Changing, Improving, Innovating

September 26, 2013


Fresh Thinking, Fresh Produce, Fresh Approach; this has been the mantra of the Cape Town Market for many years. It was this mantra that guided us in our endeavours to offer our producers, buyers and agents the freshest market experience we could.

Since we developed this mantra there have been significant improvements at the Cape Town Market some of which have been overt and immediate and others that have been running quietly in the background.

In 2013, 9 years after privatisation, the Cape Town Market is known for it’s fresh thinking, it is revered for its fresh approach and envied for its fresh produce. The time has come to become something new, something better, something bigger and the only way to do this is to constantly change, improve and innovate.

Constantly Changing, Improving and Innovating, our new Mantra at the Cape Town Market to us means the following…

Taking care of our producers, the lifeblood of our business and our customer:

Producer Care has been taken to another level. One-on-one farm visits, to large, medium and small producers. Our management team, who specialise in the different facilities at the Cape Town Market undertake these visits. By initiating these visits we are able to listen to the producers needs and help to offer solutions.

Regular visits place the emphasis on the particular needs to a particular producer and at the same time bringing to their attention all the new changes at the Cape Town Market and exchanging ideas within the industry.

The team will also spend time encouraging new producers to market via the Cape Town Market opening up a new sales channel for the producer and a new supply channel for the buyers.

Understanding our buyers, big or small:

A Buyers Care program was initiated in 2012. An introductory welcome pack was created and is given to every new buyer with a easy explanation of how to buy on the trading floor. The pack can be downloaded here

We understand that a market does not have to be dirty:

Cleanliness has become a big focal point. The market is cleaned twice daily and we are pedantic about litter and smoking ensuring that our buyers, agents and visitors don’t smoke on the floor and that litter is cleaned away as soon as possible, leaving the market clean.

Loading and Off-loading times have been adjusted to ensure that between 4:00am and 11:00am no trucks, vans or cars are on the trading floor. This change has made a big difference; we have improved safety for our buyers, reduced emission exposure during periods of high activity and ensured a cleaner trading environment.

Producers who deliver during these times have also been accommodated via several alternative off-loading areas and the buyers have been provided with their own solutions to load produce.

We understand that sometimes you need to reach out:

Creating a friendlier, more in-touch atmosphere has had a positive impact.  A friendly face on the trading floor, a smile to say good morning, a hotline number for queries and even morning updates via email, as one buyer described it:

 “Nothing like this has ever been done before and it definitely adds value and service to our and many other businesses. Its also nice to know that the Market is trying to establish new trends and services to support its customers away from the old school and showing they care. In this day and age of challenging conditions its inspiring and drives me further to succeed”

We know buyers want to trade with as little fuss as possible, so we made it easier:

We have initiated a new payment method “Protected Cash” which allows buyers to deposit money into their accounts which allows them to process sales immediate and reduces waiting time to get their produce off the floor and on their shelves.

We installed an ATM for their convenience and to ensure that they are able to buy produce as and when they want.

We want to be the market of choice:

At the Cape Town Market we want to listen and learn from our partners, the producers, the agents, the buyers and staff, all of whom have a voice which we would like to hear.

We are committed to being the best and will continue to change, improve and innovate.

Watch this space!


If you have any questions, or comments, or just want to chat give us a call on +27 (82) 646 1991

We want to hear from you!


IMASA AGM “Quo Vadis”

September 25, 2013

The 19th of September at the Cape Royale Hotel in Greenpoint, Cape Town saw the finest turnout for an IMASA AGM. Since its inception 68yrs ago and this year was particularly special with the change in precedent giving rise to Project Rebirth.

Grant Norman was elected as President of IMASA at the AGM which was attended by at least 40 to 50 people including Chairpersons or representative from all South African National Markets and Market Agents.

The Theme for IMASA AGM was “Quo Vadis”-Where are we going? This featured predominant through panel discussions attended by 60 to 70 people. The discussions revolved around the relevant and present issues, the progress of Project Rebirth, unity amongst members, adoption of social media initiatives and the future for the industry.

With the Business part of the conference coming to a close a splendid gala dinner event was hosted by IMASA and attended by the Who’s Who in the fresh produce industry, including Mr Billy Morokolo (Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests), Mr Tommie van Zyl (ZZ2), Mr Jan van Zyl (Chairman of SAKO) and Lizel Pretorius (Registrar of Apac) to name a few.

The highlight of the evening was the Keynote speech given by the Cape Town Market’s CEO Mr Rob Lowe who welcomed all 100 guests.

Mr Lowe spoke about the Project Rebirth initiative and the IMASA engagement with government, municipalities and other stakeholders resulting in rising of the profiles of fresh produce markets.

He thanked the Chairman, Mr Grant Norman for his leadership in the execution of this initiative.

Mr Lowe, spoke extensively on the state of fresh produce markets leading up to 2013 and where the future of these markets be going in the future.

“The fresh produce markets will go where we want them to go; fundamentally our destiny is in our hands”

Bringing to guest’s attention “that we remain a potent force in the fresh produce industry and it is well within our competence and capacity to restore our businesses to full health and prosperity.”

Mr Lowe discussed Ownership and the three models currently coexisting in the 23 fresh produce markets throughout South Africa. He spoke about transformation over the last 20yrs of democracy in South Africa and how this has reflected in the Markets of today. He spoke of “Efficiency and Productivity”, highlighting the interaction he has personally had with producers, discussing their concerns and the possible changes that could be implemented.

Mr Lowe launched the idea that a SAQA registered Fresh Produce College should be established specifically designed to deal with the training of Market Agents and Salesman. Mr. Lowe also stressed the importance of the renewal of the Farmer/Market Agent relationship and the art of communication.

The Gala Event was topped off with an awards ceremony

The FIRST EVER Shiny Red Apple Award went to the Cape Town Market.

Harry Norman – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry.

Herman Bonthuys – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry.

Attie Horn – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry.

Chris Nance – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry.

Deon van Zyl – Honorary membership in recognition of his loyal service to the industry

Great cocktails, Interesting Speeches, Wonderful awards and delicious dinner all made for a successful event


Cape Town Market Blossoms On Spring Day

September 10, 2013

Spring Day

“Spring has Sprung

The grass has riz

I wonder where the birdies iz”


Although the weather did not seem to be very springy, our buyers and Market staff were! There was a competition to guess the weight of produce on a large weighted scale, a cash prize and a flower for the lapel to add a jaunty spring to the step for the morning.

Up to 200 people entered the competition with estimates ranging from 72kg to 697kg. Decisions were a serious matter, peering over and under, consultations with fellow buyers and then final numbers settled upon….many changed as the morning progressed.

Result ……drum roll….108.30kg and the prize money went to David Kaug.

A huge thanks goes to Alta de Jager, her team of Cashiers, Petunia Top, Alecia Juries and Des-Lin Beukes, Ricardo from the Assesment Centre all of whom dove into flower power, pinned lapels and took names for the morning cash draw.

And so we hope Spring starts….would someone tell the weather please!