Jens Schadowske assesses the present mood at the Nuremberg wholesale market as comparatively calm. He has been an employee of Filbig GbR, owned by brothers Erich and Richard Filbig, for 22 years. Business is usually much better in December, but demand has been rather subdued for some time, he told us. We also spoke to Schadowske about the company's mango range, and more.
Schadowske at the Filbig stand at the Nuremberg wholesale market
Air-freighted goods from Peru, Brazil and South Africa
"We offer mangos all year round, purchasing them from a company in Stuttgart. These are air-freighted goods from Peru and Brazil. If these are not available, we get goods from South Africa, which, however, cannot compete in quality with the mangoes from the previously mentioned countries of origin," says Schadowske. The Nuremberg-based company only offers the Kent and Keitt varieties.
The price of the air-freighted goods, he said, ranges from €30 to €50 per 6-kg box, which corresponds to 10-12 pieces of mangoes, depending on the volume. "Usually, demand is quite good during this period. Currently, however, it is rather restrained, as customers are uncertain in view of the increasing rising costs; they are currently spending not as much money." Mainly, Filbig focuses on asparagus, strawberries and plums, although it also offers additional products such as kiwis and citrus fruits.
High level of competition at the wholesale market
"The general mood in the market is not the best, due to the challenges mentioned above. It is true that the storage capacity of individual traders is increasing. However, this is partly due to the fact that vacant space from companies that had to go out of business is being taken up by existing operations. The level of competition in the market is relatively high," says Schadowske. Among Filbig's main customers are food retailers and restaurants, although some of the proprietors still buy their goods personally at the market.
During the pandemic, sales were noticeably better. After all, customers were not able to move too far and they bought a lot of their goods at the weekly markets. How the costs and prices will develop in the coming year, is still uncertain.
Purchase price of grapes increased by one third
Apart from Schadowske, five other employees are part of the permanent staff of the Nuremberg-based company. "By paying our employees well and treating them well, we are able to retain our staff in the long term. Schadowske himself has worked for Filbig for 22 years, after all. Still, the trader prfession as a whole is characterized by staff shortages, he says. "In addition to that, there are higher energy, storage and logisitcs' costs, as well as inflation. Grape prices, for example, have gone up so much that it is hardly profitable to grow them."
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