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About Rapunzel   Company Portrait

Company History

Rapunzel is one of the leading organic food producers in Europe. It all started very small: In 1974, Joseph Wilhelm and Jennifer Vermeulen started a self-sufficiency commune on a farm with a small natural health food store in the city of Augsburg in Bavaria.

From these humble beginnings an international company with more than 400 employees developed during the last 45 years. The idea behind it all remained the same since 1974: to manufacture certified organic, natural and untreated, vegetarian foods.

Where does the company name 'Rapunzel' come from? In Southern Germany, lamb's lettuce is also called 'Rapunzel' - a strong, deep green plant that grows even when the ground is covered with snow. This symbol and the Rapunzel founders' strong desire for healthy food - similar to the pregnant woman's lust for lamb's lettuce in the beginning of the Rapunzel fairytale - were the reasons why Jennifer Vermeulen named the company Rapunzel.

Two friends - one vision

1974 Joseph Wilhelm and Jennifer Vermeulen rent a farmhouse in the village of  Pestenacker (Upper Bavaria) with the goal to grow healthy food
1975 Opening of the natural health food store „Rapunzel Naturspeisen“ in Augsburg.
Start with the production of muesli, nut creams and fruit bars
1976 First contacts to farmers in Italy and Turkey.
Move into the former guest house „Zur Post“ in Tegernbach, in the county of Fürstenfeldbruck
1977 First nationwide delivery of products
1979 Move to the village of Kimratshofen in the Allgäu region
1985 Purchase of the former dairy in the village of Legau and renovation of the building that serves as headquarters until today 
1987 Rapunzel markets the first organic chocolate in the world. Construction of a new nut cream plant 
1989 Opening of a first office in the city of Izmir, Turkey

1990 SAMBA introduced into the market
1997 Foundation of the Turkish subsidiary Rapunzel Organik Tarim Ltd.
Development of the OXYGUARD® process for cold-pressed edible oils
1998 Start of the HAND IN HAND fund
2003 Opening of the Rapunzel logistics center in the town of Bad Grönenbach with fully-automated high bay warehouse
2004 Certification as Demeter manufacturer
2007 Sustainable energy supply with Rapunzel biomass heating plant and photovoltaic panels on all roofs. "Genfrei Gehen" - march for a GMO-free world from Lübeck to Lindau 
2008 Joseph Wilhelm initiates the One World Award, award ceremony at the IFOAM World Congress in Modena, Italy
2009 "Genfrei Gehen" – second march for a GMO-free world from Berlin to Brussels

2010 Construction of a new roasting plant for nuts and seeds. 
New company tour concept with glass production walkway, museum and cinema. 
Presentation of 2nd One World Awards
2012 Introduction of innovative breakfast porridge into whole food trade.
Presentation of 3rd One World Awards. 
Remodeling and renovation of Turkish subsidiary
2013 New raw material warehouse in Legau
2014 Production expansion with second nut cream plant, packaging plant for bulkware and automated palletizer. 
Presentation of 4th One World Awards.
Construction and opening of the Rapunzel Tower at headquarters in Legau
2015 Construction of a thermal power plant and a drying plant
2016 First palm oil meeting in Legau.
Rapunzel certification pursuant to EU Eco-Regulation EMAS
2017 Presentation of 5th One World Awards


Fair trade and organic farming are central for Rapunzel

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