As storms lashed South-East Queensland, causing wide-spread devastation and destruction, it was the passion and commitment of those working through the distribution chain, including independent fruit and veg shops, that ensured fresh fruit and vegetables could quickly get back onto the tables of households throughout Queensland.

With the Brisbane Markets® at Rocklea inundated by floodwater, the distribution of fruit and vegetables throughout Queensland was disrupted for 48 hours. For independent fruiterers like Lenny Catalano from Spuds and Plums at Mt Gravatt, the flooding at Brisbane Markets® meant that they had limited access to stock. However, Lenny went above and beyond to make sure his customers didn’t miss out.

“We were lucky as we had quite a bit of stock on hand before the floods hit,” said Lenny.

We were able to manage the situation well, but it took a big effort to make this happen. I was on the road at 4am to try and source produce and fight the heavy traffic due to flooded streets, but I wanted to make sure my customers could get what they needed.

“With the supermarkets not having much produce at all, we ended up being very busy.”

Lenny said that the Brisbane Markets® and the wholesalers who operate at the Markets, worked throughout the night to get everything up and running again, with operations resuming much quicker than expected.

“Brisbane Markets Limited should be commended for their efforts. In 24 hours, they were able to do so much to get the Markets up and running again! I take my hat off to everyone involved in this process,” said Lenny.

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.

“The floods are a great example of how local fruit and veg shops and their suppliers did not give up during difficult times. We came together, rolled up our sleeves, and did what we had to do to get the supply chain going and to get stock onto shelves.”

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 much still 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.


Lenny Catalano and the team from Spuds and Plums


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

Media contacts:

Karen Tilke, Business and Service Delivery Manager, Brismark Phone: 0417 207 233 or Email: [email protected]

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