A crowd of young, well-dressed women in their thirties huddle in front of a stall with gojiberries and dried apple chunks at one of Germany’s growing number of organic supermarkets. The food on the aisles of the store in Berlin’s middle-class Charlottenburg district is likely to be fairtrade, regionally sourced and expensive.
Germany is still the land of discount supermarkets: Aldi, Lidl and Netto are found in every town, but the demand for organic food is growing. The country now accounts for 30 percent of all sales of organic food within the European Union, according to the German agriculture ministry.
But despite the rapid growth, the sector remains stubbornly resistant to outside investment.
Peter Kaiser who founded Bio Company, one of Berlin’s biggest organic food chains in 1999, told Handelsblatt Global Edition that he wants to expand regionally. But he wants that growth to be natural, with the founders keeping control of the company. He said he had no intention of opening up Bio Company to investors via an IPO or a sale of part of the company.