Roy Zylka (Roy's Naturkost) on trends and market developments in the organic wholesale trade

"We definitely need more regional producers who want to convert to organic"

In these  times of Corona, German consumers are increasingly turning to regional and organic products. That's what the media have been saying since the beginning of the crisis. Organic wholesaler Roy Zylka - founder and managing director of the Nuremberg-based company Roy's Naturkost - can only confirm this. He is one of the winners of the crisis and recorded a considerable increase in turnover in the past Corona year. "We had a 30 percent increase," he says.

At the moment, the situation at the Nuremberg wholesale market is rather restrained for the time of year. "We were able to gain a few more customers in spring 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic," says Zylka, looking back on the eventful year. "Of course, the gastro closure is also noticeable for us, but this sales segment only accounts for a small part of our turnover. Instead, we were able to increase volume sales across the board, whether in wholesale, food retail or in the subscription box segment."

Roy Zylka (r) at the stand during FreshPlaza's 2019 visit to the wholesale market.

This increase in sales is also reflected at the product level: according to Zylka, there is accordingly no talk of supply bottlenecks or gaps in everyday practice. "Apart from the recent weather-related drop in Spanish products, there is actually no item that is doing badly." Even the new products are well received in pandemic times, he adds. "We are now offering Newhall oranges from Sicilian supplier Arcoria for the second year running. This beautiful, layered premium produce sold well again this year."

Panorama of the wholesale market stall

Ambitious organic growers wanted
Corona has had a particularly positive impact on food appreciation and therefore awareness among consumers, the organic trader believes. "Organic accounts for about 10 per cent of total sales in the food sector and is increasing every year. I firmly believe that today's crisis is only accelerating the growth of the organic market," says Zylka, whose business marks 25 years this year.

With Knoblauchsland on its doorstep, the Nuremberg Fresh Produce Centre is logically well supplied with regional goods. But the amount of regionally produced organic goods and the demand are far from balanced, according to Zylka. "We definitely still need producers who want to convert to organic. Especially in the case of the classic stored products - such as potatoes, carrots and onions - the volume of regional association produce is not enough to meet customer demand. For me as a trader, it is also desirable to offer more goods from Franconia because of short transport routes and the flexibility of the producer," he says about the benefits and advantages.

Impressions from the citrus production of Sicilian producer Arcoria

New personnel needed
Corona has shed extra light on the difficult starting position of the local wholesale markets. "Due to the concentration of trade, the number of wholesale market traders has already been steadily reducing for years. Fortunately, I am one of the suppliers who is still doing well in business." The successful entrepreneur has other worries. "We urgently need new staff: because of the early working hours in the wholesale market business, it is extremely difficult to find new employees these days."

For more information:
Roy's Naturkost
GF: Roy Zylka
Großmarkt Nürnberg
Leyher Straße 107
90431 Nürnberg
Tel.: +49 (0) 911 / 50 71 07-0
Fax: +49 (0) 911 / 50 71 07-20

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