For the eighth time, “Die Familienunternehmer”, a German trade association for owner-managed companies, has awarded its Bavarian Family Business Award. First place in the sustainability category went to Kräuter Mix, based in the Franconian town of Abtswind, a producer of plant-based raw materials for the food, pet food and pharmaceutical industries. "Besides the company’s longevity, a crucial factor has been its clear environmental focus,” explained jury chairwoman Eva Vesterling at the awards ceremony at Deutsches Museum in Munich, which was attended by 150 guests. “A dedicated in-house sustainability team puts a company to the test again and again. The team’s goal is to successfully develop the company in harmony with natural resources. The company is committed to globally sustainable cultivation.”
Managing partner Bernhard Mix, who attended the event together with head of sales Dorell Laudenbach, commented: “I am overwhelmed to receive the award for the most sustainable family business in Bavaria, the perfect milestone to reach in the year of our 100th anniversary. We accept the award with pride and joy. It confirms that we are on the right track and that our continuous efforts are appreciated. My thanks go to the family and our 420 employees who all make a contribution. What I consider special about this award is that companies were not able to apply, but were nominated by a jury. I greatly appreciate the fact that we were chosen from thousands of Bavarian companies.
For us, sustainability is more than just ensuring our economic success. We have been incorporating sustainability at all levels for a long time and far beyond the limits of our home premises. As a medium-sized company with cultivation and production partnerships around the globe and firm roots in Franconia, we have been developing sustainably for 100 years. Kräuter Mix assumes environmental and social responsibility – at our company in Germany and at our suppliers worldwide. Because unpolluted soil, clean air and clean water are vital prerequisites for our natural products.”
The five-member sustainability team at Kräuter Mix is responsible for the raw material purchasers as well as the qualification and continuous training of suppliers all around the world, supporting these in implementing sustainable procurement structures and quality standards. In addition, the business co-managed by Christoph Mix and his son Bernhard as the third and fourth generations of the owner family, is also dedicated to international sustainability projects such as biodiversity, species protection and the cultivation of plants. At present, Kräuter Mix is supporting a project for the sustainable cultivation of arnica in Spain in cooperation with its customer Kneipp.
Kräuter Mix generates electricity with its own photovoltaic systems and exclusively from renewable energy sources. Certified in accordance with the European Union’s EMAS standard, the world's most demanding system for sustainable and exemplary environmental management, the company’s environmental activities go far beyond the legal requirements. Kräuter Mix continuously improves its environmental performance and shares the relevant information in its annual environmental statement. Another example for the company’s commitment to sustainability is the offer to its 420 employees to lease e-bikes. Kräuter Mix is also the largest supporting member of the “Mix for Kids” charity that focuses on social projects in India, Albania and Germany.
Kräuter Mix is one of the leading production and trading companies for dried herbs, vegetables and spices, with a product range that comprises 650 products – from aniseed, coriander and chives to onions. Founded in 1919, the company purchases its raw materials in 70 countries around the globe and delivers the processed goods to customers in the food, pet food and pharmaceutical industries worldwide. Many of the natural products made by Kräuter Mix, available also in organic quality, can be found in the herb and fruit tea blends, spice creations and ready-to-serve meals of well-known brands. With demand rising, the company, whose quality and sustainability has repeatedly been certified, has grown steadily in recent years, not only at its headquarters in Abtswind, where the production facilities run in three-shift operation, but also at the logistics center in neighboring Wiesentheid. In 2018, Kräuter Mix reported sales revenues of EUR 115 million, up from EUR 68 million in 2008 and EUR 25 million in 1998. Over the same time period, the workforce increased from 160 to 420 people.
The trade association “Die Familienunternehmer” represents the interests of more than 6,000 member companies, which generate a combined annual turnover of around EUR 460 billion. Over 90 percent of all companies in Germany are owner-managed family businesses. Every year, the association honors the commitment of family businesses to their region with its Bavarian Family Business Award, which sets an example for greater sustainability in Bavaria.