Only the freshest and best will do for Sana

QUALITY COUNTS: Atul Kumar Sana buys for Fruit and Veg City at the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market. Photo: Daniel Born. © Unknown.
QUALITY COUNTS: Atul Kumar Sana buys for Fruit and Veg City at the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market. Photo: Daniel Born. © Unknown.

lWhat makes your job interesting?

First, my job is my passion, so every bit of my work is interesting and challenging.

Secondly, I enjoy coming across the variety of fruits and vegetables given us by the Lord.

Lastly, I like to be able to negotiate prices with agents and suppliers.

lWhat's the most difficult part of your job?

When there is not enough stock on the market to buy and when the prices are extremely high.

lDo you have regular growers and suppliers?

We have regular suppliers and growers and this makes it easier because they meet our and our customers' requirements.

lWhat time do you wake up in the morning to be the early bird that catches the worm-free fruit?

My day begins at 3am. I am at the market between 4am and 4.30am.

lHow does the change of season influence your decisions of what to buy?

Being in the industry for many years I have knowledge of all types of fruits and vegetables that are best in quality and available during each season.

lHow long have you been in the business and what did you do before working for Fruit and Veg City?

I have been in the industry for 14 years and before that I was a buyer and supplier of fruit and veg for the OK.

lHow often do you have to buy your produce to sell the freshest fruits and vegetables?

Buying is done daily.

lDo you spend time with farmers?

Yes, usually on Mondays. I visit farmers to see their land, look at the product, the quality, size, and make a price.

lWhat's the most unusual fruit or vegetable you've come across?

Persimmon. It's an unusual fruit that looks like a tomato and can only be eaten when it is red and very soft.

lIs a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? How do you know?

A fruit. It comes for the Latin word "pomo doro", which means golden fruit. .

lBriefly describe a normal day.

The early part of my mornings is spent at the warehouse to see what stock has arrived during the night.

The I do to the market, which consists of three halls. The first is the vegetable hall, the second the fruit hall and the third the potato and onion hall.

After buying my goods, which takes me until 8am, I go back to my warehouse to ensure that the stock I had bought is correctly received.

The packer prepares a load sheet and I put a price on each item and have it invoiced.

On completion of all documents , all meetings attended to, I check if all the stock bought for the stores is properly loaded into the trucks.

If there is time left I visit the local stores I supply to ensure that the stock is of superior quality and priced correctly.

lAre you a vegetarian or vegan or do you eat meat?

I am strictly vegetarian.

lDescribe your favourite meal.

I prefer home-made food. I have a sweet tooth and most of our meals begin with a sweet dish followed by the main course. Rice and potatoes are a must. If we eat out, pasta (Napolitana) is my usual choice.

lDoes your job require you to travel?

I travel locally, usually to farms and stores all over the region.