In Memory of Wolf Rohde
December 7, 2012
WUWM takes this opportunity to pay tribute to Honorary Member and former Hamburg Wholesale Market managing director, Wolf Rohde, who passed away on 6 December 2012 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. We join together in offering our sincere condolences to his wife Renate, and family, at this difficult time. Wolf was a wonderful and loyal friend for many, and a core supporter of both WUWM and the markets sector. He was an active and dynamic WUWM member for over 10 years, including as a Director on the WUWM Board, retiring from Hamburg Market on 11 December 2007. He was made a WUWM Honorary Member in the spring of 2008. Wolf was instrumental in developing the marketing, membership and information-sharing expertise of the WUWM, and was also one of the key authors of the WUWM Guide to Good Hygienic Practice for Wholesale Market Authorities in the European Union, a document that was adopted by the European Commission as a Community Guide for the sector in December 2009. He began his career in 1968 in Hamburg’s Agriculture Ministry, responsible for all the internal services related to maintaining the ministry’s property. He followed that by working with meat from 1970 to 1977 and was thereafter employed as a financial controller on the Hamburg Market, becoming deputy manager in 1980 and managing director in 1993. Wolf is credited with developing the Hamburg Market into an effective service centre for the industry, reforming the market’s management services in the process. He led an innovative and successful marketing vision that dynamically linked the market directly to consumers via retailers and wholesalers, and helped build the strong relationship that exists today between the market’s management and the companies located on the market, including the Hamburg Market’s Traders Association GHVG. He saw then the main challenges to the future of the markets industry as being the ongoing rise of the chain retailers and discounters, changing consumer behaviour, and the continuing decrease in population of EU, US and Oceania leading to increased competition between retailers and further decreases in independent food retailers. Wolf was renowned for his hard work and dedication to Hamburg Market, to the WUWM, and to the markets sector generally. Never one to mince his words, he noted on retiring: “For those who love markets and work hard to see their market remain competitive in an ever-changing world, this association (WUWM) and its international network is indispensable”. He maintained regular contact with WUWM throughout the years of his retirement, and despite his grave illness managed to attended parts of the WUWM Berlin Conference in May this year. We miss deeply his invaluable friendship, enthusiasm, knowledge and support.