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Who we are

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv) is the voice for more than 80 million consumers in Germany. As the umbrella organisation for German consumer associations in each of Germany’s 16 federal states, and for 26 other member organisations, vzbv channels the strengths of its members to promote strong consumer protection. Our work is backed by a number of individuals and nine organisations who are supporting members.

Our goals

  • A better position for consumers in the social market economy
  • Clear and uniform rules for all market players
  • Effective competition on price and quality that provides true freedom of choice in transparent marketss
  • Safe products and services
  • Clear consumer information
  • Reliable, enforceable consumer rights
  • Promotion of sustainable consumption
  • Upholding the precautionary principle, including in international free trade agreements

What we do

vzbv represents the interests of consumers vis-à-vis policymakers, companies and other stakeholders.

  • We expose structural deficits in consumer markets, identify consumer issues, present solutions and fight for their implementation.
  • Through our Market Watch projects we contribute to consumer-oriented market monitoring.
  • We bring consumer concerns into the public eye.
  • In our discussions with policymakers, we argue for binding regulation to increase transparency in markets.
  • We enforce consumer rights, when necessary in court.
  • We fight for a nuanced view of consumers by policy-makers and judges.
  • We support the German consumer associations with information and training.
  • We are committed to improving consumer education.

How we work

vzbv operates at both European and international levels and has an office in Brussels. vzbv is a member of the umbrella organisation of European consumer organisations, Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs (BEUC), and of Consumers International (CI), an international federation of consumer organisations.

vzbv is a not-for-profit organisation, politically impartial, and solely committed to representing the interests of consumers. vzbv was established in 2000 as the result of the merger of three federal consumer organisations.

vzbv is a not-for-profit organisation, politically impartial, and solely committed to representing the interests of consumers.

vzbv is funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and through project funds and member subscriptions.

Our Market Watch and Food Transparency projects and the provision of energy advice through German consumer associations are key elements of our work.