Inside-out interview with the Sustainable Steiners
Two German brothers on a mission
In this Inside Out interview we talk to Wolfgang and Florian Steiner, brothers and entrepeneurs from Germany. Wolfgang runs Gemüsebau Steiner, whereas Florian is responsible for BIOhof Kirchweidach, both family-run companies, dedicated to growing tomatoes, bell peppers and other vegetables in the most sustainable way possible.
What do you do? And why did you decide to join the Steiner family business?
Wolfgang (Gemüsebau Steiner): ´We produce fruit and vegetables for the local market (Bayern area in Germany and Austria). Our goal has always been to produce vegetables on a sustainable and less co2 emitting way. Producing healthy food that strains the planet as less as possible drives us to do what we do.´
Florian (BIOhof Kirchweidach):
´We were not very experienced when we started, so we definitely made some mistakes in terms of crop management, labour and organization. But, by now, we think we have everything under control, and in 2019 we were able to open our newest greenhouse Biohof Kirchweidach. This has been a real highlight for us! Here, we can truly visualize how we produce our products as sustainable as possible and that is a story we also want to get out in this world. To us, horticulture is the perfect marriage between nature and technology!´
The new greenhouse was opened in 2019. (Article continues below the photo)
What do you love most about the work you do?
Wolfgang: ´For me, it is bringing together technology, processes and organization to improve our business step by step, to become one of the most innovative and best managed companies in our sector. ´
Florian: ´I agree. And I want to add that working close together with nature as well as producing healthy food, while taking into account the highest social standards, is a challenge that I love.´
Interview continues below the Gemüsebau Steiner recruting video. It gives an idea of the way the company produces their crops, recrutes and takes care of their staff.
What’s the best piece of professional wisdom you’ve ever been given?
Wolfgang: ´It is very important that you have a clear idea of what you really want to do. If this is absolutely clear for you – where you want to go as a person but also where you want your company to be in the future – you can act like this every day to reach your goal.´
And what advice do you guys have for starters in horticulture that you wish you’d known when you were starting your career?
Florian: ´Choose carefully who you approach for advice. Making mistakes is normal, but when you are in our business, you have to learn quickly from them.´
Photo: Wolfgang, Florian and their father.
@Wolfgang, what do you admire in Florian in how he’s running his business?
´When he deeply steps into a topic he does his assignment with a very high level of accuracy. Furthermore he is very empathic what helps us to form a well performing team.´
@Florian, what have you learned from Wolfgang in your career up until now?
´I think one of Wolfgang’s biggest strengths is how he manages people, where he combines empathy with a firm hand and a clear guideline what he expects from the person. Furthermore he is very well organized and always has all the topics on his radar. Thanks to his technical understanding he drives the digitalization of our company forward. I try to learn from him in those aspects and many more every day.´
This interview is part of our Inside Out series of in-depth interviews with our contributors. Follow us on Instagram or Twitter for updates!