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GERMANY: A supermarket train is touring the Land of Hessen during November and December to promote sustainable grocery products.

Formed of a bistro car and three coaches fitted out with supermarket shelves, the train organised by supermarket and tourism specialist REWE, DB Regio and Fairtrade Deutschland was launched in Frankfurt am Main on November 5 and is due to complete its tour on December 11 in Wiesbaden. Intermediate calls are being made in Giessen, Fulda, Kassel and Darmstadt.

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Staffed by trainees, the train will be open to visitors to purchase goods at a designated platform on successive Fridays and Saturdays between 09.00 and 19.00. No ticket purchase is needed. Produce on offer meets fair trade or organic criteria, and locally-produced items are also available.

Mario Theis, Head of DB Regio’s Competence Centre for Management & Product Innovation, said ‘rail is fast, comfortable and ecological … for us as DB Regio sustainability and being regional are part of our DNA. That’s something we have in common with our partners at REWE and Fairtrade and which we want to promote together.’

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Jürgen Schneider, Chairman of the Management Board at REWE Mitte, emphasised that the company’s products were ‘seasonal, regional and fair ― the three points about sustainability that REWE demonstrates with the fair supermarket train’.

For Carsten Lorenz, Head of Key Account Management at Fairtrade Deutschland, it was fitting that the train was calling at five locations that enjoyed excellent fair trade status.

Visitors to the train will be able to purchase fair trade chocolate bars each offering a €10 rail travel e-coupon that can be used to purchase certain promotional tickets. One bar will contain a ‘Golden Ticket’ whose purchaser will receive a free second class BahnCard 100 valid for one year.

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