FGV & Growers Tour the New Melbourne Market

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Grower Tour to Melbourne Market Authority - EppingHIAL LOGO

Three weeks ago FGV hosted some 19 growers on a bus tour to visit the new Melbourne Market site at Epping which has since then, been officially opened. It was a good opportunity to look at the site before the hustle and bustle of the market fully operating.

On arriving it was easy to see that the level of security and access points into the market was at a much higher and sophisticated level than the old West Melbourne market.

Once inside the facility it was explained to us that the new Epping site was situated over 70 hectares and the design and operations inside all of the undercover areas are based around safety for all stakeholders.

We were also told that the market will be operating at full capacity on the retail/ wholesale floors and the space in these zones do seem quite small but the feature that stands out is that the capacity of the warehousing at Epping is two and half times the floor space which enables less produce to be situated on the retail floor.

With the change of retailing on the floor and the clearly marked pedestrian zones, walkways, restrictions of forklifts and trucks parked away from these areas during the selling period is necessary to minimise the congestion and enhance the safety.

Many questions were asked about the operations but many of them were about obtaining access to the market and what the hours of operation were.

The hours of operation have not changed after MMA consultation with the Buyers and Store holders but it is expected to come under review when the preliminary period of opening has elapsed.

To facilitate the many queries growers will have the MMA has provided an App http://www.melbournemarkets.com.au/finding-your-way/melbourne-market-navigator-app/ that is very easy to download, it has tools in it for ease of navigation from finding traders and retailers within the facility.

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For those that wish to visit the site in the future, it is recommended you register online http://www.melbournemarkets.com.au/running-your-business/accessing-the-market/ and do the necessary induction that is based around safety awareness whilst on site. Once this is completed successfully you will receive a unique reference number. The next step is to fill in your details on the application form and visit the office to complete the registration and receive your access card which will cost $27.

FGV and the growers found the day most informative and heighten their desire to come back when the facility was fully operational.