HVG Germany: Hopfen



1975 bis 2003
Such a strong position on the hop-trading scene inevitably brought the HVG not only positive reactions. Above all its significance within the EEC Hop Market Regulation caused many a rude comment. They had to put up with names such as "profiteers, monopolists, hop communists" complained Hermann Schlicker for example at the members' meeting in 1978.
This hop year was to become a "hot year" in many ways for the HVG. Not only because at the beginning of November a fire broke out in a hop kiln in the Mainburg processing hall, which not only destroyed the kiln but also 80 centners of the hops stored there. So at the subsequent members' meeting the HVG managing board announced its decision not to pay out the producers' subsidy to their members for the year 1978. On the contrary they wanted to use the money for measures to stabilise the market, actually using part of the money to participate in a hop processing facility and with the rest to build up a hop pool to comply with the American model. It was foreseeable that this decision would trigger off a "discussion" in the meeting. "But out in the open "it developd into a "major opposition" among the hop-growers. In the end at a subsequent extraordinary members' meeting the majority of those attending voted against the decision and for half of the subsidy to be paid out. But a year later when the idea of retaining the subsidy came up again, there was already a different "atmosphere", according to the reporter at that time: a retention of the subsidy was voted by the majority.
Therefore in summer 1982 they were able to set up the "HVG Hallertau Holding Company with limited liability, with headquarters in Wolnzach" (Managing Director : Hermann Schlicker). It was their sole task to acquire and hold "shares in hop processing firms". Straight afterwards the HVG participated in the Hop Refining HVG Barth, Raiser & Co. in St. Johann and in Wolnzach.
As for how to handle the producer subsidy in the following years there were again and again nerve-racking discussions within the HVG. However, not least the increasingly strained situation on the hop and brewing market resulted in the hop growers joining closer together. This also became apparent in the so far last big step taken by the HVG when at the turn of the century the still existing regional cooperatives such as Elbe-Saale (2000), Jura (2001) or Tettnang (2001) merged into the HVG and henceforth were known as the "HVG Hop Processing Cooperative e.G.". Except for the hop growers in the Spalt hop-growing region nowadays the hop producers from all the German hop regions are members of the HVG Hop Processing Cooperative in Wolnzach.
In the summer of 2003 the HVG was able to move into their newly built administrative building in Wolnzach. Their direct neighbourhood to the German and Hallertau Hop Growers' Association, to the Hop Advisory Committee of the Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture (LfL) as well as to the newly built German Hop Museum in a striking way symbolises the status of the HVG as a customer-oriented as well as producer-oriented hop-trading firm, a status which can meanwhile look back on a tradition over half a century. The 50th anniversary of the formation date of the HVG was on 6th October 2003.