The Corona crisis is a challenge for German machine manufacturers as well, but the people at Schomaker Convenience Technik are confident. "In the long term it could become a little more difficult, but for now it is still quiet and somehow it will work out", says Ricarda Schomaker. "The good order situation as well as various precautions in daily operations let the company produce as before."
Although the convenience area is achieving good sales figures, the company is naturally also affected by the closure of the catering trade: "There are fewer new orders from canteen kitchens and refectories. Many customers are making losses or avoiding investments due to doubts and uncertainty caused by the pandemic."
The barbecue season in Germany starts when the weather warms. A ray of hope for convenience manufacturers - the more and more health-conscious consumers are looking for alternatives to steak and sausages. "We have the right machines for this. We have models for seasoning, marinating and breading, but also a saté skewer machine that is perfect for vegetable, cheese and veggie barbecue skewers."
She jokes that despite the curfew, barbecuing in Germany will probably not be banned. By summer at the latest, they hope for a relaxation of the measures: "We are confident and are preparing for the season with vigour."
Photo: Various (vegetable) skewers
Due to the failures in the bulk consumer business, the affected companies in the food industry are looking for alternatives. Convenience products are an option for these companies, explains Schomaker: "For example, we also have used, revised and new machines in stock. These can be delivered at short notice; we are very flexible in this respect. This can be helpful to smaller companies, or even companies that do not want to make major investments at the moment. An additional mainstay in convenience is interesting for many - also in connection with supplying the food retail trade or in direct marketing."
Herrmann and Ricarda Schomaker at this year's BioFach, in Nuremberg
Thanks to the company's own production process in Germany, and its regional suppliers, there are currently no supply bottlenecks for machine and spare parts. Schomaker does not believe that the Corona crisis will have a long-term impact on mechanical engineering companies in Germany: "German quality is highly valued at home and abroad. That's why there are few manufacturers who produce exclusively abroad. Those who do so will continue to work on quantity and price and outsource - the pandemic will make no difference there. However, we are trying to protect the label 'Made in Germany' and we will keep our service and quality standards high."