Throughout December, the busiest time of the calendar year for the Brisbane Markets in Queensland Australia, there has been a welcome addition that wholesalers have enjoyed.
With approximately 10,500m² of roof area, weighing 310 tonnes, covering a trading hub the size of 40 Olympic swimming pools, the Brisbane Produce Market now boasts an impressive covered space that can guarantee minimal interruption to the bustling trade, regardless of what the weather throws at it.
Since acquiring the site in 2002, Brisbane Markets Limited (BML) has been committed to the ongoing upgrading and redevelopment of the Rocklea site. The completion of the Stage 2 trading floor roof was commissioned by BML. The extension of the Brisbane Produce Market roof provides traders with an international standard facility experience that is fitting for the title of Queensland’s major marketing and distribution hub for the supply of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers.
A Market of the 21st Century
The construction of the Central Trading Area roof was the result of a three-year collaborative process undertaken by BML that included trading floor tenants in the consultation process.
Wholesaler Principal, Peter Tighe, from JH Leavy & Co, believed the addition of the roof to the busy hub had put the Market straight into the 21st century.
“The roof is something that the traders have long been waiting for,” said Mr Tighe.
Wholesaler Principal, Hamish Montague, from Montague Fresh (Qld), agreed that the changed face and functionality of the Market had brought it into the current century, and had taken decades off the overall Market landscape.
Not only has the Markets received a much anticipated facelift, but Mr Montague also believed that the safety of the traders had increased as there were “less slipping dangers” with the introduction of the new covered area.
Protection from the elements means less time spent moving produce around, which was common practice prior to construction.
Previously, Mr Montague explained, wholesalers would be required to push heavy bins and pallets of produce to their limited undercover areas on their trading sections. This would not only hamper their trade, but was resource intensive.
Meanwhile, Mr Tighe said that the work of Wiley was “second to none” and that all vendors in the new protected space were “more than happy with the developments”.
He said that with the upgrades, BML has created a safer and more profitable environment for trading that tackled the problem of unpredictable Queensland weather.
Brisbane Markets by numbers
The markets in (annual) numbers:
- 7000+ growers
- 52 primary wholesalers
- 600,000 tonnes of produce
- $1.3 billion dollars in produce value
With the above statistics, no wonder the wholesalers are happy with the recent developments at the Markets. The addition of the new roof better maintains presentable and less resource intensive produce displays. BML has secured for its tenants a vital component of the trading floor that assists to minimise losses through produce wastage.
This project offered some unique challenges to the construction environment with the installation of the columns that support the roofing structures. Scheduled outside of Market trading hours to minimise interruption to the tenants, each of the columns became a mini-construction site. There was 1mm allowance on all templates, with the cages for the column footing and head stocks being precision laser cut, fabricated and welded off site. They were scheduled for installation using ‘just in time’ project management techniques by Wiley. Each site was required to be contained within a 3.6 x 3.6 metre area to allow surrounding wholesale businesses as much space as possible to carry out their trade.
With over 4000 people working or doing business at the Markets on a daily basis, the successful delivery of the project has been a result of engagement and consultation with the tenants. There was fantastic support and patience from all stakeholders involved throughout all the phases of the roofing project.
Working with BML since 2007, Wiley are pleased to be a partner in bringing the iconic trading site to a new era. This project, in conjunction with all the recent developments to Queensland’s largest fresh produce central hub, showcases the ongoing commitment of BML in bringing forward the best possible facilities to accommodate the interactions of traders, growers and consumers alike.
BML’s world-class facilities and services provide more predictability in the work day for the traders, providing them with the ability to plan, offering peace of mind and leading to more profitability.
To view the time-lapse of this project click HERE
Thank you to our contributors for helping us with our update:
Brisbane Markets Limited (BML) is the owner of the Brisbane Market’s site, and is responsible for its ongoing management and development.
BML strives to provide international-standard facilities and services for fruit, vegetable and flower wholesalers, retailers, provedores, secondary wholesalers, food processors, transporters, exporters, industry organisations and market support businesses.
As Queensland’s only central fruit and vegetable market, the Brisbane Produce Market is the State’s most important centre for the marketing and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Read the latest issue of BML’s Fresh Source Magazine
J.H. Leavy & Co. is one of the oldest established fruit and vegetable wholesaling businesses in the Brisbane Markets at Rocklea, and has been trading since 1907. The Tighe family purchased the business from Jim Leavy in 1970 and it has been under their successful direction to the present time. During this period, the company has expanded and grown along with highly respected farms and pack houses that are pleased to have been supplying it top quality fruit and vegetables for wholesale for well over 30 years.
Montague Fresh (Qld) is Australia’s leading procurer and distributor of quality pome (apple and pear) and stone fruit and a proud supplier to the major retailers in Australia and overseas.