Trade fair cancellations due to coronavirus: Viessmann donates catering food to food banks

What to do when trade fairs are canceled but it is too late to cancel the contract with the caterer? Viessmann, one of the leading international manufacturers of integrated energy solutions based in Allendorf (Eder) in northern Hesse, made a virtue of necessity and is supporting food banks in Frankfurt and Essen.

The picture shows how food from Allendorf is handed over to the Tafel in Frankfurt.
Tom Christofer Haase, head of trade fairs and exhibitions at Viessmann, handed over the donated food to the second chairwoman of the Frankfurter Tafel, Edith Kleber

The world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building technology, “Light + Building”, was scheduled to take place from March 8 to 13 in the metropolis on the Main. The planning for the Viessmann trade fair booth was completely finished and all orders with external service providers had been placed. Because Light + Building was canceled at very short notice, many of the contracts could no longer be canceled.

Food worth tens of thousands of euros donated

“When our caterer informed us that we could only cancel if we paid a very high amount of compensation, we sat down together and thought about how we could make the best of the situation,” says Tom Christofer Haase, Head of Trade Fairs and Exhibitions at Viessmann. “We quickly came up with the idea of donating the food to food banks.” On Tuesday, March 9, Haase handed over goods worth tens of thousands of euros to Edith Kleber, second chairwoman of the Frankfurter Tafel food bank organization.

“Every donation helps us to do our work and provide food for almost 24 000 people. Such a ‘huge portion’ arriving all at once is of course fantastic,” says Edith Kleber, delighted. Tom Christofer Haase announced that the food for the trade fair booth at SHK Essen, which was also canceled, would be donated to the local food bank as well.

It would be great if other companies followed us.

“We don’t see ourselves as the great benefactors; we simply made a responsible and sensible decision,” says Haase. “That said, we and the food banks in Germany would be delighted if other companies also affected by trade fair cancellations would take up our idea”.