News about the HFS Group

Berlin. Brussels. Herzlake. No matter where, the main thing is to meet again.

This is especially true for the committed members of the cads sustainability initiative of the German shoe and leather industry. Over 50 participants from 35 companies attended the regular cads members’ meeting, which took place on 20th and 21st July at HFS GmbH, Herzlaker fulfillment und Service, in Herzlake. In addition to the board and advisory board elections, the focus was on the challenges of current and upcoming EU regulations as well as the long-missed personal dialogue. None other than former professional footballer Mario Basler was “lined up” as a star guest in Herzlake. In an interview with Dr Claudia Schulz, he talked about football, good shoes and his home, the Palatinate. Super Mario’s well-intentioned advice to the guests from the shoe industry: “Everything you do with joy and conviction becomes a success.”

“It’s great that we can see each other live again and exchange ideas after the long break,” was a phrase that could be heard again and again in Herzlake. The fact that so many cads members had found their way to the north despite the holiday period was not least due to the fact that the shoe and leather industry has a lot of burning issues. “The challenges that the cads sustainability initiative has been working on intensively for a long time are not getting any less, on the contrary,” HDS/L Managing Director Manfred Junkert is convinced. With increased PR and lobbying work, the valuable work of cads will be promoted in the public perception, Junkert continued. At the cads general meeting, the focus was on sustainability, environmental protection and the latest EU regulations in addition to the regular business. Following the departure of Michael Tackenberg, Andreas Tepest (Deichmann) was appointed cads Chairman. Christian Ohnmacht (Ricosta) and Markus Nelke (L. Priebs) are new to the board and were elected unanimously. Overall, the cads board consists of Andreas Tepest, Deichmann (chairman), Sven Reimers, Lloyd (deputy chairman), Andreas Burmeister, Wortmann, Christian Ludy, LOWA, Markus Nelke, L. Priebs, Christian Ohnmacht, Ricosta and Holger Schäfer, ara Shoes.

The “Green Deal” challenge

Andreas Tepest pointed out the current burdens on the industry: “Too much consumption and the associated high carbon footprint present us all with major challenges. Germany, as the second largest shoe importer after the USA, must face up to its responsibilities.” Tepest was not sparing in his criticism of issues such as “green washing”, distortion of competition in terms of sustainability and the lack of distinction between clothing and footwear in many EU regulations, which is extremely important.
“There is still a lot of work to be done for cads and for all of us,” said the cads Chairman, looking to the future.

Sustainability expert Julia Eckert, who was digitally connected from Berlin in Herzlake, provided some very interesting insights. She informed the cads members about the current and upcoming regulations from an EU policy perspective. With a view to the EU textile strategy Vision 2030, the expert advised the development of joint concepts and the establishment of strategic networks. She advised cads members to pay particular attention to the digital product passport and the issue of “destroying unsold consumer goods”. The path to the circular economy is a systemic change.

Her views were shared by the second speaker of the day, Katarzyna Sulisz from FESI (Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry), who joined us live from Brussels. In her presentation on “EU policy developments on circular economy and supply chain transparency”, she highlighted the numerous challenges of the circular economy and transparency in the supply chain from an EU policy perspective.

A summer fairy tale with announcement.

The Herzlak-based processing specialist and logistics service provider HFS GmbH set the bar high. Before the actual cads general meeting, HFS managers Stephan Degenhardt and Jens Küpper surprised the numerous cads members who had travelled to the event with a lively summer party in a relaxed beach atmosphere. The highlight of the “warm-up” was the appearance of former professional footballer Mario Basler, who took the opportunity to shoot at the specially constructed goal wall in a duel with the cads members.

The balmy summer night provided an excellent opportunity to chat over a BBQ, cool drinks and great music from Pete Budden on the piano and the up-and-coming DJ Paulina.

The shoe and leather industry now knows exactly where Herzlake is located.