It has been a busy time at the South Australian Produce Markets, with a range of projects taking place not only to improve conditions but also to deal with industry challenges.
18 months ago the organisation launched its microgrid comprising 6,412 solar panels, 25 powerpack batteries, and the latest technologically advanced high voltage switch room. It has not only improved the environmental output of the markets but also led to lower costs and in turn better wholesale prices.
But the past year has not been without its challenges, with improvements needing to be made to deal with both the COVID-19 pandemic and a fruit fly outbreak in parts of South Australia
FreshPlaza was invited on a tour of the markets meeting leading fresh produce companies including Costa Farms, SA Mushrooms, Rainbow Fresh, Russo Produce and Ceravolo Orchards. There was even some interesting and specialised produce such as purple chilli plants and even a giant turnip.
Foodbank has just increased its presence and partnership at the markets, with more than 1.6 million kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables, worth more than $4.8 million dollars, donated by South Australian growers and wholesalers. This has contributed to a record number of meals being delivered to families in need by Foodbank SA in the last 12 months.
South Australian citrus season is also ramping up in coming weeks, with Bache Bros reporting some excellent quality from the fruit that has filtered through to the markets.
Cobbledick Produce has also just completed a successful vegetable season, with its brassica range, and is now focussing on leeks.
FreshPlaza will be publishing content from this tour over the next few weeks.