Past, Present and Future Report

September 2011

The Government of Canada has prepared this report based on primary and secondary sources of information. Readers should take note that the Government of Canada does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information contained in this report, nor does it necessarily endorse the organizations listed herein. Readers should independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the information. This report is intended as a concise overview of the market for those interested in its potential and is not intended to provide in-depth analysis which may be required by the individual exporter. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada assumes no responsibility for its accuracy, reliability, or for any decisions arising from the information contained herein.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • Germany's economy is one of the top five in the world and, as a member of the European Union (EU), is also part of the world's largest single market. Germany also ranks as the world's largest exporter and third largest importer.
  • As a prominent member of the EU, Germany provides a gateway not only to its own large, developed consumer population, but to opportunities in the surrounding EU market.
  • Germany's population of nearly 82 million has created a leading market for food and beverages in the EU, ranking Germany as the largest agri-food importer in the world. In 2010, Germany imported $161.5 billion in agri-food.
  • Germany is Canada's sixth largest trading partner. In 2010, bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $15.2 billion, with Canadian exports of $3.9 billion.
  • Canada's exports to Germany have been growing and evolving over time from raw and processed materials and semi-manufactured goods, to more value-added exports.
  • In 2010, bilateral agricultural trade between Canada and Germany reached $519.3 million. Canada's agricultural exports increased 7% in 2010 to reach $209.8 million. Top agricultural exports included soya beans, fruits and edible nuts, maple sugar and syrup, lentils, and canola, colza oil.
  • Germany's sophisticated consumer market is being impacted by an ageing population, increasing health consciousness and busy urban lifestyles which are providing opportunities for organic products, healthy food and beverages, and quality, value-added convenience products.


Germany is one of the most prosperous countries in the world and the largest economy in the EU. As a member of the EU and with a considerable economy and population, Germany has a substantial impact on the economic performance of the entire EU market and helped to lead economic recovery in the euro zone in 2010. With a recovering economy and considerable consumer population, Germany is a substantial agri-food importer, representing the largest market in not only the EU, but the world.

Canada and Germany share strong bilateral relations with few barriers, reflected in the high level of trade that exists. The two countries share membership in a number of international organizations, are strong investment partners, and have significantly increased their bilateral trade in the past two decades. Overall, Canada's agricultural exports to Germany have been increasing, with nearly 50% growth since 2005. While EU partners are the most obvious source for food imports, there are always opportunities for Canadian exporters who offer safe innovative products to supply the large processing sector or general consumer market.

Similarly to Canada and many other developed countries, Germany's population and consumption patterns are being impacted by a number of market trends. Demographically, Germany's population is ageing, providing a range of opportunities in "healthy" and nutritional foods and beverages. Increasing health consciousness throughout the entire population is further fuelling market demand for these types of products, including organic goods. German consumers are also living busy lifestyles, providing opportunities for Canadian exporters that can supply value-added convenience products that are of a high quality and geared toward health.

Canada - Germany Relations

Canada and Germany's few trade barriers and strong bilateral relations are reflected in the high level of trade that exists. Germany is Canada's sixth largest trading partner. In the past two decades, bilateral trade between Germany and Canada has risen significantly. Canadian imports from Germany rose from $3.8 billion in 1990 to $11.3 billion in 2010 ($12.7 billion in 2008), while Canadian exports to Germany rose from $2.2 billion in 1990 to $3.9 billion in 2010 ($4.5 billion in 2008).

In 2010, bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $15.2 billion, with Germany retaining a positive trade balance of $7.3 billion. This was an increase in total trade, as Canada's trade with Germany had dropped to $14.4 billion in 2009 from $17.2 billion in 2008. This decrease was likely a result of the global economic slump, as Canada's bilateral trade with Germany had been steadily increasing previously.

Canada is also an attractive business investment location for German multinationals. In 2010, there was over $10 billion in German Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Canada, up from $6.2 billion in 2001. This ranked Germany as Canada's tenth largest source of FDI, representing 1.8% of total FDI in Canada. Many Canadian companies possess holdings in Germany, providing a gateway not only into the country, but to opportunities in the surrounding region. Canadian direct investment abroad in Germany was $8.7 billion in 2010, ranking the country 13th as an investment market, up from $4.6 billion in 2000. Within Europe, Germany receives the fifth most Canadian direct investment abroad, after the United Kingdom (U.K.), Ireland, Hungary and France.

