German market asks for social responsibility and sustainability

The German market for horticultural products is a stable market with an annual turnover of around €8.5 billion. There are a few clear trends that characterise the German market at the moment. This week, we’ll discuss one of those trends each day. Trend number 1: The demand for sustainable and socially responsible produced flowers and plants is increasing.

An important trend in Germany is that the cultivation of plants and flowers is more and more expected to be socially responsible and environmentally friendly. There are more and more certification labels, which guarantee that those requirements have been met. According to Remco Jansen of MPS, this movement is rapidly growing and unstoppable.

But there’s a clear distinction between retail and wholesalers. Retailers are more concerned with sustainability than wholesalers. Supermarket chains such as Netto, REWE, Lidl, Penny, EDEKA, Globus, Kaufland, NORMA, Penny, tegut…, Feneberg, ALDI Süd Blumenservice, ALDI Nord Blumenservice, 123 Blumenversand and Kaiser’s Tengelmann sell flowers that adhere to certain standards, including those of MPS.

And florist chains like Blume 2000, which sell large volumes, are also asking suppliers for certification labels. They want Fairtrade flowers from Africa and the plants and flowers they get from Europe must meet the MPS standards.

Marcel Rijksen, account manger at FloraHolland, whose customers include a few German ones, confirms that sustainability is becoming more important for the German plant and flower market. “That’s going to be really big in the coming years.”

The Verband des Deutsche Blumen Gross und Importhandels (BGI) points out that it’s mostly people aged over 60, who want Fairtrade certified flowers. This generation was at the beginning of a ‘green’ movement in the seventies and eighties of the previous century, and they seem to be holding on to their old values. But Rijksen says that the younger generation makes responsible choices, too. They want to know the origins of their plants and flowers and this information influences their purchases.

BGI adds that the sustainable and socially responsible products expand the range of plants and flowers on the market. Quality, freshness, confidence in a certain brand or company and a good price/quality ratio have always been important aspects. Nowadays, we need to add sustainability and social responsibility to the list. Being able to meet those requirements has a positive impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions.