Company history

It began in the golden sixties

It was the decade of new beginnings. Mankind was conquering space, the new generation was rebelling against the establishment, The Beatles and hippies were heralding in a new era. Germany was experiencing an economic miracle. Made in Germany stood for the most advanced industrial technology and highest levels of craftsmanship, which meant that traditional German values were highly regarded the world over. A married couple from the Westerwald region set about developing a small business that would become one of the biggest in its industry worldwide.

From vision to reality

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Origins
The company founder and proprietor Peter Gelhard comes from a long-standing family of merchants from Ransbach, Germany. The family started producing rennet in 1825 and later expanded the company to include trading and sorting of natural sausage casings.

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Foundation
When his father died, Peter Gelhard founded his own company at the age of 23: Peter Gelhard Natural Sausage Casings. It was entered in the trade register on March 10, 1964. The start-up capital consisted of a used typewriter, 50 empty jute sacks, 10,000 Deutschmarks worth of pork casings and a 1,800 square metre property.

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Development
In the years that followed, the new company swiftly developed: Due to the great commitment of the young entrepreneur and his wife Romy Gelhard († 1992) turnover doubled every year. Peter Gelhard Natural Sausage Casings became a powerful brand and the company began to move into international territory. The company continued to grow and became an important employer in a rural area.

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The Expansion
After numerous building expansions to house additional administration, production and storage facilities, the company’s ongoing growth eventually reached its physical limits and the site was relocated to a newly developed industrial estate in Ransbach-Baumbach.

In 1978 a new office complex and sufficiently spacious production and storage facilities were built on a 10,000 square metre plot of land. Here too, however, the company is reaching its limits in regards to its spatial growth, and is acquiring new, future-oriented sites in the same industrial zone, with a total area of 90,000 square metres.

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Solidity
Ransbach-Baumbach, in the heart of the Westerwald remains the company’s headquarters from where its worldwide business is conducted.

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Internationalization
In the early eighties the company set up its own production facilities in China as well as in other European countries. Additionally, a company was also founded in Australia to procure raw materials for the production of sheep casings.

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Petra Gelhard-Fuchs
Peter Gelhard Natural Sausage Casings has been a family business from the beginning and the second generation of Gelhards has been fully involved from training on in their current professional functions.

Peter Gelhard’s daughter Petra Gelhard-Fuchs completed business training in wholesale and external trade in 1981, gaining experience in all the relevant departments of company. Today she is Head of Marketing and Communication.

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Arnd Gelhard
Peter Gelhard’s son Arnd Gelhard, who also trained in wholesale and external trade, began his training in 1985 and has also worked in each of the company`s departments. In addition to acquiring business skills, both his involvement in the company at home and several intern-ships abroad allowed him to gain the specific expertise required for production and international trade in natural sausage casings.

With over 25 years of experience in all of the main business operations, he now manages the entire company together with Peter Gelhard. He has sole responsibility for national sales and for an increasing share of the company’s international trade. He also oversees the entire production operation, both at home and abroad. Arnd Gelhard’s style of management is based on modern methods but still upholds the company’s traditional values.

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China – “Shanghai Star”
in cooperation for the first production site in Shanghai, China

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Growth
Here on Saelzer Strasse, new office complexes, extensive warehouses, cold storage facilities and production halls were built in 1996 which are appropriate for the company’s global orientation.

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China – “Baoding Zhongde”
Cooperation – Baoding Zhongde Casing Co., Ltd.

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Netherlands – “SMITS I.T.C.”
Takeover of Smits I.T.C. in Vlaardingen, Netherlands to support our corporate logistics worldwide
ca. 4,000 square metres

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Poland – “KADEK Sp. z o.o”
Takeover of Kadek Sp. z o.o in Zukowo, Poland as a site for wage labour and sales in Eastern Europe
ca. 18,000 square metres

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Denmark – “ITI Aps.”
Takeover of ITI Aps. in Sakskøbing near Copenhagen, Denmark as a sales and warehouse location in Northern Europe
ca. 7,500 square metres

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China – “Shanghai Star” (together with partner)
Cooperation – Production site

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China – “Shanghai Fude Casing Co., Ltd.”
Cooperation – Construction of a new sorting plant in Shanghai

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50 years of Peter Gelhard Natural Sausage Casings

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Strategy for the future
Ongoing global growth and the constant development and optimisation of production are the objectives for the future, so as to be able to serve our customers swiftly and efficiently in consideration of constantly increasing demands.