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Superb view across Lake Constance and Reichenau Island: GFI network representatives on the terrace of Arenenberg Castle that was acquired in 1817 by the Bonaparte family, its owners for nearly a century
Network News 7 October 2015
GFI: All systems fresh

1st and 2nd October 2015, Zurich: the city’s wholesale market hosted the 22nd regular members’ meeting of the GFI Association of German Fresh Food Markets, turning it into an international meeting in Switzerland. Michael Raduner, managing director of the Zürcher Engrosmarkt AG, welcomed around 25 representatives of wholesale and street market operators who had gathered to discuss the work of the business units and talk about numerous network projects.

Uwe Kluge, GFI chairman and managing director of Bremen Wholesale market, was pleased that the annual general meeting was such a success. “Our report is entirely positive. As usual, we had an exciting programme, top-level topics and fresh, committed participants. More than ever before, GFI draws its vitality from exchange and constructive collaboration between colleagues. The meeting in Zurich, where we felt very comfortable, was renewed evidence of this.”

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to Association business, developing the membership, crisis management, the Fruit Logistica trade fair and the work of the GFI business units. On the second day of the meeting members turned their attention to marketing topics and issues of international cooperation, especially with the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM). The most important news in brief:

Eight New Members
GFI membership is growing steadily. Two organizations from the street market sector have joined as new, regular members – the Markets Authority Leipzig and the Gakenholz und Gellesch GmbH from Berlin/Brandenburg. GFI also welcome six new sponsoring members – Marker oHG from Hamburg, the Bavarian Fruit Association from Munich, the Guild of Wholesale Markets in Düsseldorf, the trade fair company Messe Essen GmbH and Seico Verkaufsfahrzeuge GmbH (motorized market stalls) from Rotenburg. Membership has thus grown to a total of 55, comprising 24 full members and 31 sponsoring members.

Boris Schwartz elected to GFI board
The members’ meeting unanimously elected the deputy works manager at Munich Market Halls, Boris Schwartz, to the GFI board. He will take over from Andreas Foidl at the end of the year. The latter, managing director of Berlin Wholesale Market, is leaving his job to take up a new challenge on the Berlin real estate market. And so Foidl, who has put enormous effort into GFI work, will be ending his term on the board after 10 years.

A farewell honour: The members thanked Andreas Foidl for his many years of active involvement as a member of the GFI board and presented him with a “Foidl style” Buddy Bear. Photo, from left to right: Boris Schwartz, Andreas Foidl, Uwe Kluge, Peter Joppa

Uwe Kluge says: “We shall sorely miss Andreas. He was personally very dedicated to his work for the GFI, during his tenure he took the Association forward, often treading new paths in the process. To name but a few of his achievements, Andreas established the Association office in Berlin, made the Fructinale a well-regarded event in the fresh food industry and set up a GFI crisis management programme."

Andreas Foidl thanked his colleagues for their support. “I always enjoyed the work very much. It is rare in the business world to find such friendly, helpful colleagues as the members of the GFI community. The new board member Boris Schwartz brings a great deal of experience to the table and he is very familiar with the wholesale and street market trade in the south of Germany.”

New projects for the business units
The GFI business units have been investigating issues of efficiency at existing markets and the efficacy of future markets. For example, the “Wholesale Markets” unit conducted a national survey of market firms and buyers and the results are now being incorporated into further work.

This year the “Street Markets” unit has generated many new suggestions for independent retailers. Once again promotions and samplings were held in cooperation with marketing partners such as Enza, Zespri and Nordzucker and reached wide audiences. New partners were gained when GFI attended the "Mein Wochenmarkt" (my street market) trade fair at the end of August in Essen. And for the first time we participated in the European “Love your local market” campaign (German slogan “Erlebe Deinen Markt” i.e. experience your market), laying the foundation for supra-regional and publicity-attracting specials in 2016.

The members’ meeting was framed by a top-quality programme of excursions and informative events. On the first day of the meeting the attendees visited the BBZ educational and advisory centre Arenenberg by Lake Constance and on the second day there was an early-morning trip to Zurich Wholesale Market. Talks by a variety of experts were also on the agenda: Marc Wermeling, CEO of Swisscofel, talked about the astonishing peculiarities of the Swiss fruit and vegetable business and Peter Thoma from the E,T&H advertising agency spoke on the subject of the wholesale market’s successful communication concept.

More photos and information about the meeting

Proud host: Michael Raduner (2nd from right), managing director of Zürcher Engros Markthalle AG, showing the GFI board members around the wholesale market (from left to right) Boris Schwartz, Uwe Kluge, Peter Joppa und Andreas Foidl

Hub of the fruit and vegetable trade: Zurich Wholesale Market supplies fresh food, above all fruit and vegetables, to half of Switzerland. Their customers are retailers, bulk consumers, commercial processors and the restaurant trade. The market is located in Zürich West, a trendy, booming district ideally situated close to the city centre.

Historical site and educational centre: Founded in 1906, the “Napoleonic Museum of Thurgau, Castle and Park Arenenberg” is the only German-language museum dedicated to Napoleonic history. This is also the site of the BBZ educational and advisory centre Arenenberg which is run by the Canton of Thurgau. First and foremost it is school of agriculture with a long, fine history and a think tank for rural issues offering advisory services to farmers in Thurgau.

Photo credits:
GFI / Frank Willhausen (1,2,3,5), Zürcher Engrosmarkt AG (4) Napoleonmuseum Thurgau (6).

» Press-Release (PDF)

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