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Biography Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth


1930

Born in Herten, a small mining town in Westphalia.
Strongly influenced by artisanal practices at the family butchery.

1945-50

Apprenticeship in butchery trade and graduation from high school.

1950-55

Journeyman years at artisanal butcheries and meat processing facilities in Germany, Switzerland, France as well as industrial meat processors in the US.

1958

Master of Business Administration at Cologne.

1955-59

Reorganization of parental butchery operation into an industrial enterprise: ‘HERTA – Means Sausage’ (HERTA – wenn’s um die Wurst geht)

1958 ff.

Marriage to Doris Rath and birth of children Karl, Georg and Anne.

1964

Death of father; head of HERTA management. HERTA expands operations and becomes the largest meat processing company in Europe: Artland, Dörffler, Casserole and Stastnik Austria, HERTA France, HERTA do Brasil. Facilities in Germany, France, Austria, Brazil and Ethiopia. 5,500 workers employed by 1984.


1966-79

President of the Federal Association of the German Meat Industry (Bundesverband der Deutschen Fleischwarenindustrie) as well as President of the European Meat Industry Association for three years.

1968-84

‘Kunst geht in die Fabrik’ (‘Art Meets Factory’): Work places should not only be more efficient, but also more attractive for workers.

1980

Marriage to Dorothee Rüdiger.

1983

Master Craftsman Certification at Augsburg.

1984

The turning point: Sale of HERTA to the Nestlé Company.


1987

Exhibition at Bonn Science Center: ‘Art Meets Factory’.

1985

Establishment of the Schweisfurth Foundation at Munich. Its goal: Searching for holistic and fulfilling lifestyles where work and technology are in harmony with nature.


1987

Establishment of Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstätten at Glonn near Munich. Ethical basic values guide production and distribution of life-giving food items of optimum taste and health properties.

1990 ff.

Start of organic agriculture operations; production workshops as well as farm market and inn, etc. opened at Herrmannsdorf.
Gut Sonnenhausen turned into a seminar facility and hotel.


1993-94

‘Kunst geht in die Natur’ (‘Art Meets Nature’): Major Schweisfurth Foundation project at Herrmannsdorf and Sonnenhausen.

1995

Transfer of all economic activities to children: Karl in charge of Herrmannsdorf; Georg in charge of Sonnenhausen; Anne (as of 2010) of the Foundation.

2000

EXPO 2000 gave rise to the construction of a new Herrmannsdorf on meadowland outside of Hannover

2004

End and closing down of project.




2004-14

First Private Agricultural Experimental Station for Symbiotic Agriculture. (Erste Private Landwirtschaftliche Versuchsanstalt für eine Symbiotische Landwirtschaft) focussing on pasture grazing of pigs together with chickens as well as with cattle, sheep and other poultry.

2004

Establishment of ‘Schweisfurth Consultants’ (‘Planungsteam Schweisfurth’): Consulting services for enterprises in Germany, Russia, Denmark and Austria.

2006

Establishment of the ‘Village for Choildren and Animals’ (‘Dorf für Kinder und Tiere’).

2014

Bavarian Nature Conservancy Award (Bund Naturschutz Bayern - Bavarian Nature Conservancy Association) given to KLS.
Extensive public relations work in print media, radio and TV. Interviews, lectures, guided tours, etc.

© 2016 Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth