The food industry accounts for about 10% of all employment in the manufacturing sector. Berlin is focused on the production of coffee, confectionery and baked goods, fruit and vegetable processing, the beverage industry as well as on meat and tobacco processing.
The capital region's food industry benefits from the area’s high proportion of rural space and a very well developed agricultural sector. Nearly half of the land devoted to agriculture in the region is used to produce grain. The agriculture and food industry is therefore an important economic factor for the Berlin-Brandenburg metro region. In comparison to other federal states, organic farming in Brandenburg is of above-average importance here.
Nationally and internationally known brands such as Coca-Cola, Radeberger Gruppe, Kühne, Storck, Stollwerck or Bahlsen already benefit from the ideal environment Berlin offers. A company like Fassbender & Rausch has become the largest chocolate producer in the world.
The German capital provides excellent conditions for food and beverage industry businesses:
- Metropolitan Berlin is an ideal test market for new products.
- Berlin's close economic relations with the ten new EU member states and its proximity to the 250 million consumers in Eastern Europe mean promising sales opportunities.
- The region's robust agricultural sector ensures that food and beverage makers have quick access to the quality ingredients they need.
- Service providers in the packaging industry and logistics centers guarantee the shortest possible path to consumers.
- The eastward expansion of the EU is opening new horizons. New quality certification programs for organic meats and potatoes offer producers new ways to improve their marketing and boost sales.
- Another promising field for the industry is the processing of local agricultural resources.
- The growth of the organic food market is especially dynamic in Berlin, which has more organic supermarkets than any other European city. There are clear opportunities for value-added processing in the areas of yoghurt, cheese, frozen foods, convenience foods, chilled foods and juices.
- A number of leading international tradeshows take place in Berlin, including the Grüne Woche, which is the world's largest consumer exhibition for agriculture and nutrition, and the Fruit Logistica, which is the leading industry get-together for the fresh fruit trade.
(Source: Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises (Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Energie und Betriebe), 2016)
Berlin is increasingly becoming a centre for the FoodTech scene in Germany. For example, German supermarket chain EDEKA recently opened its Food Tech Campus in Berlin's Moabit neighbourhood. This is where startups, together with EDEKA buyers, have the opportunity to play a decisive role in shaping the future of the food trade and drive the growth of the business. In addition to a co-working space, a kitchen studio and an event room offer space for development, testing, and exchange as well as direct contact with customers. The food academy, food space, and other events are launch pads for new business models.
Berlin provides a dense network for research and development
- German Institute of Human Nutrition
- Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Food Hygiene
- Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology
- Technische Universität Berlin, Institute for Food Technology and Food Chemistry
- Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin
- Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops
- Dairy Industry Academy and Research Institute, Oranienburg
- Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB)
- Institute of Fermentation and Biotechnology Berlin (IfGB)
- Institute of Crop Processing IGV GmbH, Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Networks, Initiatives and Associations
Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE)
The Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE) is the political top-level association of the German food and drink industry.
Association for the Promotion of Organic Farming Berlin-Brandenburg (FÖL)
The Association for the Promotion of Organic Farming Berlin-Brandenburg (FÖL) is a non-profit association promoting the demand for organic products by general consumer information and public relations activities.
Trade Association of Food Industry in Berlin and Brandenburg
The Trade Association of Food Industry in Berlin and Brandenburg is the advocacy of the economic sector which is important for the region.
Food Industry Cluster of the State of Brandenburg
The cluster connects the companies and research facilities of the food industry in the state of Brandenburg.
pro agro e.V.
pro agro is a federation that works on behalf of rural areas in the Brandenburg-Berlin region.