The association of Germany’s fresh food markets steps up the campaign for urban diversity

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October 21, 2019

Report on the 26th GFI membersmeeting in Berlin

The administrative cooperative Fruchthof Berlin Verwaltungsgenossenschaft eG and Berlin Wholesale Market hosted the annual general meeting of the non-profit association GFI German Fresh Food Markets on September 26-27, 2019, in the German capital. The organizers welcomed around 25 representatives of wholesale and street market operators who had gathered to discuss the work of the business units and talk about the networks numerous projects.

On the first day, the agenda for the members’ meeting revolved around issues relating to the by-laws, membership growth, events, campaigns, study trips and the work done by the various units. The following day members turned their attention to other topics of mutual interest such as marketing and international cooperation, especially with the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM).

Uwe Kluge, GFI chairman and managing director of the wholesale market Duisburg Kontor GmbH declared the event to have been a great success. “As always, the meeting was concentrated and productive; we dealt with a wide variety of topics. We are going forward with great energy in a spirit of mutual supportiveness.”

New members

Two market operators joined the association as regular members - Marktamt Nürnberg (wholesale and weekly street markets) and “diemarktplaner” (street markets) from Berlin. The UGM Umschlagzentrum Grossmarkt Munich GbR was welcomed as a new sponsoring member of the Association.

Continuity on the board

Boris Schwartz, deputy works manager of Munich wholesale market and Rolf Strobel, managing director of the wholesale market Frischezentrum Essen GmbH were both unanimously re-elected to their current positions. Together with Uwe Kluge, Eliane Steinmeyer, managing director of Hamburg Wholesale Market and Jörn Böttcher, managing director of Hannover Wholesale Market they make up the five-member board of GFI.

The GFI units for “Wholesale Markets” and “Street Markets” dealt at length with issues of efficiency and the effectiveness of their markets. GFI held a strategy meeting in June for the street market sector which generated some new ideas for collaboration. In 2020 these will be integrated into the “Erlebe Deinen Markt” (love your market) campaign. For wholesale markets (Grossmarkt in German) the “Vitamin G wie Grossmarkt” campaign will be expanded.

GFI study trips          
The annual GFI study trips to Europe’s big market cities have now developed into a popular Association service. Previous trips have taken members to London (2016), Madrid (2017), Athens (2018) and Lisbon (2019); the 2020 destination for market managers from Germany is Bologna.

Excursions and expertise

The members’ meeting was framed by a top-quality programme of excursions and informative events. An early-morning tour around Berlin Wholesale Market included visits to meat wholesaler Wache, fish dealer Deutsche See and Berliner Tafel, a food charity. Two talks by experts were also on the agenda: Frank Müller, member of the scientific advisory council of BEM Bundesverband eMobilität e.V, a non-profit federation concerned with electric vehicles, detailed the latest technical trends in the field of electric vans.  Florian Niedermeier, managing director of Markthalle Neun GmbH, provided insights into Berlin’s food industry networks.

The next members’ meeting is scheduled for autumn 2020 in Hamburg.

 Leading a good, healthy life. Marktamt Nürnberg is responsible for the management of all public markets held within the city limits, including the world famous Christmas market Christkindlesmarkt. The wholesale market site occupies 160,000 m²; its 150 enterprises serve some 2,000 customers from the restaurant and retail trades. Eleven street markets offer local residents a more personal shopping experience.

Giving customers and neighbourhood the bestthe firm diemarktplaneroperates 10 street and creative arts markets in Berlin and provides market stalls for hire. Not only do markets provide Berlin with fresh, regional produce, but the live-music stages and street-food vendors also add variety to customersshopping trips.

An affair of the heart. 240 markets in 45 regions are now committed to the Erlebe Deinen Markt(Love your Market) campaign, which has become a firm fixture on Germanys street markets after just 5 years. This May, the national launch was held in front of the historic town hall of Leipzig.

Wholesale markets enhance the quality of life. Wholesale markets in the German-speaking world launched the Vitamin Gcampaign with the aim of drawing attention to their significant role in supplying the populace with fresh food.

Contact for the media: Frank Willhausen, Tel. +49 (0)178 4256738, Mail | GFI - Gemeinschaft zur Förderung der Interessen der Deutschen Frischemärkte e.V., Board member Boris Schwartz, Berlin office, Beusselstraße 44 N-Q, 10553 Berlin, Tel. +49 (0) 30 3955007, Mail, Web

Fresh food network - wholesale and street markets in German-speaking regions

The GFI Deutsche Frischemärkte e.V. is the association of German fresh food markets representing

  • 95% of wholesale market operators who run the 17 major wholesale markets in Germany, Switzerland and Northern Italy

  • 85% of all street market operators who run some 450 weekly markets in Germany’s metropolitan regions

  • Operators of covered markets in Berlin, Frankfurt and Stuttgart

GFI sees itself as a network of partners and offers its members broad-based access to knowledge and analysis concerning market developments and key trade management issues. The GFI units for “Wholesale Markets” and “Street Markets” are concerned with issues such as increasing the efficiency of existing markets with a focus on developing effective models that will take wholesale and street markets forward. The campaigns “Vitamin G wie Grossmarkt” and “Erlebe Deinen Wochenmarkt” raise the profile of markets in their urban social and political settings, and highlight their role in the value chain. Moreover, GFI is the central point of contact for national and international partners seeking to market their produce through quality, independent food retail channels.

About German Fresh Food Markets

These markets guarantee a wide variety of top quality fresh produce, especially fruit and vegetables. Some are wholesale markets and some are retail markets. But together they ensure the availability of good, nutritious food for around 100 million consumers in Germany and neighbouring European countries.

The wholesale markets are central, urban trading platforms where around 2,800 small and medium size wholesalers, importers and growers supply fresh produce, both regional and imported, to more than 56,000 customers in the specialist, independent food retail business such as greengrocer’s shops and street markets, and to large-scale caterers and top restaurant chefs. Annual turnover of goods is around 7.95 million tonnes with a total value of roughly 10.6 billion euros.

The retail markets include 3,500 street markets and 15,000 greengrocer’s shops in Germany. Street markets are the most important sites for selling agricultural produce from local growers. Selling regional products and a great variety of produce from all over the world, the itinerant traders offer their customers a uniquely pleasurable shopping experience in the open air. The specialized greengrocer’s shops offer their customers personal advice and service in connection with their carefully selected range. Professional expertise is a prime consideration. A range of produce that changes with the seasons makes the specialist store a must-visit shop for people who look for healthy food with plenty of variety.