In response to the temporary closure of the Tshwane Market due to a COVID-19 infection last week, RSA Group, South Africa’s leading fresh produce sales organisation, has launched an alternative trading facility in Midrand.

The facility opened its doors on 26 June, after just two days’ preparation. The first day of business saw over 340 pallets of fresh produce for sale – an unprecedented volume given the speed with which the facility was set up.

Industry stakeholders take hands

According to Jaco Oosthuizen, RSA Group CEO, the new facility is aimed at supporting the country’s farmers and ensuring that buyers continue to have reliable access to produce. “Stakeholders across the industry have come together incredibly well since the lockdown started to ensure national food security. This is another contribution to the cause.”

One such stakeholder is Freshlinq, which was quick to move in partnership with RSA Group. Its technology and operational systems have played a key role in the new facility’s ability to get trading with such speed.

A sustainable contribution to the fresh produce industry

The Midrand facility’s success illustrates that effective price discovery is not the sole domain of municipal facilities; it can thrive in any physical or online environment.

“It is a high-tech system with excellent transparency, and produce can move very quickly,” says Oosthuizen. “This is in line with the way markets are evolving globally into ‘low touch’ facilities that deliver excellent price discovery and meet the new demands of the COVID economy. We are confident it will make a sustained contribution to the industry.” – Press release, RSA Group