Both countries are joint members of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), the United Nations (UN), the Group of 8 (G8) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). A long history of economic cooperation exists between Canada and the EU, and a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is currently being negotiated, with leaders desiring to conclude negotiations in 2011.

Canada-Germany Bilateral Trade (2010)
Germany Total Trade $2.4 trillion
Exports $1.3 trillion
Imports $1.1 trillion
Trade balance $0.2 trillion
Canada-Germany Trade $15.2 billion
Exports $3.9 billion
Imports $11.3 billion
Trade balance ($7.3 billion)
Canada-Germany Ag Trade $519.3 million
Exports $209.8 million
Imports $309.5 million
Trade balance ($99.7 million)
  • Bilateral trade between Canada and Germany reached $15.2 billion in 2010, with Canadian exports totalling $3.9 billion.
  • Germany typically maintains a positive trade balance in bilateral trade with Canada.
  • In 2010, top Canadian exports to Germany included: ores, slag, and ash (24% of exports); machinery (16%); aircraft and spacecraft (7%); mineral fuel, oil, (7%); and rare earth metals (5%).
  • In 2010, top German exports to Canada included: non-railway vehicles (30% of imports); machinery (19%); pharmaceutical products (10%); electrical machinery (8%); and optical, medical instruments (6%).
  • While Canada's share of Germany's import market has declined, the types of exports being imported into Germany have significantly changed. Previously, exports were more largely composed of raw and processed materials, as well as semi-manufactured goods. However, value-added exports to Germany have been growing and taking up an increasingly larger share of exports to the country.

Agricultural Trade

Germany's population of nearly 82 million has created a leading market for food and beverages in the EU, the largest agri-food importer in the world. In 2010, Germany imported $161.5 billion in agri-food and exported $73.5 billion, maintaining a negative agri-food trade balance of $14.4 billion. The EU is Germany's largest agricultural trading partner with ­­75% of total agri-food trade coming from other EU countries where trade barriers do not exist and proximity is at a premium. Germany's largest agricultural trading partners include the Netherlands, France and Italy.

Agricultural trade between Canada and Germany has traditionally been quite stable. In 2010, Germany ranked as Canada's 26th largest agri-food export market in the world and 14th largest source of imports. In 2010, bilateral agricultural trade reached $519.3 million; notable growth from $410.6 million in 2005. Germany typically retains a positive trade balance in bilateral agricultural trade.

Canada's Top 5 Agricultural Exports to Germany (2010)
Soya beans $68.6 million
Fruits and edible nuts $21.9 million
Maple sugar and syrup $16.2 million
Lentils, dried, shelled $15.7 million
Canola, colza oil and its fractions, crude $14.4 million

Exports to Germany: Description of this image follows.

Canada's Top 5 Agri-Food Exports to Germany : Top agricultural exports from Canada to Germany in 2010 included soya beans representing 32.7% of agricultural exports, fruits and edible nuts worth 10.4%, maple sugar and syrup comprising 7.7%, dried, shelled lentils at 7.5%, and canola, colza oil and its fractions at 6.9%.

  • Top agricultural exports from Canada to Germany in 2010 included soya beans representing 32.7% of agricultural exports, fruits and edible nuts worth 10.4%, maple sugar and syrup comprising 7.7%, dried, shelled lentils at 7.5%, and canola, colza oil and its fractions at 6.9%.
  • Canada's domestic agricultural exports to Germany recovered in 2010 from a slight drop of 0.7% in 2009. In 2010, agricultural exports increased 7% to reach $209.8 million.
  • Aiding this growth are notable increases in some of Canada's top agricultural exports to Germany. In 2010, soya bean exports grew 74.5%, while dried, shelled lentils increased 46.1%. Canola, colza oil and its fractions also increased from no exports in 2009 to more than $14 million in exports in 2010.
  • Of Canada's top 20 agricultural exports in 2010, other notable growth occurred in raw mink furskins (46.1% growth), vegetable saps and extracts (141.9%), dried, shelled kidney beans and white pea beans (110.1%), raw furskins nes (68.9%), and semen bovine (55.3%).
  • Overall, Canada's agricultural exports to Germany have been increasing, growing 47.9% from 2005 to 2010.
  • Top agricultural imports into Canada from Germany in 2010 included chocolate and other food preparations representing 10.7% of agricultural imports, communion wafers and similar products worth 10.6%, beer made from malt at 10.6%, grape wines comprising 7.6%, and casein glues and derivatives at 5.1%.
  • After dropping 13.8% in 2009, Canada's agricultural imports from Germany began to show signs of recovery in 2010, increasing 3.4%. From 2005 to 2010, Canada's agricultural imports from Germany increased 15.2%.
Canada's Top 5 Agricultural Imports From Germany (2010)
Chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa $33.1 million
Communion wafers and similar products $32.9 million
Beer made from malt $32.7 million
Grape wines $23.6 million
Casein glues - caseinates and other casein derivatives $15.8 million

Trade with Germany: Description of this image follows.

