100 years of Lorentzen & Sievers: stability on a firm foundation

"Tradition has its obligations" - the motto of a leading packaging supplier

100 years of Lorentzen & SievIn April 1920, Lorentzen & Sievers LLC was founded as an import and export agency by its namesakes. It is now one of Germany's leading packaging suppliers for fruit and vegetables. True to the motto "Tradition has its obligations," the still owner-managed company feels deeply connected to its Hanseatic roots and is positively positioned for the future, even in times of crisis.

For travelling merchants from all over the world, L&S showed the range of the European industry in its first company years of the 1920s. The Hamburg-based company specialized in sundries and hardware, including tools, construction fittings, agricultural equipment such as leaf hoes and rolling mill products such as rickshaw rim irons and ship chains.

Lorentzen & Sievers is a regular exhibitor at all trade fairs and events relevant to the industry. Here, Managing Director Frank Schuh shows the latest packaging concepts at the Interaspa 2019. 

Continuous company growth
The economically unstable period of the Weimar Republic in the port city of Hamburg and the untimely death of founding member Lorentzen in 1924 made the first years of the company turbulent. Theodor Sievers led the company through inflation and war by himself and, after its destruction, moved the company headquarters to its new location in downtown Hamburg. In 1956, employee Kurt Peter Busch joined the company, which was handed over to the current owner and managing director Frank Schuh from 1994 to 2001. Due to the company's growth, the company headquarters was moved to the outskirts of Hamburg at the turn of the millennium. Ten years later, it moved again, to the northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Traditional values together with modern company management
100 years of company history with only three generations of management speak for reliability, continuity, transparency and fairness - generally speaking what is nowadays called 'corporate social responsibilty': sustainable management and responsibility for the common good.

Frank Schuh sees the basis of the continuous, positive development of the company essentially in the stability of business relationships and the network built up over generations. The ability to bring traditional values into harmony with modern management has enabled L&S to achieve stable growth over the past thirty years. The investments in a modern IT infrastructure made in recent years, the further processing of carton packaging and the expansion of storage space proved to be strategically elementary, especially against the background of the current crisis.

Vision of a closed recycling loop
Against the background of value preservation with a view to the future, L&S has committed itself to the vision of a closed material cycle. The company sees the ideal in the infinite circulation of existing materials. This results in the company's mission to conserve resources. With this aspect in mind, L&S primarily considers the primary functions of packaging in the protection and transport of food.

In the modern but traditional company, sustainability is worked out in many different ways. Internally, sustainability means sustainable action, economic success based on socially oriented employee development and our own power generation. When selecting packaging materials, the closed cycle of recyclable materials is a priority. This includes packaging that primarily consists of recycled material, as this presupposes that a recycling cycle has already existed. This is followed by the criterion of recyclability, ideally back to food packaging. Packaging that interferes with recycling or in any other way counteracts the conservation of resources and the closed material cycle will be gradually replaced by L&S with more suitable solutions.

"Think global, buy local"
Via an online platform, L&S promotes the sale of surplus stock across the board and supports its customers in recycling production waste from the packing stations. A comprehensive programme of seminars, workshops and lectures passes on the knowledge acquired in an effort to promote sustainable action as widely as possible. The marketing aspect of packaging is also considered sustainable by L&S. Attractive packaging promotes sales and thus a healthy diet.

"Think global, buy local" - L&S promotes the production of packaging materials in its own country and surrounding Europe for a variety of strategic reasons. In fierce price competition, this philosophy often causes short-term disadvantages. In the long term, however, performance, reliability and transparency have had a positive effect on the company's development.

Regarding the current Corona crisis, Frank Schuh says: "We are sure that we will also successfully master the current crisis. As soon as we return to calmer waters, we will work out the causes and effects regarding institutions, suppliers and customers, and we will derive all necessary actions in order to develop strengthened packaging for a future market success."

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