It was only in 2010 that Rauch decided to significantly expand the production of semi-finished products. Just one year later, an extraordinary opportunity presented itself to Wolfgang Schwald, head of this business unit. Polish partner Agrico SA was offering for sale its two well-developed fruit processing factories in Płońsk and Kluczkowice, including a deep-freeze warehouse in Łęczyca with over 75 employees.
Schwald says, "The decision was very easy for us. With these factories and the associated aronia plantation we would be able to take a giant step towards the expansion of our capacity for semi-finished goods. And this in Poland, one of the most important fruit-growing countries in Europe," he adds, "Which would also significantly increase independence in the production chain of the company's own range of finished products. Many fruits, from aronia to rhubarb for Happy Day and other products, grow around the Polish factories.
After initial contract processing, Rauch and Agrico agreed on the conditions in 2011. "We had already realised that we were both enthusiastic and committed fruit processors. That made negotiations much easier." In the weeks following signing, Schwald and an IT team from Rankweil set to work, in collaboration with managers at the factories, to bring all standards and processes up to the high Rauch level.
The new factories in Poland quickly became important pillars of Rauch's fruit processing operations. And so, in 2014, Rauch took advantage of the next opportunity and acquired the company "O.K. Owocowe Koncentraty". Thanks to experienced teams and some investments, these two factories in Przeworsk and Siemiatycze, with more than 75 employees, were quickly integrated into the Rauch production network.
Today "Rauch Polska" produces over 50% of all semi-finished products in the group. This means that Rauch is an important partner for Polish fruit growers and has taken significant steps towards the sustainable development of its raw materials supply.
"Poland is one of the most important fruit-growing countries in Europe. Rauch can process the fresh harvest at the highest quality levels, with four factories of its own and a large deep-freeze warehouse"