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Landgard Award for Fruit & Vegetables category goes to Stoffers Gemüsebau

This year's Landgard Awards in the categories Flowers & Plants and Fruit & Vegetables were presented at the International Green Week in Berlin by entrepreneur and model Sara Nuru and singer Jeanette Biedermann with her band "Ewig". The award ceremony, with many special guests and numerous interested trade fair visitors as spectators, was the first highlight in the Landgard program.

This award is given exclusively to growers who are members of Landgard eG. Landgard Award candidates are farmers who have made a special contribution to the future and customer orientation of their businesses and the industry. The Landgard Young Talent Prize honours young owners in both categories who, as successors in an existing company, have successfully set the course for the company, positioning it in the market for the future or relaunching it on the market.

People in the picture "Landgard Award 2018 Winner": (left to right) Christian Welzel ("Landgard Young Talent Award", Flowers & Plants), Sara Nuru (Speaker, Entrepreneur and Model), Marc Peters ("Landgard Producer Company of the Year", Flowers & Plants) , Heinz Stoffers ("Landgard Producer Company of the Year", Fruit & Vegetables), Markus Schwarz ("Landgard Young Talent Award", Fruit & Vegetables) and Armin Rehberg (CEO of Landgard eG)

Heinz Stoffers, owner of Stoffers Gemüsebau in Krefeld, has been awarded the Landgard Award as "Landgard Producer of the Year" in the fruit & vegetable division. The award in the category "Landgard Young Talent Award" went to Markus Schwarz, co-owner of Konrad & Markus Schwarz GbR in Bornheim.

In the Flowers & Plants category, the award went to Marc Peters, the owner of the horticultural business Marc Peters in Kranenburg, in the category "Landgard Producer of the Year". The Christian and Simon Welzel brothers, who run horticulture business Welzel in Kerken, received the award in the "Landgard Young Talent Award" category. At the International Green Week, Christian Welzel received the award on behalf of both brothers.

"In order to be successful on the market together with our growers today and in the future, committed and motivated member companies need ideas and visions. As a responsible market leader and modern marketing producer cooperative with 3,300 national and international member companies, it was therefore a special concern of ours to honour these member companies with the Landgard Award. It goes to members who have made a special contribution to gardening and to their cooperative and to young growers who have taken on responsibility for their business and have put it on firm footing, with courage and fresh ideas for the future. These people and businesses are the face of Landgard - today and tomorrow. We are therefore particularly pleased that we were able to offer them a suitable stage this year with the presentation at the International Green Week," said Armin Rehberg, CEO of Landgard eG.

Heinz Stoffers - "Landgard Producer of the Year", Fruit & Vegetables
Heinz Stoffers was awarded the "Landgard Producer of the Year" category in the Fruit & Vegetables Division. Stoffers Gemüsebau, under the direction of Heinz and Christiane Stoffers, is a dynamic company in the north of Krefeld on the left Lower Rhine. Salads and vegetables are produced with up to 50 employees. With a cultivated area of 22 hectares, the farm is one of the leading open-air farms and specializes in outdoor salads such as ice lettuce, lettuce and bionda as well as vegetables such as kohlrabi and winter savoy cabbage. Cucumbers are also grown in the greenhouses in the yard. With Matthias Stoffers’ son, the next generation is already active in the company.

"With Heinz Stoffers, we honour a dedicated producer who, even in the difficult years between 2011 and 2014, has never lost faith in the Landgard idea and always contributes constructively to any discussion. Since 2011, he has also used his honorary function as Chairman of the Advisory Board on Fruit & Vegetables. As a personality, Heinz Stoffers is as firm as a tree and again and again he gives a new impulse to his farm and the Landgard cooperative. We expressly thank him for that," said Bert Schmitz, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Landgard eG.

Markus Schwarz - "Landgard Young Talent Award", Fruits & Vegetables
The Schwarz family business already runs vegetable company -in Dersdorf between Cologne and Bonn- for the fourth generation. Three generations live and work together in the yard. In addition to strawberries and vegetable crops such as Romana, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and celery, they grow plants for the cultivation of humus and soil fertility grow on the company fields. In addition to outdoor cultivation, the company is increasingly relying on the less weather-dependent under-glass cultivation.

Markus Schwarz, born in 1992, receives the award in the "Landgard Young Talent Award" category for his entrepreneurial talent, which was demonstrated at a very young age. Markus Schwarz completed his gardener apprenticeship far from his native Rhineland in Munich and has been master gardener for three years. Together with his father Konrad, he now brings this specialist know-how into the family business together with his passion for horticulture as a whole.

Christian and Simon Welzel - "Landgard Young Talent Prize", Flowers & Plants
The brothers Christian and Simon Welzel, who took over their parents' business in 2014, were honoured with the Landgard Young Talent Prize in the Flowers & Plants category. As a third generation, they have been pursuing the goal of successfully developing and future-proofing the family business. An investment in 4 hectares of greenhouse facilities were a big part of this. As a high-performance horticultural business on the Lower Rhine, the production focus lies on high-quality, seasonal products in the bedding and balcony plants sector. Furthermore, as a member of the Advisory Council for Flowers & Plants, Christian Welzel also works for the Landgard producer cooperative.

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