Canada's Agri-Food Trade with Germany : Agricultural trade between Canada and Germany has traditionally been quite stable. In 2010, Germany ranked as Canada’s 26th largest agri-food export market in the world and 14th largest source of imports. In 2010, bilateral agricultural trade reached $519.3 million; notable growth from $410.6 million in 2005.

Complete statistical summary available at the Agri-Food Trade Service's Canadian Trade Data by Country.


Germany has an economy which is one of the top five in the world, and is the world's largest exporter. As a member of the EU, Germany is part of the world's largest single market, and is also the third largest importer in the world, only after the United States (U.S.) and China. Within the EU, Germany holds the largest economy and is seen as technologically powerful, manufacturing some of the most well respected products in the world. Major industries include: iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery and vehicles.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the German economy led the euro zone's recovery in 2010 and has continued to in the first half of 2011. In 2010, Germany's GDP rebounded by 3.5%. This was initially due to export growth; however, domestic demand is now also supporting GDP growth. As a member of the EU, a challenge is the current debt crisis in the euro area which is expected to eclipse business in the EU in the near future. With regards to exchange rates, the euro will likely face some volatility, with some downward pressure expected later on in 2011.

Similarly to western European countries, Germany is facing demographic challenges which may impact and hinder long-term growth in the country. Germany is expected to experience negative population growth of 0.2% in 2011. Lower fertility rates, decreasing net immigration and the integration of eastern Germany's economy are all placing pressure on the national economy. For the future, the government is looking to decrease the deficit and debt of the country, while maintaining education and research priorities, and is also looking to raise the retirement age and increase the presence of females in the workforce.

Gross Domestic Product (2010)
  Germany Canada
GDP $3.4 trillion $1.6 trillion
GDP growth 3.5% 3.1%
GDP/capita US$40,512 US$45,888
GDP/capita (ppp) US$35,700 (est.) US$39,400 (est.)


  • According to the USDA CIA World Factbook, Germany has the sixth largest GDP (ppp) in the world.
  • Germany's GDP stands at $3.4 trillion, more than twice that of Canada; however, both countries share fairly similar GDP per capita.
  • In 2010, Germany's GDP growth rebounded to 3.5%, which was estimated to be only slightly behind that of the world (3.8%), and notably above EU27's growth of 1.8% and Western Europe's 2% growth. In the first quarter of 2011, GDP grew by 5.2% (EIU).
  • The inflation rate in 2010 was 1.2%, while the unemployment rate was 6.9%.
  • Agriculture accounted for an estimated 0.9% of Germany's GDP in 2010, industry 27.8%, and services 71.3% (EIU).
  • While persistently high unemployment has often been a challenge for Germany in the past, unemployment has been decreasing and consumer demand began to gain momentum again near the end of 2010 (EIU).
  • While Germany's imports decreased by 16.2% in 2009, they began to recover in 2010, increasing by 4.4% to reach $1.1 trillion. While exports also dropped in 2009, they began to recover in 2010 and increased 1.8% to reach $1.3 trillion. Exports are expected to grow by 8.5% in 2011.


  • According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), GDP (current prices) is expected to reach nearly US$3.4 trillion in 2011. GDP is predicted to continue to gradually increase to reach slightly over US$3.7 trillion in 2015.
  • The EIU expects Germany's GDP growth to remain strong in 2011 at 3.4%, and then begin to slow, with an average growth of 2.3% from 2012 to 2015 as export growth also slows.
  • GDP per capita (current prices) is expected to rise to US$41,235 in 2011 (up from US$40,512 in 2010). GDP per capita is predicted to steadily increase to reach US$46,154 in 2015 (IMF).
  • Other positive signs are also expected for the economy in 2011. For the first time in four months, consumer confidence is expected to rise in July 2011. Private consumption is also expected to increase in 2011 and 2012 by 1.8% and 1.6% respectively (EIU).
  • Inflation is expected to continue to increase, going from nearly 1.4% in 2011 to 2% in 2015 (IMF).
  • Germany's unemployment rate is expected to decrease slightly over the next five years, from 7.1% in 2011 to 6.7% in 2015 (IMF).
  • Germany's population is also predicted to continue declining from 81.44 million in 2011 down to 80.79 million in 2015 (IMF).

