More than 10 years in the making and not without its share of controversy, the new Melbourne Wholesale Market officially opened in Epping last week.
Tarra Valley Foods owner George Sharp was so far pleased with what he had seen.
“We are very happy with it, it’s a lovely facility,” Mr Sharp said.
He said while the trading floor was smaller than that of the previous Footscray Road site, his initial opinion was it was an overall better facility.
“A lot of those traders will relocate into a store instead of a stand on the trading floor so it shouldn’t be an issue,” Mr Sharp said.
“I’m very impressed with the parking facilities and the ease of access to the market.”
The new location was previously of concern to Gippsland and regional traders who believed the Epping site would add extra time to their journey, but Mr Sharp said it was nothing of huge concern.
“I have spoken to several traders and while the relocation has put a little bit on (the time of) their trips, its only 10 minutes or so,” he said.
Member for Morwell Russell Northe said there were still unresolved issues with the site.
“While there were no major catastrophes and issues there are still some concerns on functionality,” Mr Northe said.
“It’s still only early stages so we won’t know (how the market will manage) until it gets into full swing.”
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the market was a long-time coming.
“This is a significant day as the new market has been a decade in the making,” Ms Pulford said.
“This state of the art facility at Epping will ensure Victoria’s horticulture producers, wholesalers and exporters are well positioned to export our premium fresh produce around the country and to the rest of the world.”