“German Wholesaler’s markets remain important, if only for the personal contact”

“For years, it’s been said the German wholesaler’s markets will disappear, but that hasn’t happened yet,” says Gunther de Boelpaep of exporter DBS NV from Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium. The company supplies wholesaler’s markets and retail with a complete range of greenhouse vegetables supplemented with an, if possible, even more varied fresh produce range. “I do expect the wholesaler’s markets to become even more centred. In the long term, I think one will be left per region, while multiple markets now cover small areas.”

Gunther is convinced the wholesaler’s markets will continue to be an important player, if only for the personal contact. “A trend for smaller shops emerging can be seen, here in Belgium as well. That seems the result of a certain instinct for social contact, something that’s typical for smaller shops that traditionally buy from wholesaler’s markets. The wholesaler’s market continues to be important for retail trade.”

Own production
In recent years, these wholesaler’s markets, just like German retail, have had more and more German products, yet Gunther doesn’t expect this will have a direct effect on demand for Belgian or Dutch product. In winter, more and more Spanish products are sent directly to German wholesalers as well. “Not everything is available in Germany all the time, so there will still be plenty of opportunities for exporters like us. However, more and more retailers can be seen to work with certain growers. Growers for who we took care of sales in the past. It’s not really a problem. I think our cooperation with retailers and growers will become a combination in future. A good balance will be found between all parties in any case, so that we can efficiently, punctually and qualitatively serve the consumers even better. We work with our own company Global Agro Produce in Spain, and they grow greenhouse vegetables for us. That way, we can respond to customers’ demand more easily and faster.”

The trend of consumers wanting local product plays into the hands of the German growers. “We mostly have to be distinctive in the field of service and quality. These are our most important trump cards, besides having a fresh produce range that’s as complete as possible. Freshness and traceability are also becoming ever more important. We respond to this by working with daily fresh products as much as possible, and by having our own packing station. Packaging is becoming more ecological, and plastic packaging will be completely reevaluated in future as a result. Organic products are seen more and more as well. We’re seeing a positive trend in this that will only be reinforced, particularly when price differences compared to conventional product becomes smaller.”

For more information
Gunther de Boelpaep
Mechelsesteenweg 120, V7, Kaai 540
B-2860 Sint-Katelijne-Waver
Tel. : +32 472 306095
Fax : +32 15 550458

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