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Australia: Connecting Victoria's food producers to the world

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford addressed the 31st Congress of the World Union of Markets at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The global event is jointly hosted by Melbourne Market Authority, Queen Victoria Market and Sydney Markets Limited and promotes the international exchange of information on wholesale and retail markets, with a view to improving their construction, organisation and management.

Victoria’s markets play an important role in the global supply chain, supporting Melbourne’s reputation as one of the great food capitals of the world and the State’s enviable position as Australia’s largest food and fibre exporter.

Over 300 guests from around the world are attending the Congress to listen to global leaders and visit Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market and Wholesale Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Market at Epping.

A key theme of the Congress is market modernisation and the impact technology will have on the role of markets in the supply chain and customer experience.

The Andrews Labor Government has been at the forefront of market modernisation. In 2015 the purpose-built, 60-hectare Wholesale Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Market at Epping was opened, which was followed by investment in Steritech’s $4.9 million X-ray treatment and cold storage facilities.

This enables growers to meet export market access requirements by providing a viable alternative to chemical treatment or prolonged cold storage of product.

The Labor Government recently approved new planning controls to pave the way for a major transformation of the Queen Victoria Market.

This will include new cold storage facilities and upgrades to customer amenities, as well as improved car parking and pedestrian access.

The project is expected to create 2,500 jobs during construction and more than 60,000 ongoing jobs once complete.

Modernising Melbourne’s markets will position Victoria to benefit from the doubling of global income levels by 2040 and the increasing consumer demand for premium, bulk commodity and niche food and fibre products.

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