Fruit and vegetables - diversified, exotic and fresh!


Challenges … are overcome!

Two brothers at the INTER helm …

A change of management was heralded at INTER in the late 1990s. Dieter Weichert’s two sons, André and Hans-Peter, joined the company as personally liable partners in 1999, and took the helm following the death of Weichert Sr. in 2005. The working areas were marked out: André Weichert was primarily responsible for imports, while Hans-Peter Weichert looked after distribution, among other things. At any rate, around eight million cartons just full of bananas were being shifted annually by INTER, as one of the biggest importers in Hamburg. The two brothers formed a harmonious team and got along perfectly. Team spirit is writ large at INTER anyway.

A new strong partner: Fyffes

Edward W. Fyffe converted his longstanding family enterprise from tea to banana importation in Dublin in about 1888.

Today Fyffes plc, Dublin, is active worldwide. Its focuses are the production, transportation and distribution of bananas, melons and pineapples. In Hamburg, Fyffes found the perfect fruit trading partner: INTER.

For, since January 2003, INTER has been marketing, in close cooperation with its Irish partners, the brands “Fyffes”, “Fyffes Gold”, “Turbana” and “Tropical Eden”, plus the own-label “Nino”.

New catchwords: Organic …

Rising environmental awareness among critical consumers was soon to grip the food sector, too. Organically grown fruit and vegetables are increasingly making inroads into the previous range of conventional foodstuffs and are finding enthusiastic buyers.
Reason enough for INTER to take up this trend, particularly as, after all, partner Fyffes supports a sustainable agrarian structure and prefers goods from environmentally sound cultivation. Organic bananas originate 100 percent from organic cultivation. Incidentally: Fyffes and INTER have always paid attention to environmental standards.

… and Fair Trade

The longstanding endeavours by Fyffes and INTER to supply the market with “Fair Trade” goods can be seen in the same context. Strict cultivation and labour standards, along with the marketing of fruit at an appropriate price, mean that the producers’ long-term existence is secured.
Global GAP – the globally active, neutral watchdog – certifies compliance with all prescribed standards. These standards, too, are a part of the Fyffes and INTER company philosophy today.

Reliable partners

For INTER, reliable partners are crucial elements of the fruit trade. Thus, it has been able to rely on Hamburger Hafen- und Logistik AG, HHLA for short, for more than half a century already. Hand-inhand, this capable company works with INTER to ensure that even larger goods batches are handled smoothly.
The link between INTER and Hamburg’s central market, on whose grounds the INTER operations buildings are also located, is particularly close. Enormous quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables can be offered to food retailers here, and will be in the future as well, as the Hamburg Senate has placed a safeguard on the site until 2034. Hamburg-based fruit haulier Weidner & Co. has likewise been ensuring for years that even extensive distances can be overcome swiftly by trucks so that INTER goods can reach their destination fresh and on time. And in Antwerp, the Belgian New Fruit Wharf (BNFW) handles fruit for INTER.

The ultra-modern INTER site

After a construction period that was possibly record-breakingly short, the new INTER operations building was inaugurated in November 1997. The Weichert family celebrated this pioneering step with international invitees and Hamburg’s prominent politicians. As early as 2005, INTER expanded the building: the storage capacity for exotic fruit was enlarged to a (temperature-controlled) surface area of more than 1,600 m². The ripening chambers alone are able to accommodate about 20,000 cartons of bananas.

INTER’s prospects are fantastic

INTER can celebrate its 100th anniversary with satisfaction. Yet this by no means signifies that it can rest on its laurels. New tasks constantly need to be mastered – in the sensitive banana and exotics business – without neglecting the traditional virtues: the INTER competence in freshness needs to be proven anew day after day! Extremely motivated staff are there to ensure that the everyday fruit business runs smoothly. Some employees have already been at INTER for many years. Not only the proverbial INTER quality is right – the working atmosphere is, too!