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Walter Pott GmbH - Hands-on fruit & vegetables and services

Germany: From banana wholesaler to complete service

Walter Pott GmbH fulfils all requirements for a modern, independent trading and service company in the fruit and vegetable world. The Leverkusen-based company has in recent years evolved from a pure banana specialist to a supplier with a broad regional, national and international range of fruit and vegetables, with a hands-on product relationship, offering its customers services along the entire value chain. 

Modern ripening facilities as well as an efficient packing station for nets, fresh-bags, foodtainers and flowpack-packaging are making individual packaging solutions for the customers possible. Specialized fresh logistics complete the forward-looking range of services.

A pallet with bananas in the warehouse of Walter Pott

Even though the product portfolio has been much larger since ages, Walter Pott still focuses on bananas. The imported bananas come from all over Central America. At present, goods from Ecuador dominate events, but Costa Rica, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic are important countries of origin as well. The demand for bananas in Germany has been stable at a high level for years, and no wonder: in Germany bananas are next to apples as the epitome of fruit par excellence. Walter Pott has also developed from a traditional trading company to a modern service provider in the international banana trade, specializing in elements such as maturing, packaging and transport as well as conventional and organic products.

The sorting and packing plant for the bananas

After arriving in Leverkusen, the bananas are immediately stored in one of the 45 ripening rooms available, where they are ripened under expert supervision within four to seven days. After maturing, picking and packaging the next phase in the process chain follows. For this purpose, Walter Pott uses modern facilities in which the bananas are packed and priced according to the customer's wishes. In the end, the bananas are transported to diverse customers in Germany and its neighbouring countries.

Not only has the business model evolved steadily since the company was founded in 1929, the same applies to the quality requirements that customers place on bananas - and all other fruit and vegetable products. For this purpose, Walter Pott has continuously developed quality management and today fulfils six relevant certifications and quality standards - Fairtrade, IFS, Bio-Siegel, Energy Management, QS and regional requirements. "These certifications have become more and more demanding over the years, because the scope of the audits has increased and the level of detail has become much higher. In addition, many of our customers also carry out their own checks on our premises, to ensure the quality of the goods. And all of this comes quite natually to us," says managing director Stefan Heine.

The pallets with fresh bananas in the ripening room

In the international banana market, the share of baby bananas and organic bananas continues to increase. In addition to the continuous growth in organic products, managing director Stefan Heine observes further developments, fitting in the overall context of topics such as sustainability and environmental protection. Thus, the modern consumer increasingly asks products with little or no packaging materials. This overall trend is also being implemented in the processes at Walter Pott. Projects are currently being implemented to increasingly use recyclable and compostable packaging materials.

An employee of Walter Pott checks the sugar content and maturity of the bananas

Constant expansion
The Walter Pott GmbH was founded in 1929 as a retail store for fruit and tropical fruits in Opladen. In 1953, a modern banana ripening plant was built. Ten years later, the company joined the Cobana purchasing company as a member. In 2011, the next important development step followed with the entry into the Landgard Group. Since then, the regional product range has been continuously expanded. The next expansion step - the construction of a new logistics space - is expected to take place in two to three years. Walter Pott is a member of the Landgard Grower Association and is thus affiliated with the 3,300 strong producer portfolio of Landgard.

For more information:
Walter Pott GmbH & Co. KG - fruit import, banana ripening
Management: Stefan Heine, Artur Lammert & Martin Baumert
Stauffenbergstraße 17
51379 Leverkusen
Telephone 02171 700-70
Fax 02171 55040

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