The holiday season on the Baltic coast is now gradually getting into gear. "People in the west and north are already going on holiday, and in about two weeks the whole of Germany will be on holiday. For us, this is an important seasonal business every year, as we supply the entire Baltic Sea region, whether star gastronomy, wholesale consumers or retailers," reports Fatih Güdük, Managing Director of the Rostock-based wholesale company of the same name.
The company, founded in 1991, operates both a pick-up market and a delivery service. According to Güdük, inflation and high prices are also making themselves felt in the Rostock area. "Asparagus, for example, was very expensive at the beginning, but then settled down to a somewhat lower level. Overall, however, prices were high and stable throughout the entire campaign. The same applies to fruit vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes and the like, which are traded at stable, fixed prices. In this respect, there is a certain consistency."
The majority of the fruit and vegetable assortment is purchased via the wholesale market in Hamburg. Fruit vegetables from the Netherlands are delivered directly once a week throughout the year.
Gastronomy declines, retail trade increases
Due to the high prices and declining purchasing power, people tend to do without more luxury items, the Rostock-based specialist retailer continues. "Gastronomy is comparatively less frequented at the moment. This affects the entire out-of-home market, from bratwurst snack bars to upscale restaurants. Instead, more is being cooked and eaten at home, which in turn is reflected in high, consistent retail figures."
Right: Staff member Azizi Shoheb shows Spanish sweet cherries.
Steady growth despite staff shortages
In both the delivery and pick-up markets, Güdük has seen encouraging numbers in recent years, he says. "Thank God we are seeing steady growth in both divisions. Nevertheless, I see a big challenge in the increasing lack of staff as well as the increased minimum wage. We still have enough employees. However, we are one of only a few fruit wholesalers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which is why it is much more difficult to find trained, experienced specialists compared to the Hamburg area, for example," concludes Güdük.