The history of The Queensland Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries Co-operative Limited, or Brismark as it is now more commonly known, dates back to 1941 when an Association of Market Wholesalers was formed, largely prompted by the introduction of war-related legislation. Wholesalers collectively had no input into this legislation, due to their lack of representative voice. The Association had a full-time secretary and operated in the earlier Brisbane Roma Street and Turbot Street Markets. In 1948, the Association was registered as a Co-operative, and in 1950 the Chamber purchased a vacant selling floor in Turbot Street and commenced to seriously trade in Market requisites including hardware, packaging, and stationery.
In the 1950’s, the Chamber became heavily involved in the Government inquiry focused on the relocation of the Market, and Chamber representatives had great influence in the relocation. Chamber Members and The Chamber office moved to the Brisbane Markets at Rocklea on its opening in 1964. The Chamber subsequently expanded its shop front services to raise revenue including a hardware store, a garden and nursery centre, stationery supplies, packaging supplies, night unloading, travel service and it even broadcast fresh produce prices from a radio station. The organisation later reviewed these shop front services offerings and no longer provides them today.
By the 1970’s, the industry was facing some financial hardship and bad debts had become a problem for the Wholesalers. So, in 1972 a World Study Tour of other Central Markets was undertaken which resulted in the introduction of a Credit Service at the Brisbane Markets in 1973. The introduction of the Credit Service was one of the key decisions that shaped the way the Brisbane Markets operates today. Still operating today, the Credit Service is the financial clearing house for Primary Wholesalers, Buyers and related businesses engaging with the Markets. It also provides Members with a credit risk management function and bad debt recovery solutions.
In 1989, the Chamber adopted the trading name Brismark, of which it is more commonly known today.
Another key decision that shaped the Brisbane Markets into what it is today was the decision to facilitate industry ownership of the Brisbane Markets. In 2001, the State Government announced it would be selling the Brisbane Markets by way of an open tender. This had followed years of lobbying by Landacq Limited, a Brismark-backed company, for Brismark to manage an industry-led bid to buy the Brisbane Markets. The bid was successful and in 2002 the company name changed from Landacq Limited to Brisbane Markets Limited, which stands today.
Today, Brismark continues to provide vital services to its Members such as industry representation and promotion, training, employee recruitment, credit management, FreshTest produce testing and other business services. The Brismark Board and Committees remain dedicated to providing strong industry leadership, a voice for Members, and to promote the Central Market System.
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