German Waren-Verein gets ready for the future

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    At its annual meeting at the historic ballroom of the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg in November 2017 the ‘Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V.’offered a glimpse into the mindset of traders in one of the most important economies for nuts and dried fruit. The Waren-Verein was founded in 1900 as “Association for the promotion of Hamburg’s trade in colonial produce, dried fruit and drugs (Waaren-Verein).”

    As a national association the Waren-Verein represents the interests of the foreign and wholesale trade with canned products, frozen products, dried fruit, edible nuts, dried vegetables, spices, organic products and related products. According to its statutes, the Waren-Verein stands up for freedom of trade throughout the world – for the benefit of its members and all consumers.

    Sitting at the table with nuts and dried fruit traders from Germany and Switzerland – some of them over generations – offered a glimpse into their mindset. Germany is booming and consumers are upbeat. Nuts and dried fruit traders at the table confirmed great demand. The main concerns seemed to be availability and prices and issues with customs and phytosanitary institutions. While the strict European rules might have helped become one of the safest markets for consumers in the world traders complain about slow processing of shipments. In the past year several traders confirmed they had switched from the port of Hamburg to Antwerp because of faster port and customs handling.

    Members discussing trade at the annual dinner in November 2017
    Members discussing trade at the annual dinner in November 2017

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Picture: Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V./ © Ulrich Perrey.
    In a private conversation with Dr. Helena Melnikov we asked about the bigger challenges and how the Waren-Verein approaches them. She confirmed the constant challenge to align market-driven entrepreneurs like trading companies and customs officials together to work efficiently. With new traceability and safety systems like Blockchain technology and digital transfer of documents, shipping and product information global trade will become much faster and more efficient. “We just have to make sure that these systems are used and implemented. When we are handling imports we are still dealing with outdated systems and processes on the customs side. But we are working on several levels to improve that”, she noted.

    Managing Director Dr. Helena Melnikov and Chairman oft he Board Thomas Haas-Rickertsen
    Managing Director Dr. Helena Melnikov and Chairman oft he Board Thomas Haas-Rickertsen

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Picture: Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V./ © Ulrich Perrey.

    In order to prepare for the dramatic changes global trade will face in the next decade the Waren-Verein has created a project to promote young talents: Young Leaders Project helps aspiring leaders in the trade business connect and learn from established executives and connect with the network of influential members of the Waren-Verein. The project will have its first meeting in January 2018 with 16 members, all of them employees from member companies of the Waren-Verein who wish to bring fresh thinking to the executive floor.

    Links:
    https://www.waren-verein.de/en/startseite-en


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