Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality Fresh Produce Market is a department of Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) and is placed under the directorate of Economic Development and Agencies. BCMM is situated on the east coast of Eastern Cape Province and includes the towns of East London, Bhisho, Mdantsane and King Williams Town.
The Market became a municipal market in 1873 and the first recorded sale took place on 30 September 1873. The present market located in the industrial area of Wilsonia in East London started operations on 23 September 1978. The market took off with a turnover of about R4 million a year between 1978 and 1979 and has now grown to record about R450 million in 2019.
This municipal business unit provides facilities for the storage and distribution of the fresh produce. It receives and sells the products to the public on behalf of the farmers who are the suppliers. This is a revenue source for the municipality as it generates commission and rental income. The market agents operate in the allocated floor space. Cold storage remains an important part of the Fresh Produce Market and service providers have been appointed on a contractual basis to effect repairs, upgrades and replacements of cold rooms and related components.
The Market prides itself with being the first market to trade on a computerised system which is now used by about 16 other national markets countrywide. The current market supplies produce to the whole of BCMM area and extends as far as Port St Johns, Aliwal North, Port Alfred and Port Elizabeth. An average of 80 000 tons of fresh produce is received annually from farmers all over the country. The location and the roads infrastructure leading to the market provides smooth access to its main buyers which are traders, hawkers and the general public. The BCMM Fresh Produce Market is currently ranked number 5 out of the 18 national fresh produce markets in terms of turnover and averaging 2.8% market share.