Consumer Market

Germany's nearly 82 million inhabitants have created the leading market for food and beverages in the EU, where consumers have high living standards and notable disposable incomes. Despite a renewed agrarian focus, the agriculture sector is expected to represent an increasingly smaller share of GDP and Germany remains the largest food importer in the world.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), the German food market can be characterized through a combination of four factors: retail is dominated by a small number of large chains; discounters hold a very strong presence in the market; consumers are very price sensitive, compared to other European markets; and lastly, Germany represents a rapidly growing organic market and a consumer base that is aware of and resistant to GMO food products.

Mirroring the ageing trend being seen throughout the EU, higher life expectancy and lower birth rates are resulting in an ageing German population. It is predicted that 20% of the EU population will be over sixty years of age, which represents one out of every five citizens. Germany's population is ageing at an even faster rate, with 23% of the population expected to be senior citizens by 2010 (Euromonitor). This group was also, for the most part, unaffected by the global financial downturn.

Due to increasingly busy lifestyles, more women in the workforce and growing single-person households, eating and spending habits are shifting towards convenience meals and modest "supermarket" spending. Rather than eating a large breakfast, more and more Germans are eating on their way to work. Busier lifestyles are not permitting a large sit-down morning meal. Busy work days also do not lend themselves to the preparation of evening meals; as a result, prepared foods are often consumed for this meal and cooking is left for the weekend or seen as a hobby.

A growing percent of the population is displaying a preference for American-style convenience foods. Americanized convenience and fast foods are typically consumed by the younger demographic, with children spending considerable portions of their pocket money on convenience foods. Although, children are a declining population segment, they often have strong brand awareness and knowledge of confectionary, cereal, yogurt, and soft drinks products. Tweens are also willing to spend their money on luxury food items like chocolate, confectionery, and fast food/take-away products.

Higher education is also leading more women to enter the work force, resulting in many women delaying the decision to have children until later in life or having fewer children. This is another factor contributing to the declining birth rate, but may also provide growing opportunities for convenience foods. Fewer children and having children at a later, more established stage of life, has also resulted in parents looking for quality products and spending more money on their children, leading to increased value sales of baby food. Organic and nutritionally enriched products are particularly popular (Euromonitor).

Increasing health awareness is changing the German diet as a whole, notably affecting food consumption and impacting the country's ageing population and longer life expectancy. Due to the high health consciousness and interest in fitness of Germany's older population, they are expected to drive sales of wellness products in the market. Fresh, organic and local food is particularly in demand, and there is heightened awareness of food quality, health risks associated with certain foods, and the use of antibiotics (Euromonitor).

Germans tend to be very nationalistic when it comes to purchase decisions, particularly when it comes to food. This is mainly a result of quality, health and safety concerns, but also to support national production. Germany's organic food market is the largest in the EU, accounting for a third of all organic products that are sold in the EU. However, the scale of domestic organic farming in Germany still does not meet demand for organic products, and in 2009, the number of organic importers in Germany grew by 15.3%. Generally, consumers in the south of Germany tend to be more bio-savvy. However, German consumers are also quite price conscious and thus the overall food market is also very price-competitive.


Population Demographics 2011 est.
Population 81.4 million
Age (% of population) 0-14 years
Age (% of population) 15-64 years
Age (% of population) 65 years and over
Median Age 44.9 years
Population Growth -0.2%

CFIA World Factbook, IMF (2011 est.)

