In many cities in Germany, the local wholesale market is still an important trading hub. At Nuremberg's wholesale market on Leyher Straße, tons of fruit and vegetables are being handled every day. Last year, however, the Milevski family business said goodbye to the fresh produce center for good. We spoke with Managing Director Goran Milevski (r) about that difficult decision and the future of the company.
At the outskirts of the Nuremberg wholesale market, the Milevski company was initially located as a small business and since 2017 as a modern service partner of the southern German specialist retail and wholesale trade as well as the food retail trade. In the meantime, over approx. 1,200m² of refrigerated storage space (6 cold rooms and 3 climate zones), state-of-the-art sorting and packing capacities as well as a picking and dispatching area were available. In parallel to the core business, they opened a wholesale stand in the fall of 2019 for clientele in the specialty retail and restaurant sectors. Due to lockdowns and gastro closures, the decision was made to abandon the stand sales after a few months.
Optimal traffic location
In October last year, the move to the southern district of Langwasser followed. "In the summer, we considered our future," says Milevski. At the same time, however, management received an attractive location offer in the Nuremberg-Langwasser district. "At the new location, a similar operating capacity of around 1,100 m2 with optimal conditions for storing fruits and vegetables is available. The advantageous traffic location and proximity to the highway played a decisive role for us, which is why we decided to move."
Expansion of Balkan imports
With the new location, the company is looking ahead with confidence. The goal is to offer agricultural products from the parental homeland of Macedonia as well as the surrounding Balkan states to German food retailers and other customers.
Milevski: "In the future, we want to gradually expand our Balkan business and increasingly specialize in own imports and the marketing of these products, because we have recognized the huge export potential of this region for us. We are confident that we can meet the high demands of the German market in terms of packaging, quality and calibration together with our suppliers."
As the main sales market for agricultural exports for many years, Russia has noticeably lost relevance in recent years. Accordingly, Western Europe is now increasingly coming into the focus of Balkan producers. "First and foremost, we see great potential for soft fruits from Macedonia and Serbia, as well as Bosnian plums. However, apples and watermelons would also come into view. In parallel, we have established initial contacts in Bulgaria, because import processing is much easier due to EU membership," Milevski says.
Investment and know-how
According to Milevski, the launch of Balkan products on the German market has so far failed, not because of the additional effort involved, but because of minimal government investments and subsidies. "This is now changing abruptly. The larger production companies in particular have invested heavily in recent years, for example in machinery, cultivation technology and much more, and thus gained in clout. In the meantime, they have also gained a lot of experience and know-how in pesticides and quality management. Now, the time is ripe to exploit the export potential."
For more information:
Milevski fresh fruit & vegetables
Kreuzburger Str. 12
+49 911 32162210