The Gütegemeinschaft Substrate für Pflanzen e.V. (GGS) held a Members General Meeting in Monschau (Eifel) in November. At the meeting, the companies RETERRA Service GmbH and Vogteier Erdenwerk GmbH were honoured for their 25 years of membership.
The association’s long-standing General Manager, Ulrike Wegener, was also honoured for 25 years of dedicated work and commitment. She has been in charge of the GGS since 1993. The GGS was originally founded to monitor only the quality of bark products, but has developed into an organisation designing and offering additional quality assurance programmes for growing media, potting soils, growing media constituents, expanded clay for use as a growing medium and substrates for green roofs and substrates for tree planting. Today, 57 companies both in Germany and abroad have their products monitored according to various quality assurance programmes. A key concern of the GGS is the close liaison between scientists and people with practical experience in the substrate industry. These groups cooperate in the GGS quality commissions, which are also responsible for assessing examination results and developing the quality assurance programmes further.
The GGS also maintains close contacts with other associations and has been a member of the European association of substrate producers, Growing Media Europe, since this year. At the GGS meeting, Growing Media Europe’s General Manager, Cecilia Luetgebrune, offered some insights into the work on EU legislation, which is becoming increasingly vital for the industry.
The two-day conference was topped off by a field trip to the Belgian part of the Eifel with visits to a wood pellet and biomass plant, a metal processing company and a new wood fibre facility of GGS member Eifel-Holz AG.