  • Germany's population is expected to continue to gradually decline by 0.2% in 2011. A population of 80.8 million is projected for 2015.
  • The median age is 44.9 years, with roughly 20% of the population already 65 years of age or older. By 2020, the median age is expected to reach 47.8 years.
  • Germany is quite urbanized with 74% of the population living in urban areas. Urban locations are expected to continue to dominate rural areas, with increasing urban populations expected for the future.
  • Major cities in Germany include Berlin, the capital where 3.4 million people reside, Hamburg with 1.8 million, Munich with 1.3 million, and Cologne with a population of 1 million. Munich is the most rapidly developing city in Germany.
  • However, the populations of the eastern Federal Republics are expected to notably decline due to employment difficulties.
  • Demographic and lifestyle similarities can be drawn nationwide; however, there is a significant difference in income between residents in the former German Democratic Republic in the east and the old Federal Republic of Germany in the west.
  • The main language spoken is German as 91.5% of the population is of German descent, 2.4% is Turkish and 6.1% are from other ethnic groups such as Greek, Italian, and Polish.
  • Young and affluent German consumers are generally more experimental than their older counterparts. These consumers are more willing to try new types of food products.
  • Germans are looking for healthy, tasty, and nutritious products that have been safely grown and processed. Demand for fresh and organic food is particularly strong with Germany's ageing population, but is found throughout all generations of the population.
  • Sales of fruits and vegetables are growing, while sugar and confectionary sales have declined. Fish and seafood is also growing in popularity due to perceived health benefits.
  • Ethically sourced and fair trade products are also gaining in popularity among German consumers, particularly those in their thirties.
  • German consumers are turning towards easy to prepare foods, but are unwilling to sacrifice taste and quality for convenience. Demand for convenience is helping to drive pre-packaged foods, ready-meals and take-away foods. Healthier food options are also appearing in the pre-packaged food industry with significant success.
  • More frequently, Germans are replacing home cooked meals with snacks and foods that can be consumed on the go. It is not uncommon for one or two meals a day to be missed and replaced by snack type foods.
  • Vegetarians are also increasing in prominence in Germany, as is the popularity of ethnic/foreign cuisines such as Indian and Asian dishes.

General Consumer Trends

Top Trends in the German Food Market for 2011

Processed is out: Completed additives and too long a shelf life are out, while interest in natural and no additive/preservative products is growing.

Offering real value: Consumers that are looking for real value: not only low-cost budget items, but products that offer additional benefits.

“Proven” is the new buzzword: Look for “proven” health claims, which have made it through the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) process, promoting functional food products.

Culinary expansion: Consumers may be eating out less, but are still interested in indulging themselves with quality home cooking and traditional cooking skills.

Return to softer claims: With strong EFSA health claim scrutiny, a movement to softer claims on products is expected.

Getting “connected”: Increasing consumer engagement through social media and creative marketing.

New relaxation paradigm: The need to minimize stress and encourage relaxation.

Fruit & veggie revival: Manufacturers return to the basics focusing on the health benefits already available from fruits and vegetables.

Try a little respect: Sustainabilty that benefits both humans and animals.

Selling the technology: Effectively explaining the benefits of alternative technologies to consumers.

Source: Innova Market Insights, Sweets Global Network 02/2011 - Agri-Food News from Europe, April 2011

Retail Grocery

  • A small number of large chains dominate the retail sector, where the top five chains hold 67.4% of the market, and the top ten, 86%.
  • In the retail sector, supermarkets and discount chains have taken note of the growing demand for fresh and organic products, offering discounts on these products and expanding fresh food and 'healthy' food product offerings.
  • Demand for fresh and local food is also expanding the popularity of weekly markets as shopping destinations (Euromonitor).
  • However, supermarkets have become a popular retail location for organic customers, often replacing natural and health stores as retail locations. In 2010, there were a number of new organic store openings in Germany with 17 new specialist organic stores (200-400m²) and 48 new organic supermarkets (400+ m²): resulting in 580 organic specialist stores and supermarkets in 2011.
  • The top ten food retailers in Germany in 2009 include: Metro Group, Schwarz Group, Rewe Group, Aldi, Edeka Group, Tengelmann, Lekkerland, Schlecker, Globus, and dm.
  • Retail chains in Germany do not typically import either directly from third countries or from importers/distributors (DFAIT).


Agri-food is among the priority sectors listed as offering strong growth prospects in Germany for Canadian exporters, according to DFAIT. Export Development Canada (EDC) also sees excellent potential and export investment opportunities for Canadian companies in foodstuffs, as well as a number of other sectors.

DFAIT has identified organics as a particularly high potential sub-sector in Germany for Canadian suppliers. German consumers generally perceive Canada as having a clean and safe environment, providing a competitive advantage to Canadian organics in comparison to other agri-food competitors. These consumer perceptions of Canada fit well with Canada's brand which can be used as a beneficial and effective marketing tool (DFAIT). For further information visit the Canada Brand website.

