In view of the progressive consolidation of the industry over recent decades, the number of potential visitors at such gatherings has steadily declined. With now well over 150 attendees, we have again achieved an impressive turn-out for a brickmakers’ meeting. On the one hand, the plethora of meetings is associated with a certain amount of stress, on the other hand, it saves on a few trips and additional overnight stays. My thanks go especially to those responsible at Ziegelzentrum Süd, who as the main organizers have arranged the conference and compiled an appealing and interesting programme. If you haven’t registered yet, then you need to hurry!
These brickmakers’ meetings are the last events of this kind that I shall be actively stewarding as General Secretary of the Federal German Association of the Brick and Tile Industry and several working groups. After almost eighteen years in these functions, I am retiring at the end of the year. My successor will be Dr Matthias Frederichs, who will be working for the brick and tile industry from 1 October 2017. Then – also being the new publisher of Zi Brick and Tile Industry International - he will introduce himself personally in this journal.
Coinciding with the management change in the associations is also a complete move of our offices to Berlin. We shall be able to rent offices close to the political hub in the city, probably between the Central Railway Station and Friedrichstrasse Railway Station, so that a seamless transfer of work to Berlin will be guaranteed. It remains to hope that the personnel expertise in the brick and tile associations can be preserved. Especially, the long-serving employees form the backbone of the organizations, and with their knowledge, experience and network contacts, they are the guarantee for good work on behalf of brickmakers in the long term.
To finish, I should like to take this opportunity to express my thanks for the great support and excellent cooperation that I have experienced during my time as General Secretary. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, but together with many company owners and managers working in an honorary capacity, we have managed to keep the ship on course. Thanks to the gratifying boom in housing construction, masonry brickmakers are not likely to have many worries over the next few years. Roofing tile manufacturers are affected by the enduring trend towards the construction of new homes and apartment blocks and must do more to develop the refurbishment market. Political persuasion to secure tax relief for energy efficiency refurbishment will be one focus of my work for the remainder of this year.
Yours Martin Roth
Federal German Association of the Brick and Tile Industry Regd