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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 500 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.

  • 1974
    Joseph Wilhelm and Jennifer Vermeulen rent a farm in Pestenacker (Upper Bavaria) with the purpose of growing healthy food.
  • 1975
    The natural "Rapunzel Naturspeisen" food shop opens in Augsburg. In the assortment: Wood-fired oven bread and home-grown vegetables.
  • 1976
    Organic dried fruit and nuts are a rarity in Germany. In Turkey, the seed of organic farming is planted in fertile soil.
  • 1979
    Relocation at Rapunzel: From Pestenacker to the Allgäu region. The company's own farm continues to be operated as a hobby and is subjected to its own set of farming guidelines.
  • 1983
    The muesli fair is born: In the run-up to the fair, Joseph Wilhelm and others founded the Association “zur Förderung natur- und menschengemäßer Ernährungsweise e. V.” (for the Promotion of Natural and Humane Nutrition).
  • 1985
    Welcome home: the former milk factory in Legau becomes the headquarters of the family business.
  • 1987
    The chocolate world sits up and takes notice: Rapunzel launches the world's first organic chocolate on the market.
  • 1989
    The foundation is laid for a long and trust-based relationship: The Rapunzel Turkey project is born.
  • 1990
    What contains 45 per cent nuts and becomes a best-seller? SAMBA comes onto the market.
  • 1992
    The HAND IN HAND fair trade programme is launched: For fair trade paired with organic farming.
  • 1997
    The Turkish subsidiary, Rapunzel Organic Ltd., is established. A pioneer for the processing of organic products in the country.
  • 1998
    With the HAND IN HAND fund, Rapunzel supports non-profit associations and non-governmental organisations from across the globe.
  • 2004
    Quality at the highest level: Rapunzel is recognised as a demeter producer
  • 2007
    From Lübeck to Lindau: Joseph Wilhelm sets an example for a GMO-free world with the campaign "Genfrei Gehen” (going GMO-free).
  • 2008
    The One World Award is created as an international prize to encourage people to continue on their way. For people and projects that make this world a better and fairer place.
  • 2009
    Same, same but green: bionella is offered as a sustainable alternative for chocolate hazelnut spreads.
  • 2016
    Rapunzel works in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable manner. This is also certified by the European environmental management system, EMAS.
  • 2017
    A match made in heaven: Rapunzel and Zwergenwiese will be joining forces in the future. And: Amin Babayev is distinguished with the One World Award. This ultimately results in the partnership for the best Rapunzel hazelnuts.
  • 2022
    The RAPUNZEL One World Organic Foundation is founded and the visitor centre, with its own coffee roastery, Rapunzel World, opens its doors.
  • 01.02.2024
    Rapunzel can look back on 50 years of organics with love. Joseph Wilhelm uses the opportunity offered by his 70th birthday to hand over the management of the company to the "next generation". In addition to Leonhard Wilhelm, Seraphine Wilhelm and Rosalie Dorn are now also entrusted with the management of the company.
  • 21./22.09.24
    To celebrate this anniversary, the One World Festival is taking place for the fourteenth time. Suppliers and partners from near and far come together in Legau to celebrate the many years of cooperation and to propose a toast for the future.

Fair trade and organic farming are central for Rapunzel

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