First-class, certified red and white cabbage for bulk customers, direct from the producer: that is the intention of the newly founded initiative Kohl Direkt. Four farmers from Dithmarschen - the largest contiguous cabbage growing area in Europe - offer their entire volume of freely marketable red and white cabbage for the market on this trading platform.
The direct coastal location of the Dithmarschen region, with the associated balanced temperatures and high humidity, provides the cabbage with the best conditions for vegetation and enables resource-conserving cabbage cultivation. However, low producer prices and difficult market conditions have been particularly hard on smaller growers and traders in recent years. "With our project, we are pursuing a return to direct trade in our goods at eye level with buyers. The whole thing under the aspects of digitalization and resource conservation," describes Dirk Johannßen.
The founding team of Kohl Direkt (from left): Hans-Gustav Hagge, Johannes Peters, Dirk Johannßen and Thies Siebels.
The goal is to create their own sales opportunities in this innovative way vis-à-vis other market participants and thus to actively participate in the reshaping of framework conditions. In these times of (agricultural) change, the homepage and an effective marketing strategy also serve to secure the existence of the agricultural businesses. With 'Kohl Direkt', the four producers not only optimize their marketing, but thus also increase their competitiveness.
"We producers have been largely uninvolved in the design in recent years. We are now trying to overcome this situation with this platform," says co-partner Johannes Peters. Colleague Thies Siebels adds, "As a supplier, we are interchangeable. We are taking the marketing of our cabbage back into our own hands and thus optimizing part of the agricultural value chain."
View of the Hagge cold store.
Personal contact with customers
With the personal contact to the buyers that now arises, they get to know their producers again. The direct exchange with them and their end customers helps the farmers to get closer to their wishes and to specifically adapt future cultivation methods to them. A win-win situation, both for the buyer and the marketer, the founding team unanimously emphasizes.
The platform will not only be used to market red and white cabbage directly from producers to trading partners. As a further advantage it promotes the exchange among professional colleagues and thus the development of the own network. This is because other farmers can also register and purchase goods in order to market them further.
Offering added value
"Our strength is our core values - individual and reliable. Individual agreements and long-term reliable delivery capacities are what set us apart. By organizing 'Kohl Direkt', we hope to build a good reputation with our customers, mainly resellers, and thus offer them added value," says Hans-Gustav Hagge.
Fair and direct trade is not just a philosophy for the four farmers from Dithmarschen, but their mission. By buying from them, they support their family farms and also make their own economic practices more sustainable.
Since its launch on January 1, 2021, users from Germany and the border region have been able to register. After successful establishment in the German market, the homepage is also to be aligned Europe-wide in the future.