Supplier network across the Iron Curtain

How Rauch bought the best fruits

If you want to grow as a fruit juice producer, you also have to continuously expand and maintain your network of good suppliers. The youngest member of the management team, Roman Rauch, took care of this. Then, as now, there were important cultivation areas in the countries of Eastern Europe. At that time, however, it was still "the Eastern bloc".

"Almost nobody drank fruit juice in these countries, there was no industry. So the states liked to sell their fruit to the West. Our partners were state-owned export companies," remembers Roman Rauch. Anyone wanting to buy good quality checked the fruits on site. And anyone wanting good terms cultivated personal contact.

Rauch attached importance to both, so Roman Rauch travelled behind the "Iron Curtain" several times a year to visit his suppliers, for example in Romania. The country was known for its forest fruits such as raspberries and blueberries. "The company there was called 'Frukt Export'. Two representatives of the company picked me up from the airport in Bucharest, then we drove in rather rickety cars over bumpy roads from village to village for hours. In every village there was a small cold store, where I would try the fruits. Then we negotiated at the inn, always with hearty food and lots of schnapps."

Many countries in Eastern Europe were and are proud of their particularly good fruits. This can be seen, among other things, in the many series of fruit stamps. These stamps adorned mail from Romania from 1966 onwards.