While the German food market is quite competitive and EU members are close trade partners with Germany, opportunities may lie with Canadian exporters who can provide innovative, quality products to a market of discerning and health conscious, consumers leading busy lifestyles. Germany is considered a "mature market" because of its advanced development. Therefore, exporters are encouraged to seek out established importers with unique and originally labelled products, as these products have the most success in the consumer market. Goods such as maple syrup products, pet foods, fruit and vegetable juice, fruit and edible nuts as well as organic products, among others will likely have the most appeal to German importers and consumers.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has identified Germany as a secondary priority market for increasing Canadian food brand awareness through sponsored marketing and promotional activities. AAFC also manages the Canadian presence at the ANUGA food and beverage trade show held in Germany, with an official Canada pavilion that provides a variety of services to Canadian exhibitors.


Canada's main competitors in the German food market are Germany's EU partners. Over ­­70% of food imports come from other EU countries where trade barriers do not exist and proximity is at a premium. EU members also comprise three quarters of Germany's total agri-food trade.

Canada is Germany's 29th largest agri-food trade partner, and ranks as Germany's 31st largest source for agri-food imports. However, outside of EU members, Canada is Germany's 11th largest agri-food trade partner and 17th largest agri-food import source.

Germany's largest EU agri-food import sources include the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium. Outside of the EU, top agri-food import sources are Brazil, U.S., China, Switzerland, and Turkey. However, Germans tend to view Canadian food as being safer than many competitors, which is a major concern for Germans with regards to their food supply.

Another positive note for Canadian agri-food products in the German market is the notable growth of imports compared to competitors. From 2009 to 2010, many of Germany's top agri-food import sources experienced negative growth, with Germany's total agri-food imports decreasing 5.3% overall. However, imports of Canadian agri-food products increased an impressive 39.5%. Of Germany's top 30 agri-food import sources in 2010, only seven experienced positive growth in 2010, the most significant being China, the U.K. and the U.S., with growth of 15%, 13.7%, and 10.1% respectively. Canada's agri-food imports into Germany also increased at a noticeably faster rate (39.5%) than Canada's total agri-food trade with Germany in 2010, which was 18.9%.

A challenge within the German food market is price-competitiveness, and exporters must identify a competitive price point for their product. Germans can also be quite nationalistic in food purchases, particularly with foods associated with small farming (i.e. fruit, vegetables and meats), and as such will buy domestic products to support local farmers and rural communities.

Access Issues

Germany is a member of the EU, and as such, tariffs and trade barriers fall in line with EU policy, including the importation of food products. External trade agreements are generally negotiated with Canada through the EU. Canadians wishing to export goods to Germany are encouraged to contact the Canadian Embassy in Berlin for detailed information on German markets as well as EU trade policies. Canada also has consulates located in Munich and Düsseldorf, promoting trade and investment. Currently, there are not many Canadian suppliers for Germany, creating a good opportunity for new suppliers to introduce themselves into the market. Like Canadian suppliers, many German importers are also small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and can help suppliers with successful market entry, assisting with technical requirements, labelling, inventory and marketing (DFAIT).

The Consulate in Düsseldorf can assist Canadian exporters who are interested in the German market, as agriculture, food and beverages is one of their priority sectors. The consulate team provides a variety of core services including: assessing your market potential, finding qualified contacts, resolving business problems and arranging meetings: The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Germany

Germany also hosts some of the largest and most important trade shows in the world, reaching both European and global markets. A significant majority (84%) of all German companies consider trade fairs to be the second most important communication tool (after a website homepage), and it is advisable for Canadian companies to consider exhibiting or attending trade shows that are relevant to their business activities. Some of these fairs include ANUGA, featuring a Canada pavilion presence, organics world trade fair BioFach, and confectionery and snack food fair ISM (DFAIT). For a more extensive listing of fairs in Germany, visit the Agri-Food Trade Service (ATS) trade events page.

Canadian exporters are encouraged to register with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service to gain easy access to Canada's embassies and posts abroad. Canadian exporters are also encouraged to use the services of EDC and DFAIT: both of which offer trade information, and financial and risk management services to Canadian exporters.

With regards to labelling, EU-harmonized legislation is applied to general labelling requirements, as well as nutritional, product-specific, GMO and novel foods labelling in Germany. While labelling must be in German, multi-language labelling is also allowed. GMO-free labelling also exists, which includes the use of "without biotech" on the label and a corresponding logo. Apart from dietetic food, medical/health claim labelling is prohibited, unless covered by EU health claim regulation (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)).

