Customers saw empty shelves at many local fruit and veg shops earlier this week with storms causing havoc and the Brisbane Markets® at Rocklea inundated by floodwater. However, the swift efforts and dedication of those working through the supply chain, including independent fruit and veg shops, has ensured fresh fruit and vegetables are now back on the shelves throughout Queensland.
Independent fruiterer and A better choice! retailer Robert Smith from Toowoomba Fresh said that his stores have been out of stock since the wild weather hit last Sunday, but they are now almost fully stocked again.
“I was unable to get produce supplies, but we remained open the whole time with limited staff and used the opportunity to give the store a good clean,” said Robert.
“By Thursday, we were able to buy 95% of our daily requirements from the Brisbane Markets® and we are in the process of filling the shop back up.
“However, we’ve noticed that some vegetables like broccoli and shallots have gone up a bit in price. This in entirely understandable due to the damage that has occurred in the Lockyer Valley and surrounds.”
Impacts to the supply chain mean some produce lines are in limited supply, resulting in moderate price increases. Shoppers are reminded that fruit and vegetables still represent good value and are urged to show their support for Queensland’s growers and those Markets businesses that are flood affected by shopping at your local fruit and veg shop.
Robert said that the Brisbane Markets® and the wholesalers who operate at the Markets did a great job, working through the night, to get the fresh fruit and vegetable distribution chain back into full swing.
“Considering the state that the Brisbane Markets® were in during the floods, it was an amazing effort to see it up and running again in such a short period of time,” said Robert.
“It seems like they were well prepared. After the 2011 floods, I remember they did a lot of things to help prepare for future floods like moving refrigeration units to the roof. A lot of credit goes to the guys down there.”
The Brisbane Markets® is home to Queensland’s only central fruit and vegetable market and is the state’s most important centre for the marketing and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables. It records annual trade in excess of 700 million kilograms of produce including a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Businesses right through the fresh produce supply chain who have been affected by this wild weather need the support of the Queensland community. By shopping at your local, independent fruit and veg shop, you are not only supporting them, but are supporting the businesses who operate from the Brisbane Markets®, most of which have suffered significant losses from the floods.
Despite the great work done to get trade back up and running, there is still much to do, and consumers can help by buying local. Local, independent fruit and veg shops provide customers with a better choice of quality, freshness, and service. They give customers the opportunity to shop as close to home as possible while supporting their local community.
“We are looking forward to a busy weekend where we can help our customer to restock their own fruit and veg supplies.”
About A Better Choice!
The A Better Choice! program supports over 500 independent retailers and wholesalers across the country who supply more than half of Australia’s fresh produce each year. In Queensland, the A Better Choice! program is run by Brismark and supported by the Brisbane Markets. More information about A Better Choice! including retailers and wholesalers can be found by visiting www.abetterchoice.com.au
Karen Tilke, Business and Service Delivery Manager, Brismark
Phone: 0417 207 233 or Email: [email protected]