It has been nearly 100 years since the cooperative REWE Group was founded. But don’t think we focus solely on tradition to the detriment of innovation. Innovation, sustainability, and a sense of community are some of the values that shape who we are. To me, the REWE Group’s centre of excellence for agriculture, which was established this year, is a perfect illustration of these values. It represents true innovation within the German food retail business.
We will use this forum to take the collaboration between the retail and agriculture sectors to the next level. Together, we are working to actively transform the agricultural industry. Harnessing the expertise of all those involved, we are discussing and developing solutions that will lead to actual products on the shelves of REWE and PENNY – and thus to ensure that our customers are with us. And we will lead these discussions in a spirit of equal collaboration, which is a particularly important concern for me personally.
As an independent REWE retailer, local and regional products play a major role in my stores. My customers ask for asparagus, eggs, and strawberries from the farmer around the corner, whom they know personally. Like us, they want to foster these regional relationships and, if you will, enjoy a taste of home. However, from this close collaboration and various discussions with farmers, we also understand the challenges facing the industry. I understand both sides of the issue. Particularly given my own background, growing up on a farm in the Siebengebirge area to the south-east of Bonn. I myself have driven a combine harvester and been up at the crack of dawn to see to the cows, bulls, and chickens – so I understand the best and the most challenging aspects of farming life.