Celebrating EGMF’s 45th Anniversay: interview with Marcel Berben

To celebrate our 45th anniversary, we are excited to take a trip down memory lane with our members, remembering the origins of EGMF and acknowledging how we have evolved and arrived at where we are today.

We spoke with Marcel Berben, a member of our Board since 2021 and Chair of EGMF’s Task Force Wheeled Tools within the Marketing Committee, to hear his thoughts!

What is your current role and responsibilities?
Currently I work as a Demand and Sales Analyst Senior for the Turf and Consumer division of Briggs & Stratton EMEA. This division represents brands like Ferris, Billy Goat, Snapper, Simplicity and Briggs & Stratton in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa.

My main responsibility is to report, analyse and advise on sales and demand trends in the EMEA region. Secondly, this information needs to flow back to our US team for proper production planning. These trends were rather challenging and disruptive over the last two years.

I started working in the industry at a young age. My family owned a traditional dealer store selling garden equipment. Before I took on my current role, I was in charge of product management for the EMEA region. Before Briggs & Stratton I fulfilled several positions in product management, marketing and sales within the lawn and garden industry and worked for dealers, distributors, spare parts wholesalers and manufacturers.

What is your company’s mission?
The Briggs & Stratton mission is ”We will leverage our unique power application expertise to provide innovative products and diverse power solutions to help people get work done.’

When did you become involved in EGMF? What inspired to join?
In previous positions I had already reported sales data to national associations in Belgium, as well as in the Netherlands, which are members of EGMF. As such, within Briggs & Stratton, I initially took over the reporting task for the bi-annual EGMF market surveys. Last year, I became a Vice-Chair and from 2022 on I have been Chair of EGMF’s Task Force Wheeled Tools within the Marketing Committee. In 2021, I had the opportunity to become Board Member of EGMF.

To report the marketing data is a real task and I am always curious how the market develops, looking at trends and curious regarding innovation. But it is also great on every occasion (trade show, meetings or other events) to meet with people that share the same passion and knowledge for our industry and to discuss all kinds of topics like innovation, trends, challenges and the future direction.

How does EGMF help your company to achieve your goals and support your mission?
Due to the existence of several task forces, the support from EGMF is guiding us into the future. Imagine all the regulatory and advocacy activities taking place within Task Force Battery, Task Force Chemicals and Waste, Task Force Noise and Task Force Machinery, or for example on Road Circulation. Without the combined forces and knowledge of technical experts from member companies and national associations, it would take much more resources from each company to get aligned with future directions and to discuss the challenges and lobby at the government and/or the EU institutions. I strongly believe that, individually, we wouldn’t be able to achieve so many positive results.

How have you seen EGMF and the industry evolve over the past years?
On the technical side, our industry is embracing battery, electrification, and artificial intelligence. From a business perspective we see Omni channel as a growth strategy gaining more traction, providing alternative methods of shopping to consumers. This will involve new regulatory activities, and this is also why EGMF is investing in new task forces and working with external specialists. 

What do you see as the biggest challenge and opportunity for the industry today, or in the near future?
I can’t agree more with the following sentences of EGMF’s mission statement:

  • To provide expertise to stakeholders on technical, marketing, market data and trends related to the garden and outdoor power equipment industry
  • To serve as a spokesperson for the manufacturers of outdoor power equipment on pan-European matters as well as to be recognised by the key regulatory bodies
  • To provide an effective forum for exchange of information and knowledge about our sector and its equipment and services as well as looking towards new challenges and trends for the sector

To find out more about the history of EGMF you read our article he