New board member: Rolf Strobel (left) is a new addition to the current GFI board comprising Boris Schwartz, Uwe Kluge and Peter Joppa. Growth of the association is thus reflected at board level.

24th GFI members’ meeting held in Bremen
GFI: Strategy makeover planned in 2018

Bremen Wholesale Market hosted the annual general meeting of the non-profit association GFI German Fresh Food Markets from September 28 to 29, 2017, in its home city. The market’s managing director and chairman of the GFI board, Uwe Kluge, welcomed 25 representatives of wholesale and street market operators who had gathered to discuss the work of the business units and talk about the network’s numerous projects.

On the first day, members met to discuss issues relating to the by-laws, membership growth, events, study trips and the work done by the business units. On the second day of the meeting 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). The most important results are summarized below.

New members
The growth in membership has proved to be an ongoing trend. Pinneberg City Management, representing street markets, was welcomed as a regular member. Two new sponsoring members have joined the GFI network - INTER Weichert from Hamburg and Eurofins Leipzig. This brings total membership to 58, comprising 25 full members and 33 sponsoring members.

Continuity on an expanded board
The Meeting voted unanimously to elect Rolf Strobel, managing director of the fresh food market Frischezentrum Essen GmbH, to the GFI board, which now, for the first time in the association’s history, consists of 4 people. In addition Boris Schwartz, 2nd works manager of Munich wholesale market (Markthallen), was unanimously re-elected to the board at the end of his first 2-year term. Uwe Kluge, managing director of Bremen Wholesale market has been on the GFI board for 13 years, serving 12 of these as chairman. Peter Joppa, managing director of Duisburg Kontor GmbH has been a member of the GFI board for 14 years.

GFI business units
The GFI business units “Wholesale Markets” and “Street Markets” dealt at length with issues of efficiency and the effectiveness of their markets. Some of the topics related to projects such as benchmarks for street markets and best practice studies on the subjects of video surveillance and waste disposal; others dealt with developing new market concepts. A unanimous resolution was also passed to hold a new Strategy Meeting in the summer of 2018. Its objective is finding a common approach to the coming challenges within the value chain.

Excursions and expertise
The members’ meeting was framed by a top-quality programme of excursions and informative events. On the evening before the main event there was a guided tour around Bremen Wholesale Market: on the first day of the meeting participants enjoyed a tour of Bremen’s historic Town Hall Cellars. Three talks by experts were also on the agenda: Linda Solcher and Jochen Riehle from the Eurofins Institute Dr. Appelt Leipzig gave a talk about “Crisis Management and Food Safety”. Rüdiger Blankenagel and Ralf Kathmann from the public insurance company ÖVB Bremen spoke about “Changes in how Germany’s Industrial and Commercial Buildings are Risk-assessed.” And Andreas Peffer, from CUT POWER AG, Hamburg, presented some interesting insights into “The Logistics of Fresh Produce on the Road to E-mobility”.

The Grossmarkt Bremen GmbH is responsible for managing the wholesale market, the street markets, the town hall cellars and numerous specialist markets and special events. “No Limits on Freshness”: In May 2017 over 50,000 people attended the open day at the fresh food centre (left.) For more than 600 years the Bremen town hall cellars have been linked with a trading tradition that has made an important contribution to the appreciation of wine in Germany (right).

GFI board member Boris Schwartz was pleased with the results of the members’ meeting: “As usual, we had a wide-ranging programme, good quality talks and lively, committed participants. Our association thrives on the exchange of members’ ideas and their constructive collaboration. The meeting in Bremen, where we felt very much at ease, was renewed evidence of this.”

Photo credits: Fruchthandelmagazin (1), Großmarkt Bremen GmbH (2), Bremen Ratskeller (town hall cellars) (3)

Contact for the media:
Frank Willhausen, Telephone +49 (0)178 4256738,

Press-Release (PDF)


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