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JAN Mocke, the new acting chief executive officer of the Joburg Market, has plans to take the company to new heights – an apt description from someone who enjoys flying microlights in his leisure time.

Creating a force to be reckoned withCreating a force to be reckoned withThe fresh produce market has projects in the pipeline that will definitely make it a force to be reckoned with, he says.
For one, the market plans an intensified marketing campaign later in the year, to tell consumers of the very attractive value proposition it offers – namely, farm fresh products at wholesale prices.

It is also planning an upgrade, called Market of the Future, that will position Joburg Market at the forefront of fresh produce markets in the world. It will offer cold chain, ISO 22 000 accreditation, so providing superior food safety; significantly improved physical safety for visitors; reduction of duplication; and improved efficiencies, among other improvements.

“At the moment, there are plus-minus 14 agencies who sell products on behalf of the farmers. Each one of them has their own logistics operation,” Mocke explains. This duplication in services is unnecessary and costly compared to a centralised logistics service.

The Market of the Future project will result in a win-win for all stakeholders – producers will run lower risks and have increased exposure to buyers; buyers will be safer and buying will be more convenient; agents will save money through consolidating their operations; and the shareholder will benefit from improved profits from higher throughput.

By upgrading the storage facilities to accommodate cold chain, produce will remain at the ideal storage temperatures, even when it is off-loaded, stored, sold and loaded on to refrigerated trucks again.

“This will help ensure a longer shelf life of our fresh produce, which will increase the value of the products and reduce the risk of losses.”

The Market of the Future was approved by the City council in October 2010. Construction is expected to begin towards the middle of this year and continue for 18 months.

Chief of Operations
Jan Mocke will be 'keeping up the momentum'Jan Mocke will be 'keeping up the momentum'While he may be new to the hot seat, Mocke is not new to the Joburg Market. He joined the company five years ago, and occupied the office of chief of operations until late last year, when the then chief executive officer, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, left to become executive mayor of Tshwane.

“I am filling the shoes of a very big man because Kgosientso was an excellent leader who was dedicated to the growth and development of this business,” he says. “He has brought about a number of positive changes and obviously my role and challenge will be to keep up the momentum he created.”

Mocke holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electronic engineering from the University of Pretoria and a Master of Business Leadership from the University of South Africa (Unisa).

When he is not working, Mocke enjoys the outdoors , with interests including scuba diving, farming, flying microlight planes and electronic engineering.
Joburg Market

Joburg Market is claimed to be the biggest fresh produce market in the world by mass, trading in over a million tonnes of fruit and vegetables a year and servicing buyers and sellers across southern Africa.

It is a commission market, which means that farmers deliver their produce to market agents, who then sell it to buyers. The market makes 5 percent commission on the sale of all fresh produce, while the market agents earn a negotiable 7,5 percent commission on sales.

The advantage of the system is that it is totally transparent, and because all transactions are recorded on the IT system, exact information about volumes traded and prices achieved is available. These prices are used throughout the country by the industry as a guideline, resulting in the Joburg Market labelled the price discovery platform for fresh produce.

The market is in City Deep, off Heidelberg Road, just south of the M2 freeway. To get there, take the Ruven Road off ramp from the M2 (off ramp 15, M19). Drive south down Vickers Road across the railway tracks, turn left into Heidelberg Road, and right at the second intersection.

Sales take place from Tuesday to Fridays, from 5am to 11am, and on Mondays and Saturdays, from 5am to 10am.

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