Organic Produce

in Supermarkets



mold inspect  produce (2)
bruise damage conventionally
broad delivery tree-hugger
range discount mainstream
 source regional  container
suit (2) flourish  reasonable
variety tolerate dictate (2)
ginger turnover to the letter
strict monitor supply chain
trust sprouts regulation





Every delivery is carefully inspected for bruises, mold or transport damage.

Organic produce should just as fresh and perfect as conventionally grown produce.

Eating organic is no longer just for tree-huggers: it’s gone mainstream.

Friedrich Lehmann, Lehmann Natur Managining Director: “Of course, it’s much easier for supermarkets to sell ready packaged products than to have to package them themselves at the store.”

Lehmann Natur delivers to a broad range of clients, from organic stores to discount stores.

But in the last years, the company’s annual turnover has increased between five to ten percent.

The company would prefer to sell only regional products — but can’t afford to lose the customers.

Friedrich Lehmann: “In my youth, potatoes would have a lot of sprouts; consumers would not tolerate that today. We had potatoes till the next crop — but they were full of sprouts. We wouldn’t be able to sell them anymore.
Journalist: “Then preferably from Egypt?”
Friedrich Lehmann: “Amongst others: Egypt, Morocco, Italy and Spain.”

The organic market is flourishing especially in Germany’s supermarkets. It began with organic apples and bananas.

Today there’s a much broader selection of produce.

Ivonne Muller, Real Supermarket: “We’re trying to offer more and more products. Take for example onions. In the beginning we only had one type. Now we have two. The same with bell peppers, and we’re trying to get more exotic items like kiwis.

So we’re always increasing our selection.”

These days the variety is no longer dictated by season, and that suits the consumers perfectly.

Consumer one: “If there’s variety, you don’t have to go to a specialty store.
Consumer two: “I probably wouldn’t buy organic products from China; I only buy organic products when I can be reasonably certain that it really is organic.”

But Chinese organic products are becoming increasingly important, such as Chinese ginger. Six years ago, Lehmann Natur sold one shipping container a year . . . today it sells 130.

Friedrich Lehmann: “You need a very long supply chain to get it. And strict monitoring. Sometimes countries don’t follow our regulations to the letter.

And that’s why we sent our buyers to the source, two or three times a year. And we have partners we can trust.”

The greater the distance the produce has to travel, the more difficult it is to monitor.

But the demand is there, and that’s why you can buy organic bell peppers in winter, but from Israel, instead of Spain.

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1. Only hippies and liberals eat organic produce. Is this correct or wrong?

2. Is Lehmann Natur a supermarket? Is business booming for them? Is it doing well?

3. Do they only sell locally grown potatoes? Why do they import potatoes?

4. The sale of organic produce has changed over the years at Real Supermarket. True or false? How has it changed?

5. Are the produce (fruits and vegetables) seasonal?

6. What do they say about imports from China?

7. What does the manager say about supply chains?


A. Organic produce is sold in supermarkets. Yes or no? Are they becoming more popular?

B. Is organic produce talked about in the media?

C. Is this a good business opportunity? What will happen in the future?


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