EU-harmonized legislation also applies to packaging and containers. However, additional waste recycling requirements for packaging also exist in Germany, as does a mandatory refund system for select one-way beverage packages. Food additive regulations, pesticide levels, as well as inspection, registration and certification of products are also included within EU-harmonized legislation (USDA).

Business Travel Tips

  • The official language is German.
  • Germany's legal infrastructure does not pose any obstacles to Canadian travellers and most Canadian visitors do not experience any problems travelling to and from Germany.
  • Germany's currency is the Euro (EUR).
  • When addressing someone in German, the polite/formal ‘Sie/Ihnen' form should be used, before a personal relationship has developed. When addressing a stranger, ‘Herr', replaces ‘Mr.', while ‘Frau' replaces ‘Ms.' or ‘Mrs.', followed by the last name of the person (DFAIT).
  • Business dress is conservative, and punctuality and deadlines are taken seriously.
  • Preferred times for business meetings/appointments are from 10am-1pm and from 3pm-5pm, apart from Friday afternoons which are often not a good time due to early closing hours.
  • A Canadian passport that is valid for the duration of your stay is required.
  • Business visas are not required for a visit of less than 90 days. For stays longer than 90 days, travellers are expected to visit their local German consulate to fill out appropriate paperwork in advance of travel.
  • Germany is densely populated, particularly in industrial centres, and business travellers are encouraged to allow plenty of travel time to ensure a prompt arrival.

For further information on travelling to Germany consult DFAIT's:

Travel Report
Centre for Intercultural Learning

Agriculture Sector & Policies

Germany is one of the EU's largest agricultural producers. While agricultural production accounts for only an estimated 0.8% of Germany's GDP, roughly 1 million Germans (2.4% of the labour force) are employed by the agriculture sector on a part-time or full-time basis on 370,000 farms. Currently, Germany's agricultural sector is governed by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in which farmers receive payments that are coupled with the type of crops they grow. According to Germany's Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), the EU is currently in the middle of reforming agricultural policy, and agricultural support will be completely evolved to a single area payment system by 2013, linked to environmental protection, nature conservation, animal welfare, and food safety.

Within Germany, 33.1% of land is arable, while 0.6% is used for permanent crops. Germany's farming industry is a modern sector which produces diverse agricultural yields. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in 2008, Germany's top agricultural products by value were: whole, fresh cows milk, indigenous pig meat, indigenous cattle meat, wheat, potatoes, rapeseed, sugar beets, indigenous, grapes and hen eggs. The CIA World Factbook also lists barley, fruit, cabbages, and poultry as key agricultural products. Germany is the largest pig meat producer in the EU, and second largest beef and veal producer. Plant production, particularly cereals are also a key component of the industry, along with dairy cattle farming. The country is also a large producer of hops, ranking as the world's second largest producer, and is well-known for producing quality beers. Wine is also produced in select regions. Despite this varied national crop base, the size of the sector necessitates significant food imports.

Healthy and safe foods are a major priority for the German government, and policies and legal provisions are continuously being updated to match scientific development. Environmentally friendly agricultural practices are also highly encouraged in Germany, and agriculture is seen as beneficial for the climate and natural resources as well as a provider of attractive employment options in rural areas. Measures are being implemented to decrease the number of fertilizers and pesticides/herbicides in agricultural production. These developing practices have proven especially profitable in the organic foods sector, as Germany has the largest organic food market in Europe. According to BMELV, at the beginning of 2010, more than 21,000 organic-production holdings existed in Germany, resulting in nearly 950,000 hectares of organic farmland. This accounted for approximately 5.6% of Germany's total agricultural land use.

