Hamburg: port, trade
Plants as primary products and raw materials for processing have always contributed substantially to Hamburg’s prosperity. Industrial development in the mid-19th century brought with it an increasing demand for raw materials from tropical regions.
Hamburg, as a commercial gateway to the world, became a center for the import of raw materials. The entire structure of the port changed with the import of overseas goods, which were processed in Hamburg for a wide circle of purchasers. Vast imports of coffee, cacao, and natural rubber, oil plants, jute, and tobacco led to the development of entirely new local industries.
Hamburg developed into one of Germany’s largest industrial cities. It was thus no coincidence that the Hamburg Botanical Museum opened a product research laboratory in 1885, laying the cornerstone for an institute for the official and independent analysis of vegetable raw materials and products. Today, with more than 3,000 export companies, Hamburg remains Germany’s import and export center.