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Southern German fruit wholesalers comment on the flood disaster

"Route planning is subject to minute-by-minute variations, but there are options"

Continuous rain and flooding have led to significant property damage in southern Germany. Several people have even fallen victim to the flood disaster. Currently, the water seems to be under control in many places. Although there are no concrete figures available at the moment, damage in the tens of millions of euros is expected. The flood disaster is also already causing major problems in the fruit and vegetable industry, as an initial survey by shows.

Allgäu: 'Maintaining supply chains is our top priority'
The Allgäu fruit trading company Kölbl is located in the heart of the flood area. "Fortunately, our company headquarters was spared from the floodwaters," says company owner Manuel Kölbl. "There is close coordination with suppliers and freight carriers. Route planning has been highly variable in recent days due to the circumstances, but there are possibilities." The company's regional producer partners are also affected to some extent, but remain fully capable of delivering, according to Kölbl.

However, the situation in parts of the delivery areas looks significantly more precarious, the regional wholesaler continues. "Along the Danube, there are floods in many places. Restaurants in the front line are struggling with flood damage, endangered districts are partly sealed off. Our drivers are giving their best on these challenging days, decisively contributing to the maintenance of supply chains as much as possible. As an experienced fresh service provider and logistician, our commitment these days, besides 'procurement', is especially to our customers: We realize short-term delivery changes hand in hand," Kölbl emphasizes.

Flooding in the Allgäu.

Munich Wholesale Market: Flood affects logistics
The flood is also making itself felt at the Munich Wholesale Market, the leading trading center for fruit and vegetables in Bavaria. "Luckily, we wholesale traders are not affected ourselves," says Peter Hein from the Bavarian Mushroom Exchange. But in the Munich area and the catchment area of the wholesale market, the continuous rain has already left deep marks. Among other things, severe property damage has occurred towards Schrobenhausen and Ingolstadt. "We ourselves notice it mainly in logistics. A central warehouse that we supply is hardly accessible, forcing us to take significant detours. Furthermore, the situation also affects our sales, as gastronomy and weekly markets are much less frequented under these weather conditions."

Varying degrees of damage in the Schrobenhausen area
Even within the flood area around Schrobenhausen, the situation is partly very different. "Fortunately, we have been spared from property damage, unlike many other places in the area," confirms Peter Nefzger, who grows rhubarb and organic asparagus in Inchenhofen (about ten kilometers from Schrobenhausen). For both crops, the current campaign is now coming to an end. "The rain was actually not so bad for the fields, especially since we do not know if we will get rain until the end of the season. However, it is disadvantageous especially for sales: weekly markets are largely cancelled, and demand in gastronomy and the hotel industry is now manageable."

Minimal impact in the Black Forest and Northern Bavaria
The flood situation seems to be concentrated primarily on the waters of the eastern part of Baden-Württemberg. In the southern Black Forest, for example, there has been no significant impact so far. "Fortunately, there have been no significant effects either in procurement or in delivery," reports a fruit wholesaler based there. In Northern Bavaria, the effects have been limited so far as well. "There have been delivery delays due to the flooding, but otherwise, we have gotten off with a mere scratch," says a Nuremberg wholesaler.

Images: Wolfgang Binzer

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