Photo of South Brisbane People's Market with Bonnie Anderson

Bonnie Anderson at South Brisbane People’s Market

People’s market beats Coles’ supermarket in fresh food stakes with an average 27 hour transit from field to consumer, says Food Connect’s Lakshmi Kerr.

“South Brisbane’s Thursday market sells fruit and vegetables harvested one to two days prior to sale”, Ms Kerr said.

Councillor Helen Abrahams appreciates fresh produce in relation to harvest time.

“Buy your fruit and vegetables directly from the farmer or a fruit shop that can tell you when and where the produce was grown,” Councillor Abrahams said.

Public opinion in West End revealed 80% identify freshness as being one week to a month from harvest; while one local resident Bernard Cleary said, “Truth in advertising should disclose the grade of produce so we can make an informed decision”.

“If region and harvest date is acceptable for wine, then the same should be true for fruit and vegetables,” Mr Cleary said.

Close scrutiny of the fresh food section at Coles West End revealed an information sheet on each crate detailing the region, grower, packing and best before date, but no harvest date.

Anna Kelly from Coles said, “We also make product information available both in store and on our Helping Australia Grow website.”

That said, the harvest date of Coles’ West End pink lady apples was unable to be established in-store or on the Helping Australia Grow website.

Coles’ website does indicate that apples are available all year round though.

According to a 2010 report by The People’s Watchdog Choice “[S]hiny red apples might have been in storage for more than a year.”

“…Apples held in cold storage for three months contain lower levels of antioxidants.”

The ACCCs Food Descriptors Guideline states, “[F]ruit advertised as ‘fresh from the farm’ when it was imported, on a container ship for a month before arriving in Australia, fumigated to clear quarantine before being transported to further cold storage and then to the supermarket produce bin would be unlikely to meet the consumer understanding of a ‘fresh-from-the-farm’ claim.”

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The South Brisbane People’s Market at 15 Hope Street opens every Thursday from 9 am.