From its very humble beginning in 1893, the Joburg Fresh Produce Market has consistently grown to become the largest fresh produce market in South Africa, all of Africa and the world by volume, trading in excess of 1 million tons (100 million kg of fresh produce) with turnover per annum now exceeding Rand 4 billion (Euro 288 million). By way of comparison, the Joburg Market is twice the size of the second ranked market in the country and bigger than 17 other local markets combined.

A wholly owned entity of the City of Joburg Municipality, the Joburg Market serves about 5,000 farmers from across South Africa who send their fresh produce to the market to be traded to a large buyer base, averaging about 10,000 daily comprising retailers, distributing agents for retailers, wholesalers, exporters, processors, caterers, informal traders and those buying for household consumption.

Suppliers to the Joburg Market–approx. 15,000 are currently registered on their database­–import a small volume from other countries but the majority of the produce is grown locally. Though the majority of Joburg Market’s major producers are GLOBALG.A.P. certified, most of their small-scale growers are uncertified or may not even have some sort of on-farm G.A.P. system. That’s why Joburg Market is keen on endorsing a program like localg.a.p. so that these emerging growers can begin implementing some form of G.A.P. at entry level and advance to GLOBALG.A.P. with time.

“Joburg Market endeavors to ensure that all produce supplied to the local market is safe and of sound quality. To this end the localg.a.p. program has been identified as a tool to bridge the gap between the emerging farmers and commercial farmers in ensuring the safe and sustainable production of food crops. We also anticipate that this will bring about transformation in the plight of emerging farmers,” explains Boipelo Phale,
 Complementary Services Manager at Joburg Market.

Joburg Market provides a sales distribution platform for farmers to sell their produce through the market, offering the physical infrastructure and an information technology system where all transactions (deliveries, sales, returns, etc.) are recorded. Trade takes place through market agents–producers can currently choose one of 15 Joburg Market agencies–who sell the produce on behalf of the farmers via a commission system. Joburg Market charges producers a mere 5 percent commission on all sales made on the commission floor, which is where the actual trading takes place between buyers and market agents acting on behalf of producers.

With over 1 million tons of fresh produce traded via the market every year, the Joburg Market regards protection of consumer safety as non-negotiable. To this end, the market has introduced a Food Safety & Quality Assurance Program to ensure that fresh produce is handled and treated under hygienic, safe and traceable conditions throughout the supply chain. A dedicated Quality Assurance Department manages the program with qualified inspectors who perform end-point inspections on all products entering the trading floor and products already on the floor for their perishability. Joburg Market has also built an in-house laboratory that routinely tests products for the presence and amount of pesticide residues to ensure that the produce that ends up on the dinner table is safe for human consumption.

Learn more about Joburg Fresh Produce Market here.