Contact Information

Canadian Contact Information

The Embassy of Canada to Germany, Berlin
Leipziger Platz 17
Berlin, D-10117
Tel: +49 30 203120
Fax: +49 30 20312-115
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 0830 - 1700 (E.S.T.: +6)

The Consulate of Canada, Düsseldorf
Benrather Str. 8
Düsseldorf, D-40213
Tel: +49 211 172170
Fax: +49 211 359165
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 0830 - 1700 (E.S.T.: +6)

Ms. Anne-Sophie Hottiaux
Trade Commissioner
Agriculture, Food and Beverages, Fish and Seafood Products

Ms. Nora Gruetters
Trade Commissioner Assistant
Agriculture, Food and Beverages, Fish and Seafood Products

German Contact Information

Chamber of Industry and Commerce – Germany
Darmstadt Rhein Main Neckar
Rheinstraße 89
64295 Darmstadt
phone: 06151 871-0
fax: 06151 871-101

Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV)
Telephone: 0 30 / 1 85 29 - 0
Postal addresses:
Bonn Office, P.O. Box 14 02 70, 53107 Bonn
Berlin Office 11055 Berlin

Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL)

Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAHA)

Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA)

Germany Trade and Invest

Key Resources

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Agri-Food Past, Present & Future Report Germany. Agri-Food Trade Service. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, July 2006. Web. 12 July 2011.
  • - - -. "ANUGA 2011 – Cologne, Germany." Agri-Food Trade Service. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 11 July 2011. Web. 12 July 2011.
  • Australian Government. "Germany country brief." Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australian Government, Apr. 2011. Web. 6 July 2011.
  • Canadian Consulate Agri-Food Section. "Agri-Food News from Europe April 2011 No. 2." Agri-Food Trade Service. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Apr. 2011. Web. 6 July 2011.
  • Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. "Agriculture and Agri-Food, Fish and Seafood Sector Profile - Canadian Consulate, Duesseldorf, Germany." Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. N.p., May 2010. Web. 30 June 2011.
  • Economist Intelligence Unit. "Economist Intelligence Unit - Germany." ViewsWire. The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, 2011. Web. 5 July 2011.
  • - - -. "Germany: 5-year forecast table." ViewsWire. The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, 6 June 2011. Web. 5 July 2011.
  • - - -. "Germany: Country fact sheet." ViewsWire. The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, 6 June 2011. Web. 5 July 2011.
  • - - -. "Germany: Country outlook." ViewsWire. The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, 1 July 2011. Web. 5 July 2011.
  • Euromonitor International. "Consumer Lifestyles in Germany." Passport. Euromonitor International, 2 Mar. 2011. Web. 6 July 2011.
  • Export Development Canada. "Country Information - Germany." Export Development Canada. N.p., 2011. Web. 4 July 2011.
  • Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. "Agriculture & rural areas." Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). N.p., n.d. Web. 6 July 2011.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. "Top Production Germany - 2008." FAOSTAT. N.p., 2011. Web. 6 July 2011.
  • Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. "Business with Germany." Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. N.p., Dec. 2010. Web. 6 July 2011.
  • - - -. "Foreign Direct Investment Statistics." Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. N.p., 5 July 2011. Web. 7 July 2011.
  • - - -. "Germany." Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. N.p., 22 June 2011. Web. 4 July 2011.
  • Foreign affairs and International Trade Canada. "Import Regulations: Sources - Germany." Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. N.p., 22 June 2011. Web. 4 July 2011.
  • Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. "Information Requirements and Options for Food Products in the European Union." Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. N.p., Apr. 2009. Web. 6 July 2011.
  • - - -. "Opening Doors to Europe - European Union." Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. N.p., 5 July 2011. Web. 4 July 2011.
  • - - -. "Overview - Germany." Centre for Intercultural Learning. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, 16 Mar. 2009. Web. 4 July 2011.
  • Foreign Agricultural Service. "Germany Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Narrative - FAIRS Country Report." Global Agricultural Informatoin Networl Online. United States Department of Agriculture, 2 Jan. 2011. Web. 12 July 2011.
  • Frederik Pleitgen, CNN. Germany's Euro Worries. CNN. Cable News Network, 29 June 2011. Web. 12 July 2011.
  • Global Trade Atlas. Global Trade Information Services, 2011. Web. 4 July 2011.
  • Government of Canada. "Agriculture." Government of Canada. N.p., 2 Nov. 2010. Web. 30 June 2011.
  • - - -. "Fact Sheet - Germany." Government of Canada. N.p., June 2011. Web. 5 July 2011.
  • International Monetary Fund. "World Economic and Financial Surveys." World Economic Outlook Database. International Monetary Fund, Oct. 2011. Web. 30 June 2011.
  • Organic World. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), 7 July 2010. Web. 6 July 2011.
  • Statistics Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, June 2011. Web. 12 July 2011.
  • U.S. Commercial Service. Doing Business in Germany: 2009 Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies. BUYUSA.GOV. N.p., 25 Mar. 2009. Web. 6 July 2011.