GFI Meets in Cologne
November 3, 2014
The annual general meeting of the German Fresh Food Markets Association (GFI) took place in Cologne from 22-23 October. Mr Reiner Ströbelt, head of Market Affairs in Cologne welcomed some 25 representatives of the German wholesale and street market sector to discuss the work of the divisions and numerous network projects of GFI.
Uwe Kluge, GFI board chairman and managing director of Bremen Wholesale Market, noted: “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”.
Uwe Kluge, managing director of Großmarkt Bremen GmbH, GFI chairman for the past 9 years was re-elected, along with Board members Peter Joppa, the managing director of FrischeKontor Duisburg GmbH and Andreas Foidl, the managing director of Berliner Großmarkt GmbH.
In other items, GFI members also resolved to reorganize the association’s 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. Additionally 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“.
The association also agreed to exercise its network role in the field of crisis management more vigorously in future and offer its services to the industry as a supra-regional 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.
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.