A professional future based on cheese


Börde Käse GmbH has showcased itself at the International Green Week in Berlin for 22 years. However, the livelihood of the small company does not depend on the increasing types of cheese and new business contacts alone. In the 22nd year after reunification, the business management in Vahldorf – similar to that of many other companies which were (newly) founded at the time – is considering passing on the baton to the next generation. But to whom? A difficult question given the demographic development. The answer can be found in the "NeLE" project funded by the European Union and the state of Saxony-Anhalt. Support and encouragement is given for areas such as the fostering of young talent and career planning."We will be in Saxony-Anhalt Hall 23B this year. Lots of tasting will take place here,“ says Mike-Sören Dietrich and hands his latest press release over the table. It summarises the successes of the previous year: three gold medals at the "International Cheese Show“ in Nantwich, as well as securing a gold in the category for best smoked cheese at the "World Cheese Award“ in Birmingham.In the cupboard of the executive's office of Börde Käse GmbH in Vahldorf, certificates from several years are piled up as well as the decorative medals which go with them. In the cooled "treasure chest" alongside, what the company from Vahldorf will be presenting this year in Berlin is currently being kept quiet. The only thing that they will give away is that the flavour is rather "spicy" – something for modern cuisine.The world's biggest trade fair for food, agriculture and gardening is a key networking event for the family run company. Mike-Sören Dietrich is responsible for marketing and heads the "export" business sector. The young man, born in 1976, talks about his markets, particularly in the new federal states, but also those in the UK, Japan, Korea, Spain, Dubai, etc.He has studied their food traditions in order to establish the company there with the right cheese flavour.The smoky Börde bacon, for example, was particularly popular with the British, he says. "Our strength, however, is the niche market," stresses Mike-Sören Dietrich. This means that products are developed together with customers according to their expectations and wishes. Such as a special cheese for a pizza manufacturer that does not go black during baking. Or a cheese which can be heated for hours for a cinema chain. For the FIFA World Cup, a hearty cheese with a football design was created for a supermarket chain. Business contacts in Dubai are also particularly worth mentioning for the company from Vahldorf. Their customers here include hotels, mainly headed by Austrian or Swiss management. Via catering companies, Börde cheese has also made it onto the speciality platters for Business Class travellers with "Emirates Airlines".10 to15 new cheese varieties from Börde come onto the market every year. All recipes are self-developed at the premises of the business in Vahldorf. In the process, the Managing Director and trained food engineer Hans-Peter Dietrich is in charge. Together with Rosemarie Appel, he turned the traditional company into a GmbH after reunification. Both are now considering passing on the business to the next generation.Börde Käse GmbH has already concluded a contract during the first few days of the new year 2012 in this regard. MA&T Organisationsentwicklung GmbH – standing for interaction between people, work and technology – will assist the company over the next year and a half for matters concerning young talent and career planning. MA&T is the supporter of a project that has been initiated by the federal state government. This is called "NeLE" – standing for demographic oriented young talent development and career planning in food industry companies in Saxony-Anhalt. As it is precisely this most demanding sector of the manufacturing industry in Saxony-Anhalt in terms of human resources which is significantly effected by the demographic development.MA&T Managing Director Oliver Lilie will sit with the executive board for the business activities of Börde Käse GmbH over the next 18 months. "As in most small and medium-sized enterprises in the food industry, it seems that excellent products are being produced here in Vahldorf and the marketing is good, but the strategic and practical expertise is not sufficient for long-term personnel development,“ says Oliver Lilie.As there will be very few young specialist personnel in the next few years, companies must showcase themselves as attractive employers. For most of them, it will be necessary to (re)fill key positions from within their own ranks. "This is something which also has potential for conflict,“ says the personnel expert. "Gradual assumption of managerial activities firstly means that these specialist staff must be taken from another area. Secondly, the proven and successful business management already in place should be open to the new perspectives and methods of the upcoming next generation.“Oliver Lilie brings along the individually tailored "tools“ and outside perspective in order to solve internal problems of this kind in a way that appeals to everybody.He is welcome at Börde Käse GmbH. The company is expected to remain family-run. In practice, this also concerns Mike-Sören Dietrich's career planning. Together with the NeLE project in persona by Oliver Lilie, the next steps will now be taken internally, leading all of the personnel involved in promising directions."Young talent“ Dietrich has already taken personal responsibility for Kaufland and Rewe. The business management has entrusted him with sole responsibility for both of these retail chains.Author: Kathrain GraubaumContact:Mike-Sören DietrichBahnhofstraße 3439345 Vahldorfph: +49 (0)39202 6398E-Mail: dietrich@boerdekaese.deWeb: www.boerdekaese.deMA&T Organisationsentwicklung GmbHOlvenstedter Straße 39/4039108 Magdeburgph: +49 (0)391 7347408E-Mail: oliver.lilie@ma-t.deWeb: www.ma-t.de