Can chocolate make you happy? The answer is quite clear: Yes! That's what our experience from over 125 years of chocolate art tells us. To mark this occasion, we have developed a very special type of chocolate. Our anniversary chocolate represents Weinrich's unique company history and combines finest milk chocolate with delicious butter biscuit pieces. However, the anniversary bar is not only convincing with its delicious taste, but also with strong partnerships and awareness of sustainability: the bar, certified with the organic and Fairtrade seal, was the first chocolate to be produced under climate-neutral production conditions.
2018 Commissioning of our new high-efficiency energy center in the form of a combined heat and power plant. We are now able to produce environmentally friendly a large part of our energy required for the production by ourselves and in addition, we are able to recover production-related heat. Three storage tanks also provide hot, warm and cold water as needed. In April 2019 our combined heat and power plant was announced to the „combined heat and power plant of the month“ by the professional German magazine „Energie und Management“.
2017 Appointment of a sustainability manager. Topics like sustainability and the environment are our top priority. Even small measures, such as the replacement of disposable coffee cups for returnable coffee cups for our production staff, have a big impact. Furthermore, we strive for transparent supply chains and fair working conditions among the manufacturers of our raw materials and also through our activities in the Forum Sustainable Cocoa. Detailed information on all our activities in this area can be found in our first Sustainability Report, published in 2019.
2015 Completion and move into the new administration building. The charming old villa of our founders provided no longer sufficient office space for the continuous, growing number of employees. For this reason our new, modern administration building was architecturally perfectly integrated into our current location. An inviting lounge, as well as its own gym for the employees, leave nothing to be desired and ensure a wonderful working atmosphere. For good reason, more than half of the employees have been working for Ludwig Weinrich GmbH & Co. KG for more than 10 years.
2014 use of 100% certified cocoa. As with the production of fairtrade and organic chocolates, Ludwig Weinrich GmbH & Co. KG plays a major pioneering role and has been producing with minimum UTZ-certified cocoa for at least half a decade. About more than the half of our annual production volume of 22,000 tons are organic or fair-trade chocolates. We are one of the biggest organic chocolate manufacturers in Europe.
2008 Opening of our new logistics center. Right next to our production we have a storage capacity of 7,500 pallets. All incoming and outgoing goods are moved here with an annual volume of 300,000 pallets.
1999 start of the production of organic chocolates. Right at the turn of the century Weinrich sets up a subsidiary company EcoFinia GmbH to produce organic chocolate under the brand name VIVANI Premium Chocolate. Today VIVANI is one of the top brands in the area of organic chocolate and is marketed in over 60 countries around the world.
1996 start of the production of fair-trade chocolates. As one of the pioneers in this field, we produce for Europe's most important "Fairtrade" companies, GEPA - The Fair Trade Company and Divine UK, with whom we have been working closely for years. In order to create the best possible conditions, we convince ourselves in the countries of origin of our cocoa of the cultivation methods and support the cocoa farmer cooperatives, for example, in construction projects of building schools. This guarantees an improvement in the standard of living. Over the years, Ghana has created an intensive trading partnership between Weinrich and the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative, which supplies the raw materials for the Divine chocolates.
1993 Cord Budde jr. took over the management of the company in the fourth generation of the family. Family and values and the contact to all employees are very important for us. For this reason our owner regularly takes time to go through the production and talk to our colleagues from the factory. All our employees wear coats with their names, so that everyone can be addressed personally.
1960er Production of bakery goods and pralines ceased at the start of the 1960s and the company concentrated on making chocolate bars with and without fillings, as well as couverture. The reason for this is that Cord Gerhard Budde senior studied the high art of producing high-quality chocolate during a stay in Switzerland for several months. After that he decided that Ludwig Weinrich GmbH & Co. KG should concentrate on this. The son-in-law of the Weinrichs of the second generation also took over the management of the company in the coming years.
1895 In 1895 Ludwig Weinrich and Paul Drüge set up the “Herforder Biscuit – und Cakesfabrik Weinrich & Drüge”. After Paul Drüge leaves the firm in 1912 it passes into the possession of the Weinrich family. At this time the company mainly produced biscuits, waffles and gingerbread. Over the next few years pralines and chocolate items were added to the product portfolio of the factory.