Germany is the world's largest importer of food and agricultural products. The Government of Germany does not maintain an official export promotion system for agriculture. However, agricultural export promotional activities are conducted by a quasi-governmental agency, the German Central Marketing Agency for Agriculture (Centrale Marketinggeseltschaft der Deutschen Agrawirtschaft or CMA) and by private sector wine promotion organizations. Total funding for CMA and the private sector wine and forest product promotion organizations was $34.7 million in 1995.
CMA was established under the auspices of the 1972 Agricultural Sales Promotion Act, which stipulates that the German food industry (producers and processors) must contribute a certain portion of their proceeds to the promotion agency. Most of CMA's funds come from producer checkoffs. Approximately three-quarters of CMA's estimated $110-million budget is dedicated to domestic promotion activities. About 70 percent of CMA's funds come from the meat and dairy sectors. A major component of CMA's marketing efforts remains the emphasis on food quality with its CMA Seal of Quality for German food products.
CMA's funding for export promotion in 1995 was $29 million. CMA's export promotional efforts primarily focus on other EU markets (approximately 70 percent of German agricultural exports are sold to other EU countries). CMA maintains foreign offices in Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United States. CMA promotes all agricultural products except wines, forest products, and fish. Major promotional tools employed by CMA include: in-store promotions, advertising, and participation in agricultural, food, and beverage trade fairs.
The promotion of German wines is carried out independent of CMA by two organizations, the "Deutscher Weinfond" (German Wine Fund) and the "German Wine Institute." The activities of the Deutscher Weinfond and the German Wine Institute are conducted on a generic basis. The two organizations coordinate their activities and are managed jointly by two executive directors. Export promotion funds for the two organizations totaled $5 million in 1995.
The Deutscher Weinfond was established in 1961 by a Federal Act on "Wine Industry Affairs" that was last amended on October 18, 1990. It is supported by the German wine industry and legally accountable to the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry. Wine growers pay DM 130 (about $80) per hectare of vineyard area; wine traders, producers, and bottlers pay DM 130 per hectoliter of grape must or wine.
The Weinfond is primarily responsible for non-profit industry related activities and supports programs such as the use of advertising and public relations agencies. The Weinfond has created an international network of press offices located in public relations agencies or bilateral Chambers of Industry and Commerce in most important export markets for German wines, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, Japan, the United States, Canada, Brazil and Mexico.
The German Wine Institute was founded as a private company in 1949 under the name "Deutsche Weinwerbung" (German Wine Promotion). Its current shareholders are the German Wine Growers Association, the Federal Association of German Wine and Spirits Merchants and the Deutscher Weinfond. The Institute's overall strategy is developed by the shareholders and monitored by a supervisory board. The German Wine Institute is financed by income generated from its activities and by contributions from both the Deutscher Weinfond and individual wine-producing states.
The Institute conducts activities with an independent staff. Export marketing activities sponsored by the Institute include: public relations and advertising, international trade fair participation, special events, information services and communication, sales promotion and development, and development of point-of-sale materials. The Wine Institute reportedly initiated a $1.5 million promotion campaign in the United Kingdom to halt the decline in Germany's wine sales to the UK. In 1995, Germany's share of the UK wine market had dropped from 15.5 percent to 13.7 percent.
Promotion of German wood, wood products, fish, and fish products are conducted by industry-funded organizations. Funding for export promotion of wood products was estimated at $650,000 in 1995. Fish is promoted chiefly in the domestic market.