The service offered by Fresh Line Fruit Services GmbH is simple but very effective. From Spain and Italy in particular, many contract deliveries are made weekly to the major German supermarket chains. These shipments are often too late due to circumstances or are piling up in warehouses due to limited demand. The the Fresh Line company comes into action. From the office in the border town of Nettetal regional warehouses and transporters are contacted to first secure the cargo and then transport it. In addition, within a short time, the goods will be offered to an extensive customer network of mainly wholesalers, market traders and smaller supermarkets, above all via social media such as WhatsApp and Facebook.
Normally this so-called Reclamation Trading takes place on the same day, but for large batches the company also has access to communal warehouses in various locations across Europe, including the nearby Fresh Park Venlo. Here, the goods are temporarily stored and sorted if necessary. If the lot in question can no longer be marketed, it will end in the landfill. With over 20 years of experience, the owner Ümit Ayar knows that the quality of a product is measured very differently: “In practice, these are often products that do not exactly meet the high quality standards of supermarkets in terms of optics, size, packaging, weight or label. For these products there is certainly still a market.”
The winter months are usually the peak season of Fresh Line, as during these months the imported products are transported in large quantities from South to West Europe. Not infrequently, the two business partners are called at night, because an interesting lot has emerged. Limited contact times or product preferences do not match this service. Ümit Ayar: "Of course a lot of tomatoes is easier to market than relatively unknown products like kohlrabi or papaya, but we do not care about that: the customer already has big financial worries and it's up to us to ease that pain."
Despite the many foodstuffs shipments that end up in the middle of nowhere every week, the competition in this segment is very limited, as the two managing directors will tell you. However, sustainability and food waste are very sensitive issues these days, not only in Germany but elsewhere in Europe as well. Because of this Fresh Line Fruit Services GembH’s is not only there to relieve foodstuffs traders, but also to eliminate this food wastage. To make a fundamental impact, the company has set itself the goal of convincing the industry -both the suppliers and the end user- of the importance of this. Ayar: "We would therefore like to get in touch with European suppliers who also value this concept."