Here are some useful tips to help Growers make the most out of dealing with the Brisbane Markets.
The first step when dealing with the Brisbane Markets is to find a Wholesaler who deals in the produce line that you grow.
Before a Grower can trade with a fruit and vegetable Wholesaler in Australia, they must have a signed Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA) between you both and have an understanding of the Horticulture Code of Conduct. It’s mandatory, so find out more by talking to your Wholesaler or visiting Horticulture Code of Conduct | ACCC.
Once you have your paperwork signed and sealed, keep the following tips in mind:
- Arrange with your Wholesaler to visit the Brisbane Markets to compare your product with the competition. However, don’t just organise a time to visit out of season. Have a look when hundreds of other Growers’ produce is also hitting the market to compare quality, packaging and to pick up some ideas.
- Communication with your Wholesaler is the key. Make sure you let your Wholesaler know if you are experiencing any difficulties or expect an especially good crop so that forward planning can take place. Regard your contact time with your Wholesaler as building a relationship to ensure you get the best possible advice and support. If you have a complaint, simply pick up the phone and speak about it so you can both find a resolution.
- Is your packaging up to scratch? Some Growers use recycled cartons, which effects the overall presentation of the produce, making top quality fruit and vegetable harder to sell. If you must use recycled boxes, make sure you have correctly labelled the cartons to avoid any spot fines from the Queensland Government Trade Measurement Office.
- Keep up-to-date records of your transactions. Always use consignment notes to help track your produce. These are a great reference point if something ever goes wrong.
- Accurately grade and describe your fruit. Throwing your produce into grade 1 boxes when the produce is grade 2 will only break down your relationship with the Wholesaler and the regular purchasers of your product. It’s better to be up front from the start and earn a reputation for being a reliable supplier.
- Use reliable carriers who can get your produce to its destination on time and in good condition. Not all trucks arrive at their destination without delays (when picking up and dropping off items on the way) so make sure you know when your carrier is due to deliver your goods.
- Contact your Wholesaler quickly if you do not receive payment by the agreed time.
- Listen to your Wholesaler’s advice and be prepared to accept constructive criticism. The Wholesaler is your representative and has a vested interest in seeing you reach the best possible price for your product. It’s handy to hear what they have to say.
- Stick to the numbers of pallets or cartons that you have advised your Wholesaler you will be sending. Never send produce unannounced, short change the order or throw extra on without notification because your Wholesaler usually knows exactly how much produce is required, for whom, and how the rest of the market is progressing.
- Subscribe to the Fresh Source magazine, Brisbane Market’s publication that keeps the fruit and vegetable industry up-to-date on regulatory issues, hot topics and a range of resources. Subscription is free – subscribe here!
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