The “Apprentice Apple Tree Sponsorship” won this year’s “Responsible Action Award” for Lüneburg resident EDEKA Bergmann. Kim Sarah Lukat from EDEKA Bergmann came up with the concept for the project. Each trainee sponsors an apple tree from the partner farm Palm’s Appel in the Altes Land near Hamburg at the beginning of their programme. The yellow and red “Elstar” specimens are collected at the same time and offered for sale in Lüneburg at the miners’ EDEKA shops. In this way, the sponsorship of an apple tree communicates qualities that are unmistakably a part of the EDEKA DNA: a love of food
The Palm’s Appel farm and EDEKA Bergmann share a history together. EDEKA Bergmann has a long history of working directly with a company from the Altes Land municipality of Jork, close to Hamburg. This link is currently becoming more solid due to the trainee apple tree sponsorships: Ten sponsorships were initially offered in August 2021; this year, 25 trees have been sponsored, and a total of 40 are anticipated for 2023. The trainees receive sponsorship for an apple tree on the farm at the beginning of their training. They harvest the apples themselves and then sell them at the three Lüneburg EDEKA stores that the miners control under the brand “Own Harvest.” During the graduation ceremony, the independent businesswoman Meike Bergmann organizes for her graduates every year, the sponsorships are passed on to the new trainee cohort.
An initiative with vision
“In the “Azubi Apple Tree Sponsorship” project, innovative youth marketing meets ties to the local community and a love of food. Customers can immediately benefit from the trainees’ understanding of local farming practises and ethical food processing, according to Markus Mosa, CEO of the EDEKA Central Foundation & Co. KG. The initiative also makes it easier to identify with both the EDEKA brand and one’s own business.
An apprenticeship at EDEKA is even more appealing because of the shared harvest experience and the related encouragement of team spirit. A compelling case for prospective trainees as well as the award judges, given the importance of promoting youth and bringing on fresh trainees for the success of businesses. The idea is also adaptable to other markets with different product sponsorships, which helps to promote regionality and gastronomic enjoyment.
EDEKA encourages responsible behaviour
EDEKA recognises exceptional initiatives in the areas of the environment and/or social commitment at the retail level of the cooperatively formed group of firms for the fourth time with the “Responsible Action Award.” The dedication and inventiveness of independent EDEKA retailers or shop managers in environmental and/or social issues are acknowledged. The relative benefit of a proposal, its uniqueness, and, last but not least, elements like scalability and cost-effectiveness are all evaluated by an expert jury. The “Responsible Action Award” is given out each year in November and comes with a prize of EUR 5,000 for environmentally friendly or charitable endeavours.