GFI extends remit

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December 15, 2010

The 16th membership meeting of the business development society “GFI German Fresh Food Markets” (formerly GFI German Wholesale Markets) was held in Berlin between 9 and 11 November 2010. The overriding topic at this meeting was the association’s strategic positioning. Talking about how the situation has developed, GFI board member Uwe Kluge states: “The traditional market business, especially for fresh food, has seen further changes that disadvantage the small and medium sized trading companies. A few large retail companies exert enormous influence on the workings of the market, thus increasing the need for action and an increase in the level of performance required of a functioning network. Now, in order to serve consumers competitively, it is even more important - indeed imperative - for independent wholesalers and retailers to act as partners and exchange knowledge on a wide range of subjects. For that reason we have taken the following two course-altering decisions.” 1. Opening up to retail markets From now on full membership in the association is open to all German operators of fresh food markets, plus any associations and organizations which support the aims of GFI. Those aims are, as in the past, to preserve the variety and high quality of fresh food available at wholesale and retail outlets. Uwe Kluge notes: “That means that GFI membership is now open to over 3,000 street markets and 15,000 greengrocery shops. This represents a huge step forward in our quest to give a unified demonstration of freshness, variety and quality.” GFI has already welcomed its first new member since the rule change - HFM Managementgesellschaft für Hafen und Markt mbH. This company manages weekly street markets in Frankfurt and the Kleinmarkthalle, a covered food market famous well beyond the city limits. 2. Extending the GFI Remit Another important step forward taken by GFI is to extend the range of tasks undertaken by the association. “In recent years the exchange of ideas has gone far beyond marketing projects to include other central issues concerning trade management. Therefore we shall steadily develop the range of issues we address. These will include, for example, matters concerning market management, law, infrastructure, organization and the economy. This is happening because our members’ interests have gained in importance. We are very proud of the fact that every member will be contributing valuable input and resources to the development of these new sectors,” says Kluge. Uwe Kluge, Peter Joppa and Andreas Foidl re-elected to the GFI Board Opening up the association for retailers and expanding its remit has also necessitated extensive changes to the GFI statutes and rules of procedure. After those changes had been made during the meeting, the “old” board was re-elected for another term in office. The Board includes: Mr Uwe Kluge, managing director of Großmarkt Bremen GmbH, a GFI board member for 6 years and Chairman for the past 5 years; Peter Joppa, managing director of FrischeKontor Duisburg GmbH, who has been a board member for 7 years; and Andreas Foidl, managing director of Berliner Großmarkt GmbH who has been a GFI board member for the past 5 years. More information on GFI is available by visiting: