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  20th GFI members’ meeting in Mannheim

Network News 16 October 2013
Fresh Food Community Continues to Target Growth

On October 11-12, 2013, Mannheim Wholesale Market hosted the annual general meeting of the non-profit association GFI German Fresh Food Markets in Mannheim, popularly known as the “City of Squares”. Managing director Manfred Spachmann welcomed some 25 representatives from wholesale market and street market operators for talks on what the network should be tackling in future. For the representatives from new member markets Bozen and Zurich this was their first annual meeting.

On its first day, members met to discuss issues relating to the by-laws, membership growth and the Fruit Logistica trade fair. Teams from GFI’s “Market Development” and “Economy, Infrastructure and Organization” units presented the results of their work and spoke on the topic of expanding the pool of expertise and projects. On the second day of the meeting members turned their attention to the “Marketing” unit with its regional and national marketing activities and addressed international issues concerning cooperation, especially with the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM).

Record Year for Promotions and Samplings
Uwe Kluge, chairman of the GFI board and managing director of Bremen Wholesale Market GmbH, reported that he was very pleased with progress over the past financial year: “In 2013 we achieved a new record for marketing campaigns in independent retail shops. For sampling activities, we succeeded in gaining new partners for strategic cooperation such as Nordzucker (sugar). We also widened our long-standing cooperation with international growers such as Zespri and Enza. All the partners are appreciative of our attractive fresh food retail network comprising street markets, market halls and specialist retailers in 250 top locations.”

Campaigns at independent retailers: promotions with Enza and samplings with Nordzucker

Seven New Members
Continuing the trend of recent years, membership continued to expand. GFI was pleased to welcome seven new members this year, including the wholesale market from Bolzano, capital of South Tyrol. Uwe Kluge says: “We founded GFI here in Mannheim in the year 2000. We started with 8 wholesale markets as full members and two sponsoring members; now we have 22 full members and 24 sponsoring members. Today, we represent 95% of wholesale markets in Germany and 80% of the street markets in the metropolitan regions of the country. We have every reason to be proud of the way the association has developed, which would not have been possible without the enormous commitment of our colleagues.”

Peter Joppa, GFI Board Member for 10 Years
During the meeting members honoured Peter Joppa, managing director of FrischeKontor Duisburg GmbH, who this year completes
10 years on the board of the association. The board thanked Peter Joppa for his dedicated work for the benefit of the national market community. As a thank-you present, members gave him a small “Joppa style” Buddy Bear.

10-year GFI board member Peter Joppa (2nd from right); Manfred Spachmann (left); GFI board members Andreas Foidl (2nd from left) and Uwe Kluge (right).

Mannheim’s Markets – Charming and Shaded
To round off the members’ meeting, excursions were organized to the autumn markets at Kapuzinerplanken 05, the main weekly market on Marktplatz G1 and the wholesale market in Fahrlach district. Mannheim Wholesale Market is incorporated as a municipal GmbH which is responsible for managing the wholesale market, the street markets and major events in the city such as the Mannheim City Festival.

Mannheim’s main weekly market on the square in front of the historic Baroque ensemble formed
by the old town hall and St. Sebastian parish church


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