In the last week of June, the members of the Federal Association of the German Brick and Tile Industry (BVZi) met for the annual association meeting in Berlin. The meeting was dominated by conflicting influences: the anniversary of the association’s founding 125 years ago and good industry figures as well as high demand on the one hand, growing concerns about gas supply and economic stability in the wake of the war in Ukraine on the other. In the morning, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology had declared the second stage of the emergency gas plan, which is intended to guarantee the gas supply in the event of a supply stoppage.
“The situation is more than extraordinary,” President Stefan Jungk opened the annual conference of the Federal Association of the German Brick and Tile Industry in Berlin. “We can state economically excellent results, our production lines are running at full capacity and as an industry we have set out on the path to climate neutrality. But at the same time, we are all facing uncertain times with the declaration of the gas emergency plan alert. There is nothing to sugarcoat, the consequences of a gas embargo would not only be dramatic for us brick and tile producers, but for the entire German industry.”
The invited Federal Minister for Housing, Urban development and Building, Klara Geywitz, congratulated the Federal Association on its 125th anniversary in her welcoming address and outlined the construction policy tasks in the current legislative period. Despite the worsening economic situation, the minister expressly adhered to the political promise of 400,000 housing units per year. As further points on her political agenda, she named the reorganisation of housing construction subsidies, an increase in the recycling rate and digitalisation in construction. Geywitz promised the brick and tile industry support in implementing the political framework conditions of their roadmap. In addition, she said, the upcoming reform of the subsidy programme will take into account neutrality of building materials and openness to technology.
On behalf of the Association, President Jungk thanked the former Chief Executive Dr Matthias Frederichs, who is moving to the Federal Association of Building Materials - Stone and Soil (bbs), and welcomed his successor Attila Gerhäuser. The achievements of the long-time technical director Dieter Rosen, who is retiring, were also acknowledged. His successor is David Ostendorf.
With a minute of solemn remembrance, the General Assembly honoured three deceased persons who had rendered outstanding services to the brick and tile industry: Kastulus Bader, Ulrich Siebe and Michael Gierga.
Parallel to the general meeting, BVZi also hosted the general meeting of the European association TBE - Tiles and Bricks Europe. After the committee meetings took place at the same time in separate rooms, the entire European brick and tile industry met for a joint gala dinner at the Altes Wasserwerk Berlin.