Sydney Markets Wholesalers have formed an alliance with SOC Exchange to help fruit and vegetable retailers establish or boost their online presence.

Greengrocers associated with Sydney Markets will be able to set up their own web store; publish and email their weekly specials or offers; online ordering and shopping; publish blogs, recipes, messages and reviews; as well as provide a free search listing.

John Durst, general manager of the NSW Chamber of Fruit & Vegetable Industries, said: "We believe that the new online platform will enable local greengrocers to maintain market share, by offering superior service and fresh produce direct from the Sydney Markets.”

The Harris Farm Fruit Market in Edgecliff has piloted the development of the online platform, creating a SOC Exchange website to communicate with their existing and new customers to promote their special offers and promotions.

“With the SOC Exchange platform customers will save money on their fruit and vegetable bills by receiving fast and relevant information, while local greengrocers can reduce their promotional and operational costs while building a closer relationship with their customers,” Durst said.

The SOC Exchange service for retailers operates alongside the website’s "buy and sell" platform for consumers, who can sell unlimited items online for the flat fee of $10 per year, with no commissions or extra charges.

"In association with Sydney Markets Wholesalers, the SOC Exchange will be offering greengrocers the chance to own their piece of the net, without the complications and endless expense of setting up and maintaining their own websites,” Franco Lagudi, SOC Exchange founder, said.

"Independent greengrocers no longer need the big dollar budgets in-order to be competitive, they can now personally connect with their customers by instantly displaying and emailing their product specials, with the ability to provide an online shopping experience and the display of their stock items and prices.”