It’s not often we take the time to think about how far the fresh produce we eat has travelled to make it from the farm to our fork. For those living in rural areas, you may be lucky enough to buy directly from the farmer’s hands. But, for many of us living in urban or suburban Australia, a carrot for example makes it to our plate thanks to the coordination of growers, wholesalers and retailers all working together.
Depending on what piece of fruit or veg that’s being grown, it could take a month to harvest, or a year. In the case of our carrot, it can take between 14-24 weeks before its ripe for the picking. Once they’re out of the ground, the growers bunch them up and prep them to be sold to the wholesalers.
The Wholesaler needs to be an expert in both the worlds of the growers and of the retailers – they’re the link in the supply chain. Without a wholesaler, your carrot would be stuck at the farm before it even made it to the shop shelves, let alone your plate. The wholesalers buy their fresh produce from the growers and present the produce at the central markets found all around the country.
These central markets are huge centres located in Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Newcastle. They house the vast majority of all the fresh produce consumed in Australia, and where all the trade is completed between the wholesalers and retailers. Think less of your farmer markets, and more along the lines of massive facilities spanning dozens of hectares, buzzing with activity. This is where the wholesalers ‘set up shop’ to do business.
The Retailers are the faces of the fruit and veg shops that we all know and love. They’re responsible for selecting the freshest, highest quality produce on offer at the central markets, and bringing it to your local store. They scour the endless amount of produce on offer from the wholesalers for the best deals on the best produce.
By the time they open their shops in the morning, they often have already made a trip to the central market before dawn, to pick the best produce on offer! It takes a whole lot of dedication and passion to get out to the markets, morning after morning, and they have both by the crate-load.
Find the full list of A Better Choice retailers that complete the supply chain here.