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Sustainable Metropolitan Area Berlin-Brandenburg Developing a Sustainable Food Chain by Marketing Organic Food within Autonomous Retail Trade

Based on the example of the metropolitan area Berlin-Brandenburg, the project aims to reveal the perspectives autonomous retail trade offers for regional or-ganic food marketing. Specific measures to exploit the potentials are developed in close co-operation with stakeholders.
The German organic food market has grown tremendously during the last years. The conventional retail chains’ share in turnover has increased at the expense of the market share of specialised trade (smalls shops and bio-supermarkets). Hence, autonomous retailers have become more important as well. They are part of conventional retail trade. But as opposed to large supermarket chains oper-ated by central offices, they can decide over at least parts of their assortment by themselves. Moreover, they often use regional product ranges to differentiate from competitors. Therefore, they can be an important additional distribution channel for regional suppliers of organic food. This hypothesis could be con-firmed by the results of a survey conducted among autonomous retailers in Ber-lin-Brandenburg.
However, producers and processors of organic food are often not sufficiently fa-miliar with the requirements retail trade imposes upon their products. In addi-tion, they do not have the logistic capacities at their disposal to deliver the food-stuff properly. Retailers, on the other hand, tend to avoid the effort needed to order from a huge number of different suppliers and also often lack the knowl-edge of products available from regional suppliers.
To overcome these barriers the interface between retailers and suppliers of or-ganic food has to be optimised. Wholesale is of huge importance in this respect. Wholesalers can bundle the (small) charges from different producers and proces-sors and deliver the products to retail sales. In the project, a company was found to take over these tasks.
Along with the interface between retailers and food suppliers the lack of processed organic food from Berlin-Brandenburg is another major barrier to the marketing of regional organic food in the metropolitan area. Therefore, several measures to increase regional organic-production are proposed addressing business and political actors.