertake a deep clean of the area.

Cleaning will commence at the northern end (Store 1) on Monday and progressively make its way towards the southern end of the Buyers’ Walk over seven days.

The schedule of the works will run as follows:

– Tenancy 1 to 27 – Monday 2 August
– Tenancy 29 to 49 – Tuesday 3 August
– Tenancy 53 to 69 – Wednesday 4 August
– Tenancy 71 to 85 – Thursday 5 August
– Tenancy 87 to 103 – Friday 6 August
– Tenancy 107 to 127 – Monday 9 August
– Tenancy 129 to 155 – Tuesday 10 August

When the area in front of your tenancy is due to be cleaned, please ensure you remove any equipment or produce from the area.

The deep cleaning equipment is loud and does emit diesel fumes. This may cause discomfort for staff occupying the offices on Level 1 when the machinery is operating in the vicinity.

All roller doors will be opened during the works. 

Thank you for your tolerance during this period to provide a cleaner Market for everyone.

Next Certificate III in Greengrocery intake beginning September

We’ve been delighted with the number of enquiries coming through from people looking to enrol in Certificate III in Greengrocery. The great news is that the course’s next intake is not too far away, commencing in September. So if you haven’t enquired already, now is the time to secure your spot. 

What will you learn?
The course is delivered over nine months, with fortnightly three-hour online training sessions and seven days of face to face delivery. During the course, you’ll refine your skills in a range of areas, including produce knowledge, health and workplace safety, customer service, cash sales and advice, floristry requirements, and communications and interpersonal skills.

Benefits for business owners
When business owners invest in their employees learning, it brings a range of benefits to the business. Supporting your staff to achieve a recognised qualification will help increase employee morale and engagement, and chances are, your employees may bring back fresh and innovative ideas to implement in-store.
Don’t forget, as an added bonus, the Government subside wages up to 50% of an employees wage for 12 months (up to $28,000)* for eligible employees enrolling in the course.

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

It’s never too late to get qualified; find out more at

Industry News
Production growth to power Australian produce

Increasing production is set to be one of the leading themes in the second half of 2021 for Australian horticulture, according to a new report from Rural Bank.The ‘2021 Australian agriculture mid-year outlook’ said increased supply over the next six months is expected to be met with strong demand, however, the sector still faced a number of persistent challenges.
Read more on Produce Plus

Melbourne Market Job Board
Do you have a vacancy to fill in your business?
Email 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. View full online job board

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