In cooperation with the internationally renowned machine and plant manufacturer F. H. SCHULE Mühlenbau GmbH, foundations were poured, facades were erected and machines were put into operation in the district of Uelzen in the past few months in order to start production as quickly as possible and to deliver products all over the world. The goal was to satisfy BAUCK customers with the highest product quality and maybe even to surprise them with new products. Managing director Jan-Peter Bauck describes the development from the initial idea to construction and commissioning.
Mr Bauck, would mind taking us on a little journey through time? How did the Bauck company come into being and what are its activities?
Jan-Peter Bauck: The Bauck GmbH emerged in 1969 as one of the pioneers among natural food producers from the three Bauck farms engaged in bio-dynamic agriculture at Klein Süstedt, Stütensen and Amelinghausen. My relatives from the Bauck farms joined forces with other Demeter farmers back then to get their produce into the kitchens throughout the country: The Company for Marketing and Processing of Demeter Products, today the Bauck GmbH, was founded. Today, we produce Demeter and organic products such as flours, mueslis and baking mixes in our own mills under the brand name "Bauckhof". The company is still family and employee run.
What is your company philosophy?
Jan-Peter Bauck: It is our conviction that organic and biodynamic agriculture is the healthiest option for humans, animals and the environment. With our products we want to generate enthusiasm for organic and Demeter products in order to secure as much arable land as possible for a healthy agriculture. Our vision is a one hundred percent organic agriculture. We want to achieve this with our passion for excellent cereal products and with a working culture that recognises and promotes the talents and the potential of our employees. Long-term cooperation with local producers and the advancement of the agricultural structure in the region is another central component of our company philosophy.
How and why did the idea come about to build a plant for gluten-free oats in the district of Uelzen?
Jan-Peter Bauck: The original idea to produce gluten-free products was sketched on a beer mat in Pisa. We wanted to establish another foothold in the market and offer people with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease safe and, above all, tasty products in organic quality. Since 2006, we have been grinding gluten-free products in a separate field mill. The system is still in operation today, but it no longer supplies the required quantities, almost half our product range being gluten-free. We are market leaders in the field of gluten-free organic products. That is why we are now replacing the old mill with the new, much larger fine-grinding and shelling mill.
When did the project take shape and how long did the implementation take?
Jan-Peter Bauck: Part of the production of gluten-free cereal products had been outsourced to partners in recent years. Due to the continuing high demand and in order to have this part of the value chain in our company, we decided to build this high-performance mill for the production of gluten-free flakes and flours in organic and Demeter quality. Another crucial point, however, was the issue of sustainability. This project enables us to reduce transport distances while processing can take place directly on site. We started thinking about this in 2016 and began the actual planning in 2017. From the beginning, commissioning was scheduled for late summer or autumn 2020.
What is the goal of the company/ what solution does it offer?
Jan-Peter Bauck: We want to continue to cooperate with farmers in the region and in doing so promoting organic and Demeter farming. The aim is, of course, to ensure the highest possible product quality and fully satisfy our customers. We are particularly interested in offering tasty and safe recipes for gluten-free products that stand out against many other products on the market.
What were the most important criteria for you for building the new BAUCK plant?
Jan-Peter Bauck: The most important criterion is the sustainability of the plant. That means its dimensioning must be appropriate for the quantities we want to process. Furthermore, it must use state-of-the-art technology. This applies to environmental protection just as much as to manufacturing and control engineering. After all, we want to be able to react flexibly to changing customer needs in the future.
F. H. SCHULE Mühlenbau GmbH is responsible for the construction of the plant. How did you come across the company and do you remember the first contact?
Jan-Peter Bauck: SCHULE has been a well-established company in the industry for many decades. Hence, we already knew the company from several smaller enquiries.
SCHULE is part of the KAHL Holding and thus offers the efficiency of a major plant manufacturer. The machines produced in-house are all "Made in EU" - from the sectional steel to the finished machine. At the same time, the specialisation in shelling ensures a very profound understanding of the business.
What do you think are the advantages of working with SCHULE Mühlenbau GmbH?
Jan-Peter Bauck: The company SCHULE was responsible for the entire technical planning of the plant, from the concept to the implementation. That made our work a lot easier. Moreover, the company is based in Reinbek near Hamburg, only about 90 km away from our premises. Ultimately, SCHULE was the only supplier to fully meet our demanding specifications.
Are there differences in quality in the production of gluten-free products with SCHULE machines compared to machines from other manufacturers?
Jan-Peter Bauck: Yes, there are. SCHULE has carried out various tests for us in order to assess the feasibility of our requirements, both for our sake and for their own. Based on these tests, they offered us a customised plant that stood out against our competitors' plants. They demonstrated to us the suitability of each machine for our needs No other manufacturer was able or willing to do that.
What do you see when you venture a look at the coming years?
Jan-Peter Bauck: We now specialise almost exclusively in milling products - we grind, mix and pack flours, baking mixes, flakes and mueslis but also burger and falafel mixes. The focus is on oats processing. All our products have Demeter or EU organic certification and around 50 percent of our production is gluten-free. We sell our products in around 40 countries. With our new mill, we want to advance our products so that we can offer our customers and consumers an optimum product quality.
The BAUCK plant in northern Germany now produces high-quality flakes from oats, buckwheat, etc., as well as bread and cake mixes, muesli, a large variety of flours, oat preparations, pizza bases and much more for the consumer. You can find the product list at www.bauckhof.de/produkte. At www.schulefood.de you can get a closer look at the company F. H. SCHULE Mühlenbau GmbH.
(The rights to the text are held by F. H. SCHULE Mühlenbau/ Photo ©BAUCK GmbH)