With the arrival of the last tomatoes and sweet peppers from northern German production, the domestic fruit vegetable season is now nearing its end. "The quality of the last few trains was actually quite good. Sales were also quite pleasing throughout the entire campaign, although marketing is currently rather quiet," reports Matthias Bahn, vegetable wholesaler and managing director of the company of the same name at the Hamburg wholesale market.
"Overall, we can look back on a successful German campaign," continues Bahn. "This year, we also marketed the yields of a new producer from the Hamburg area for the first time. He supplied us with a broad portfolio of tomatoes - from San Marzano to cherry tomatoes in all colours - and was quite satisfied with the yields and quality. When the grower says that, it's usually a positive sign."
Matthias Bahn can be found at the local wholesale market in Hamburg every night.
Toll increase and price surcharges
The annual change of season from local to imported greenhouse vegetables is also accompanied by a price increase this year. Bahn: "Some people still have to get used to the higher prices, which in turn contributes to more cautious purchasing. Wholesale prices, for example for Spanish tomatoes, are already above average and, in view of the forthcoming toll increase, further price increases cannot be ruled out. In order to keep costs down to some extent, there will be fewer empty loads and more groupage transport, which could also lead to lorries being on the road for 1-2 days longer. However, I don't believe that this will lead to bottlenecks in practice."
In addition to vegetable wholesaling, Bahn also dedicated many years to transporting fruit and vegetables for third parties. However, he gave up this line of business last year. "We were faced with the choice of making new investments and then decided against it. Another contributing factor was that, as a logistics service provider, you have to be available around the clock, which is why it is increasingly difficult to combine this with the vegetable wholesale business. But it was also the right time to stop and fortunately our drivers have all found good accommodation."
Restrained sales of potted herbs
The Bahn range is rounded off by potted herbs. Here, too, local products are increasingly being replaced by imported goods from Italy. "Sales of German potted herbs were also rather subdued this year. Nevertheless, we were offered consistently good quantities and qualities. The growers didn't have to sort out too much and were consistently satisfied," concludes Bahn.