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  21th GFI members’ meeting in cologne
Ute Berg, head of the municipal department for Economic Development and Real Property (8th from right), welcomes representatives of the German Fresh Food Markets Association at Cologne Wholesale Market.
Network News 29 October 2014
Fresh Food Markets Association: reorganization of the divisions into “wholesale markets” and “street markets”

From 22 to 23 October 2014, the annual general meeting of the non-profit association GFI German Fresh Food Markets took place in Cologne for the first time at the invitation of the city’s market administration department. Reiner Ströbelt, head of Market Affairs, welcomed some 25 representatives of wholesale market and street market operators to discuss the work of the divisions and numerous network projects.

Uwe Kluge, GFI board chairman and managing director of Bremen Wholesale Market, was highly satisfied with the event: “As usual, we had a very diverse agenda – significant topics and lively, committed participants. An exchange of opinion and constructive cooperation between colleagues are vital features of our association. We were able to demonstrate that once again in Cologne, where we felt very much at home”.

The agenda for the first day of the meeting consisted of issues relating to the by-laws, membership growth and events. On the second day the members discussed “crisis management” and addressed international issues concerning cooperation, especially with the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM). Here an overview of the most important results:

Two new members
Continuing the trend of recent years, membership continued to expand. GFI was pleased to welcome two new sponsoring members in 2014: the market companies Ludwig Blendinger GmbH & Co. KG from Munich and Rolf Oertel GmbH from Leipzig.

GFI-Fructinale 2015
It was resolved to carry out the professional event “GFI-Fructinale”. On 5 February 2015 the “Who’s Who” of the fresh food industry will meet again for the fifth time for an informal networking session at the Fruit Logistica trade show. This time, the motto for the event will be “New Exclusivity – New Location – New Ideas”.

Uwe Kluge, Peter Joppa and Andreas Foidl confirmed as board members
The members’ meeting unanimously confirmed the “old” board members in office. Uwe Kluge, managing director of Großmarkt Bremen GmbH, has been a GFI board member for ten years and its chairman for nine years. Peter Joppa, managing director of FrischeKontor Duisburg GmbH, and Andreas Foidl, managing director of Berliner Großmarkt GmbH, have been GFI board members for eleven and nine years respectively.

New divisions: “wholesale markets” and “street markets”
The members also resolved to reorganize the GFI divisions according to trading levels. The topics Business, Infrastructure, Organization and Benchmarking will in future be handled in the divisions “wholesale markets” and “street markets”. Certain topics from the former “marketing” division were also allocated to the two new divisions, equipped with an extensive pool of knowledge and projects. Besides dealing with questions of the efficiency of existing markets, work will focus on the development of new, sustainable wholesale and street market models.

High-level presentations were given, relating to both divisions: Dr. Susanne Eichholz-Klein from IFH Retail Consultants of the Institut für Handelsforschung GmbH in Cologne spoke on “The future of trade in fresh produce – trends and scenarios”, and Dr. Siegbert Panteleit from SPE.City Management GmbH in Gelsenkirchen reported on successful “Concepts and experience with evening markets in North Rhine - Westphalia“.

GFI guideline on “crisis management”
The association intends to exercise its network role in the field of crisis management more vigorously in future and offer its services to the industry as a supraregional contact in crisis situations on a level above the individual member. With instruments such as an exchange of ideas, information management, contact addresses and management support, the GFI will in future assist its members in all phases of crisis management.

Uwe Kluge: 10 years as a GFI board member
At the close of the meeting the members paid tribute to Uwe Kluge for his long years of commitment to the national market community. As a gesture of thanks the members presented him with a little “Kluge style” Buddy Bear.

GFI board member Uwe Kluge (2nd from right) celebrating ten years of service, with Reiner Ströbelt (2nd from left) and board members Andreas Foidl (left) and Peter Joppa (right).

Cologne’s wholesale market on its way to becoming a new fresh food centre in 2020
The meeting was rounded off by an excursion to the wholesale market in the Raderthal district of Cologne on the second day. There the GFI members were welcomed by Ute Berg, head of the Department for Economic Development and Real Property of the City of Cologne. She reported on the stage reached in planning for the new fresh food centre that will be located on a 15-hectare market site in Marsdorf, in the west of Cologne, from 2020. A structural concept has already been drawn up; the development planning procedure is underway, and an external business feasibility study is being discussed in the relevant political circles


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