Despite Corona, tons of fruit and vegetables continue to be handled at the Hamburg wholesale market. "The supply of fresh goods is assured, even under current conditions," states wholesale market manager Eliane Steinmeyer. Despite all the challenges of the past months, the wholesale market has not had to suspend a single trading day. Since the beginning of the pandemic, however, a clear shift in demand from commercial to private consumption has been noticeable, the wholesale market manager said in an interview with the Abendblatt.
This is confirmed by vegetable grower Tobias Haack from Moorfleeter Deich, who is one of 350 traders present at the wholesale market. "Since the start of the pandemic, there has been greater demand from weekly market traders, while demand from the catering trade has been close to zero in recent weeks. There has been more demand for regional products in the past year, for example raw vegetables such as beet. Products such as edible flowers, a typical gastro product, are hardly in demand due to the current situation."
View of the wholesale market hall
Jörn Reimers - managing director of the Arus company - describes a similar picture in an interview with NDR. "We don't sell the same things as if the hospitality industry was still open. People don't make themselves a salad every day, while people eating out always have a salad or some kind of side dish. Exotics are not selling at all: what is usually on people's plates as decoration is not selling at all right now. Those sales have about halved, if not more."
Maik Burmeister of Frucht-Service LLC is also feeling the effects of the pandemic in his day-to-day business. "We are also strongly affected because we supply these very system partners of the hospitality and hotel industry with goods to some extent. So if there are no sales there, they won't happen for us either. The longer this lockdown situation continues, the greater the hardship will also become whether you can keep it up or not."