/// Happy Birthday WZF: Interzoo promoter celebrated its 50th birthday
On 3 August 1966, the German Pet Trade & Industry Association ZZF established its subsidiary Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH WZF as a service company for the pet industry. For five decades it has been making an important contribution to the economic development of the German and international pet industry and helping it to communicate effectively with all stakeholders. On the occasion of this milestone, WZF Managing Director Herbert Bollhöfer talks about the company’s development, its various business segments and objectives.
Why did the ZZF establish a limited company at that point?
Herbert Bollhöfer: Under the law at that time, the association was not permitted to engage in commercial activities and make a profit, so it created the wholly-owned subsidiary. The WZF and ZZF share an office in Wiesbaden.
What kind of matters does the company deal with today?
Herbert Bollhöfer: WZF GmbH sees itself as a service company for the entire pet sector. Every two years, in collaboration with ZZF as sponsor, it organizes our flagship event, Interzoo in Nuremberg, which is the largest international trade fair for the pet industry. With more than 1,800 exhibitors and over 39,000 trade visitors from 117 countries at the last event, Interzoo is the undisputed leading international fair for the pet supplies industry.
ZZA-Verlag, the publishing arm of WZF, produces "zza-Zoologischer Zentralanzeiger", a trade journal for the pet industry. In addition, the company hosts the zza-online.de industry website and the my-fish.org and my-pet.org pet owner advice portals.
It also organizes the ZZF Symposium as well as training and professional development seminars at regular intervals. We are particularly passionate about training pet specialists, so together with the Wiesbaden Chamber of Industry and Commerce, we have developed a “Specialist pet industry knowledge” add-on qualification, for which WZF provides suitable study materials such as training files and exercise books.
Another important business segment is our animal ID service, which issues protection of species IDs and bird rings for more than 1,000 species on behalf of the Federal Environment Ministry. Bird owners, for example, can use our free tracing service to locate birds that have flown away, or birds that have been found can be reunited with their owners.
What goals does the WZF have for the coming years?
Herbert Bollhöfer: We primarily see ourselves as a service-provider for the industry and take the concerns of those involved with the sector on board at all times. For this purpose a healthy company is necessary. That is why the economic development of WZF is important to us. In the next few years we will continue to strengthen Interzoo as the global meeting place for the pet industry and for this purpose have created the new position of Exhibitions Area Manager, which Dr Rowena Arzt will be taking up as of 1 October 2016. We also place great importance on the well-being of our full-time staff. In October 2015, the Wiesbaden branch office was awarded the status of “healthy company” by the Wiesbaden Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
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