Götz Kröner recalls his first contact with organic food and the reason behind the foundation of KRÖNER-STÄRKE BIO.
While studying food technology in Berlin in 1983, I met Bernd Nagel-Held, a fellow student and committed organic miller. Responsible handling of our earth's resources, maintaining biodiversity and the fertility of our soils, in fact, harmonizing sustainable food production and nature were the ideas we discussed intensely at that time. These ideas were to later become the basis of my mission in my professional and private life.
What was the reason behind your company launching organic products?
A purely natural production process without the use of chemical adjuvants and micro biocides has always had priority at KRÖNER-STÄRKE. Our products are natural and not chemically modified. Therefore, the use of organic wheat flour was just a logical continuation of our company's philosophy.
When did you start your activities in the organic food sector? How long have you been distributing organic products?
In 1990, I joined our family-owned business; since 1997, we have been producing organic wheat flour and organic wheat gluten after having jumped over many hurdles along the way. Today we are the largest producer of organic wheat starches and organic wheat gluten and we are growing steadily. In 2012, we established an independent company for the marketing of organic products: KRÖNER-STÄRKE Bio GmbH.
What do you think is the key to the success of your brand?
In our company, you will meet enthusiastic and dedicated people committed to the production of high quality organic products. Openly and honestly. We believe in what we do. We provide our customers with products that will give them peace of mind.
What is the philosophy behind your company?
Passion, transparency, honesty, natural production processes, supporting our employees to act independently, fair dealings with our business partners, responsible use of our earth's resources, autonomy, independency, loyalty to our region.
Do you have a motto?
Of course we do! We are committed to taking advantage of the power of nature!
What are your plans for further investments and how do you want to carry the company forward?
Our state-of-the-art production process is highly sophisticated and subject to constant improvement. This will put us in the position of offering premium products at compatible prices. One example is the production of our gluten-free wheat starch SANOSTAR that is made using specific, completely natural processing and production technologies.
Recently we inaugurated our own logistics center, which was the largest investment in the history of our company. Apart from the modernization of our packaging and storage areas, we also expanded our capacities in mixing and blending. The latest technology combined with high hygiene standards guarantee the reliable production of delicate dry mixes of high quality. We offer contract blending and mixing as well as individual product development in close cooperation with our customers.
How do you guarantee the quality of your organic products?
We rely on long-term transparent supplier structures and we know each supplier in person.
How do you see the future of organic farming and organic food trade?
Organic farming and the trade of organic products will continue to have a set place in the market as long as all market participants are aware of the high responsibility they assume when they produce and trade high quality organic products at a corresponding price. The price gap between organic and conventional products will persist thus limiting the market chances of organic products significantly. The future of organic food is based on its credibility. This is why we are in favor of even stricter controls, in particular for raw materials of proven doubtful origin. Transparent controls conducted by reliable persons and sound supply chains are an absolute necessity and much more important than any certificate which - as everybody knows - can be easily obtained in some countries. Organic food will continue to be a business based on personal contacts.
How do you assess the organic food market today and in the future?
The growing demand for wholesome food and clean label products that are as low in herbicides and pesticides as possible reflect the increasing awareness for heath and environmental issues. Sustainable agricultural practices and the resulting environmentally friendly production are more and more in the focus of consumers. With our production of organic starch and organic flour, we have supported this trend for more than 15 years. Now, we are the largest European supplier of organic starch products. The standards for organic products are very specific and quite different from the standards that conventional products have to meet. Consumers eat organic products with more awareness than conventional products. This different type of awareness as well as the growing demand for organic starch products shows that we were on the right track with the foundation of KRÖNER-STÄRKE Bio GmbH.