Third generation fruiterer and ‘A better choice!’ retailer Peter Maniatis, like many fruit and vegetable retailers and wholesalers, has been working long hours of late to overcome the challenges of the current COVID outbreak, ensuring Queensland communities have access to a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. While the big chains struggle to overcome supply chain issues and keep up with demand, your local independent is working hard to ensure you don’t miss out on what you need.
Peter says that while he has been fortunate to have access to a good supply of high‐quality produce through the Brisbane Markets, like most retailers, he has suffered from staff shortages.
“All retailers are facing similar challenges ‐ that is supply and staffing issues,” said Peter.
“Everyone in the shop, including myself, is basically doing double shifts at the moment. In fact, my staff and I have had to cancel our holidays to ensure our customers continue to receive a high level of personalised service. Other independents are in the same boat, but we are all grateful for our customers.
“Luckily for independents like myself, the supply issues are mainly around prepacked items because there is plenty of fresh produce and variety available, sourced locally from the Brisbane Markets.
“Unlike larger supermarkets, we are not restricted by purchasing agreements to buy produce from a specified small number of growers. We have the liberty of accessing fresh produce from all growers across Australia that supply into the wholesalers at the Brisbane Markets from where we source our produce for our customers.”
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.
“If one wholesaler does not have a particular produce line that I am looking for, chances are another wholesaler would. Independent retailers and their customers really are spoilt for choice, even in these difficult times,” said Peter.
Peter’s store, Superior Fruit of Graceville, has been offering home delivery services including cooked meals for many years, so he has been able to easily adapt to the increase in customer demand for these services with lockdowns and isolation requirements since the start of the pandemic. However, with the reduction of in‐store customers, many independent retailers have felt the pinch to their bottom line and need the support of their local community now more than ever.
“We are all thankful to our customers for shopping and supporting us local fruit shops as ultimately, we are consumer-driven businesses,” said Peter. Local, independent fruit 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.
“My customers have the last say and are very important to my business.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org