TheMechanical Engineering Industry Association (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau – VDMA) represents around 3,200 members, making it the largest industry association in Europe. The Association represents the interests of the predominantly medium-sized companies in the mechanical engineering industry towards policymakers and society, as well as towards business, the scientific community, public authorities and the media. With more than one million employees and a turnover of around EUR 218 billion (2015), mechanical and plant engineering is Germany’s largest employer in the industrial sector. VDMA sees itself as a platform that provides its member companies with various networks where they can discuss technological challenges, interdisciplinary issues and many other topics.
TheZDS College is worldwide renown as centre for training and personnel development for all sectors of the confectionery industry. The ZDS trains and educates technical experts in the field of confectionery technology and provides skills in food technology. It also offers special courses to prepare for state examinations as industrial supervisor and certified food technician. The ZDS seminars are internationally popular. Every year, participants from more than 30 nations attend technical conferences and practical courses concerning every aspect of confectionery production. The ZDS acts as consultant for companies all over the world and holds specific corporate training courses as well as conducting analyses and tests for member companies. OKA is supporting the ZDS with machinery. Lars Schill and Matthias support as expert speakers for the international courses and conventions. Besides this Matthias Drees is member of the advisory board for “Baking and Snacks”
Peter Mark is an independent bakery consultant who is supporting product development, product optimization as well as start-up support and general consultancy for the baking industry.
The European Candy Kettle Club consists of members from companies supplying ingredients and machinery to the confectionery industry as well as members of the Trade Press. The Club honours each year a company representative from the European confectionery industry who has excelled in the confectionery, chocolate and biscuit industry in research and development, innovation in product quality and production techniques and outstanding marketing and sales implementation, as well as a unique contribution to the industry’s progress. Matthias Drees is a member of the club since 2018