May 16 – Julie & Dane

Wholesale Cut Flowers at the Melbourne Market

The Melbourne Market is a trading center for wholesale fruit, flower, and vegetable businesses. It is one of sixteen central fresh produce markets in Australia, and the largest of those markets- along with Sydney’s. These central markets serve as the platform for growers, whole-salers, and retailers to participate in the supply chain of these goods.

Don’t be fooled! These cabbage impersonators are actually flowers.

The excitement of the Melbourne Market all happens within the early hours of the morning. Sellers and growers set up shop at 10 PM the night before and work all night to prepare for the rush of the morning. By 8 AM that morning, the sold produce has already begun the journey of being distributed across Australia.

Radishes being sold at the Melbourne Market

The Melbourne Market is only open to legitimate businesses that sell vegetables, fruit, or flowers. All produce is grown locally. Sellers tend to have customers who share similar cultural backgrounds, simply due to the ease of speaking the same language.

The “newest” business is 20 years old! This is due to family-run businesses being operated from generation to generation. However, there is a waiting list for businesses who want to establish themselves within the market.

The Melbourne Market plays a large role in moving toward a sustainable community. On Fridays, any produce that has not been sold before the weekend is picked up by charities who will then pass on the food to those who need it. Additionally, any produce that is deemed “unfit” for sale is given to the local zoo!

The Melbourne Market was a treat for our group. It was awesome to see behind the scenes of the mass production and distribution of locally-grown produce. We were able to observe all of the hard work and passion that is put into ensuring food security to residents all over Australia.

Additionally, we toured Biofilta and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center. Biofilta is a company that focuses on implementing urban farms into cities, specifically Melbourne. They not only want to create a more sustainable way of living, but a community for city residents where they can participate in a “community garden” style concept on the roof of their apartment or parking garage. It also provides great benefits for our ecosystem such as increasing Oxygen, biodiversity, and providing a habitat for plants and animals that have otherwise been shut out of the urban ecosystem. Urban farming is an easy solution for our ever growing population and can solve a lot of issues when it comes to space, the environment, and new developments.

Sustainable reservoirs for urban gardens

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is the largest event center in Australia and specifically Melbourne. It is the go to venue for galas, conventions, concerts, and presentations, both locally and internationally. The most interesting thing is how it has promoted a low energy and very productive work space for a diverse community. It’s most sustainable features are its air flow, controlled by strategically placed vents so they can utilize the natural air without using extensive amounts of energy to heat and cool the building. It was traditionally a relatively unsustainable building that used simple concepts through complex architecture to promote productivity and a more sustainable future.

On the steps of the Melbourne Convention center.
One of the main areas leading to Convention areas.

One thought on “May 16 – Julie & Dane

  1. Interesting. I wonder how far is some of the fresh produce shipped in order to make it to the market on time yet still fresh. Although These businesses are family owned and operated I assume they are still industrial in size and in nature. Is meat and poultry also a part of this market? Does the market police itself and its suppliers or is it government whether local or federal oversight?

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