This February a new wholesale produce market called Vegefru Stadium opened in Island City. There used to be three wholesale produce markets in the City—the Central Market, Western Market and Eastern Market—but they merged to form the new market because of aging facilities and to streamline operations. Combined, the three wholesale produce markets rank near the top in Japan for both sales and transaction volume, so a decision was reached to move into a bigger and better facility.
Vegefru stadium covers 150,000 m2, which is nearly two times the size of Yahuoku! Dome. The new market is equipped with the latest systems to ensure optimum efficiency. The sealed controlled temperature wholesale market—one of the biggest in Japan—can be kept between 5 and 15°C, and systems to check residual pesticide levels before and after shipment have also been beefed up in an effort to provide safer, healthier produce to the people.
The fresh produce sold at Vegefru Stadium comes from all over Kyushu, not just from Fukuoka, and the market aims to become a fresh produce hub for Asia. Given the optimal location on Island City near the airport, expressway and harbor, fresh produce can easily be transported by air, land or sea. Vegefru Stadium aims to expand the overseas sales of Japanese produce where it has become popular, with a primary focus on Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Local residents are free to stop by the market, which also has shops and eateries on site. It used to be that only people with special access could buy processed goods, but now local residents can buy them as well. There is a new multipurpose plaza where regular events, such as food auctions and cooking classes, are held. Tours are also available, so why don’t you come check out the new and improved produce market today!
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn208, Apr. 2016)