Local plants first in Germany

    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 2: Germans are more and more developing a preference for local products.

    ‘Local for local’ is a theme that strongly matters to the consumer according to the Verband des Deutschen Blumen- Gross- und Importhandels (BGI). Consumers have more confidence in products that were grown nearby. That’s because local plants are produced under more transparent and more familiar circumstances. Identification with regional products is a theme in itself, which is reflected in packaging and in advertising for regional products, says BGI.

    The German flower industry has responded to consumers’ increasing interest in local produce. The German organisation of flower wholesalers (VDB) launched the brand ‘Ich bin von hier!’ (I’m from here) in 2013 as a way to support the regional economy.

    An additional advantage of buying regional products is that it’s better for the environment. Both because transport is shorter and because German growers adhere to the strict environmental legislation.

    The brand is sold by wholesale markets in Hamburg, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Köln, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Reutlingen, all VDB members. Products that are grown within a 100-kilometre radius from the wholesale markets qualify for the brand. There are currently around 1,000 retailers that sell ‘Ich bin von hier!’.

    Marcel van der Hoeven of Van Dijk Flora, has noticed that ‘local for local’ has recently become more important for the discounters as well. “Our purchasing of German grown produce has gone up too. But I haven’t yet seen a worrisome shift in the ratio of Dutch-German produce. German growers generally can’t supply the large quantities required by the German discounters.”