Lukas Nossol is the Head of communication for Dennree and BioMarkt Verbund (BioMarkt association). Founded in 1974 the Dennree Group is an organic business family based in Germany and one of the main drivers of the organic movement in Central Europe.

Lukas Nossol
Source: BioMarkt Verbund

How did Thomas Greim contribute to establishing Dennree’s national structure, and what were the key founding principles that guided the company’s development?

The dennree company was established by our father Thomas Greim in 1974. Our company’s name ‘dennree’ originates from the French term for ‘basic foodstuff’. The name is an expression of my father’s vision to make organic produces available to everyone. It has shaped our company’s development to this day. Established as a wholesaler, dennree grew into being also a specialist organic retailer. For 50 years, dennree has been committed to advancing the organic movement in an integrated way.

What strategic importance does the certification of the first biodynamic Demeter dairy play in Dennree’s journey, and how does it connect to the company’s commitment to regional authenticity?

Due to his closeness to nature, Thomas Greim identified early on with biodynamic farmers who were still not very widespread at the time. They were based in Chiemgau and he took the opportunity to drive their milk to nearby Munich. As a nature-loving person he believed that biodynamic farming is the right way to produce staple foods of the highest quality. He found a dairy to process the milk into drinking milk, yogurt, soured milk and kefir. The products were sold to a number of health food stores and forerunners of the first health food stores.

«Small and large stores, in the city or in the countryside: independent organic markets all over Germany have joined forces with Denns BioMarkt»

The decision to have six regional logistics centers seems pivotal for Dennree’s operations. Can you explain the significance of this decentralized approach and how it contributes to both local and general supply needs.

Connecting producers, retailers and end consumers, we understand the company as a marketplace for organic producers. We offer a range of more than 14,000 products guaranteed to originate from organic farming and are organised in 8 distribution regions in Germany and Austria. Thanks to this logistics system we supply more than 1,200 organic food stores in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and South Tyrol efficiently. This includes the 530 organic food stores of BioMarkt Verbund, a network of independently operating retailers and ‘Denns BioMarkt’ under the shared umbrella brand ‘BioMarkt’.

The acquisition of BioMarkt and the rebranding of Denns stores reflect a significant evolution. How has this shift impacted Dennree’s image, and what challenges or successes have emerged from aligning the brand of the 250 owned stores with the 350 independent ones?

Dennree has always been closely connected to the specialist organic food trade. In 2020, more than 530 independent BioMärkte (organic food stores) and Denns BioMärkte from Germany and Austria joined forces under the umbrella brand of the BioMarkt Verbund (organic market association) to strengthen their position and shape the future together. This made official what has been practiced for years – united for more organic.

With the BioMarkt Verbund, we are resolutely breaking new ground to turn the commonalities and special features of the organic food trade into strengths, present a joint image to the outside world and to further expand the specialised trade. dennree supports the wholefood shops in the BioMarkt Verbund as a specialist retail partner and works consistently to expand the partnerships through extensive investments in digitalization, resource-saving logistics, a modern warehouse and the expansion of the store network.

«Connecting producers, retailers and end consumers, we understand the company as a marketplace for organic producers»

Can you provide insights into the dynamics of this pool of around 600 stores, particularly in terms of size and brand consistency?

Small and large stores, in the city or in the countryside: independent organic markets all over Germany have joined forces with Denns BioMarkt, the organic food stores which belong to dennree group. In total 530 organic food stores are closely working together under the shared umbrella brand ‘BioMarkt’.

The BioMarkt Verbund is democratically organized and thus takes into account the diversity within the community. A six-member elected committee decides on key developments and issues relating to the organic food trade within the association system. The members of the BioMarkt association are also involved in the non-profit association “Interessengemeinschaft BioMarkt e.V.” (community of interests). The association represents the interests of the organic food trade vis-à-vis politicians and facilitates a joint commitment to the further development of organic breeding and organic agriculture.

What do you foresee as the future trends and challenges for the German organic market?

Together with our customers, we share the understanding that organic is part of an urgently needed transformation to secure our food base in the long term and to counter climate change. They appreciate the price stability of our full organic range and see that a 100% organic promise does not have to be expensive. Thus, we are sticking to our current communication strategy, which shows that BioMarkt Verbund is a value-oriented specialist retailer, but also that price is not an argument for not supporting us.

Author: Oriol Urrutia, Co-Editor

Subscribe to Bio Eco Actual Newsletter and be up to date with the latest news from the Organic Sector

Bio Eco Actual, International Organic Newspaper
Read Bio Eco Actual