One of South Africa’s best established fresh produce markets received a big investment boost recently, with local farmers and consumers set to experience the benefits soon.
The Qonce Fresh Produce Market has a 25-year history as a key Eastern Cape agri trade zone, servicing farmers and buyers across the province.
Fresh produce sales organisation, RSA Group, recently invested in the facility (formerly known as the King Williams Town Fresh Produce Market), with the intention of expanding the scope and quality of its offering.
“The essentials are still very much in place,” said Luan Wentzel, Managing Director, RSA Group Eastern Cape. “The same management team will continue to run the facility. The goal is to build on an already well established and successful operation to add more business value for producers, buyers and consumers.”
He said the addition of RSA Group muscle means the Qonce Fresh Produce Market will have access to significantly expanded producer relationships. It will also enjoy access to the group’s business intelligence systems.
“Reading price signals correctly is a big challenge for farmers and buyers, and this is one of several areas where RSA Group’s experience and expertise will boost the service offering to all of the market’s stakeholders,” Wentzel said.
“This is especially important for producers, because effective price discovery has a big influence on how farmers plan ahead and allocate their resources over the medium and long term.”
The new Qonce Fresh Produce Market will also feature trading facilities that cater specifically to smaller buyers, including a retail sales section, servicing consumers, a Market Meats butchery and a soon-to-be-established Tall Pete coffee station.
“Fresh eating is a major global trend and consumers across the world are really appreciating the cost and lifestyle benefits of shopping for fresh produce as close to the source of production as possible. We believe actively servicing smaller buyers and consumers will be a powerful offering in the region, especially when supported by niche products like quality meats and coffee.”
Wentzel said the investment is a valuable one for RSA Group, which aims to steadily build the power of the market’s offering by bringing in strategic relationships with key producers, and by adding important skill sets, where needed.
“This is an exciting development. The Qonce Fresh Produce Market forms a key part of our regional markets business strategy and will create important opportunities to do more positive business in the Eastern Cape in the future.”