Where Have I Heard This Before?

A Prominent Image from the Zelger Produce Website

The latest edition of Fruchthandel arrived on my desk today.  As the magazine is aimed at the German fresh fruit & vegetable trade the articles it contains are inevitably written in the language of that country.  Quoting from an article is therefore not as simple as scanning in  a page but it involves engaging the grey matter some translation which is why I rarely get around to discuss what I read in that magazine. 

I need to make an exception though. My eye caught a column contributed by one Marcus Niebisch.  Mr Niebisch works for Munich based produce wholesaler Zelger GMbH, and  sits on the board of the Deutscher Fruchthandelsverband e. V., the German Produce Merchants Association (English website version available).  Here are a few gems from his column in which he discusses the state of the produce wholesale trade in his country vis-a-vis retailers and consumers. 

“A key driver of our activities should also be increased usage of fruit and vegetables…Have we lost our ability to influence the Point of Sale sector ( POS), that’s if we ever had it?…Is the structured grocery retail sector really the only bridge left between the producers for whom we provide services and the consumers who we try to tempt (with our products)? …How can we transform supplier confidence into consumer confidence?”    

I have taken the key statements made and lined them up.  The underlying message revolving around these sound bites is that the position the German wholesale produce trade finds itself in appears to be  not sustainable, so non-linear solutions are needed. 

Here is Niebisch again… 

“We need to generate our own POS (vehicle) which we are able to mould and care for ourselves.  At this Point of Service (not a typo, Niebisch specifically used ‘service’ here and not ‘sale’) we would be allowed to market the passion, which made us join the industry in the first place.  Maybe wholesalers should discover the collective “we”.  Are modern marketing options possibly our chance to connect again with the consumers and their, as well as our own, wishes?” 

If nothing else, here is confirmation yet again that the world has become a global village and what we might perceive to be a unique problem only applying to us is in fact generic and is present everywhere.

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