“Laying the right foundations and setting standards.”

Our for­ward-loo­king approach has brought suc­cess for a hund­red years

To suc­cess­ful­ly run a com­pa­ny over such a sustai­ned peri­od requi­res excep­tio­nal talent for inno­va­ti­on and pro­gres­si­ve thin­king. Wha­te­ver the chal­len­ges of a given time, we have embraced them as oppor­tu­nities to shape stan­dards and to move the orga­ni­sa­ti­on forward.

Our histo­ry at a glance

Klasmann-Deilmann’s cor­po­ra­te histo­ry goes back to 1913 when Georg Klasmann foun­ded Hese­per Torf­werk GmbH, a com­pa­ny which was ren­a­med Klasmann Wer­ke GmbH in 1971. The firm that later beca­me C. Deilmann AG began pro­du­cing peat in 1920. In its ear­ly deca­des, Klasmann’s main focus was on manu­fac­tu­ring fuel peat and bed­ding for hor­se sta­bles; it also built its own peat-fuel­led power station.

In the late 1950s, Klasmann and Deilmann began focu­sing increa­singly on the pro­duc­tion of gro­wing media for com­mer­ci­al hor­ti­cul­tu­re and, in 1974, star­ted deve­lo­ping black-peat-based substrates.

The mer­ger of Klasmann and Deilmann in 1990 crea­ted Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH, which invested in resour­ces in Ger­ma­ny, Ire­land, Lit­hua­nia and Lat­via, and in modern sub­stra­te fac­to­ries. At the same time, sub­si­dia­ries were for­med in Euro­pe, Asia and North Ame­ri­ca, in order to secu­re a local pre­sence. Along­side this, a net­work of sales part­ners aro­se that now spans the ent­i­re globe.

geschichte_klasmann-deilmann_B

Our company’s story

Take­over of SIA AJ Ener­gy, SIA PA Ener­gy and SIA BNP

Klasmann-Deilmann takes over the Lat­via-based com­pa­nies SIA AJ Ener­gy, SIA PA Ener­gy and SIA BNP, which form a group of com­pa­nies spe­cia­li­sing in tra­de in bio­mass. This rein­forces the activi­ties in Rene­wa­ble Ener­gy and Resour­ces still fur­t­her. The stra­te­gic ori­en­ta­ti­on of Klasmann-Deilmann up to the year 2025 anti­ci­pa­tes signi­fi­cant growth in activi­ties in the Rene­wa­ble Ener­gy and Resour­ces sector. 

New fac­to­ry com­plex in Silute

In addi­ti­on to the sub­stra­te faci­li­ty that has been in ope­ra­ti­on sin­ce 2010, a fur­t­her sta­te-of-the-art fac­to­ry com­plex is taken into ope­ra­ti­on in Silu­te, Lit­hua­nia, spe­cia­li­sing in big bales. The annu­al pro­duc­tion capa­ci­ty of UAB Klasmann-Deilmann Silu­te the­re­fo­re rises to alto­ge­ther 1.5 mil­li­on m³ of gro­wing media.

Mea­su­ring emis­si­ons from peat production

Klasmann-Deilmann com­mis­si­ons a sci­en­ti­fic stu­dy to mea­su­re and cal­cu­la­te the emis­si­ons from the white-peat and black-peat extrac­tion are­as. The mea­su­rement cam­pai­gn in Lit­hua­nia and Ger­ma­ny runs for two years. Thanks to the results, the impact of peat pro­duc­tion on the cli­ma­te need no lon­ger be based sole­ly on assump­ti­ons but on the pos­si­bi­li­ty to sta­te them in actu­al con­cre­te terms.

Inter­nal reor­ga­ni­sa­ti­on of Klasmann-Deilmann

In 2015, Klasmann-Deilmann under­ta­kes a com­pre­hen­si­ve pro­cess of inter­na­tio­nal reor­ga­ni­sa­ti­on of its fiel­ds of activi­ty, busi­ness divi­si­ons and sub­si­dia­ries. Star­ting from 1 Janu­ary 2016, the ent­i­re group is con­sistent­ly bro­ken down into pro­duc­tion and sales com­pa­nies and one ser­vice com­pa­ny. As the lead com­pa­ny, Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH under­ta­kes pri­ma­ri­ly stra­te­gic and over­ar­ching tasks.

Stra­te­gy 2025

Klasmann-Deilmann adopts the “Stra­te­gy 2025”, which defi­nes fiel­ds of action and tar­gets for the com­ing years. The­se rela­te, in par­ti­cu­lar, to a con­ti­nua­ti­on of the growth cour­se in the fiel­ds of Gro­wing Media and Rene­wa­ble Ener­gy, but also mea­su­res rela­ting to inno­va­ti­on manage­ment, the inten­si­fy­ing deman­ds in logistics and pro­duc­tion, and the sub­ject of employ­er bran­ding. As a world mar­ket lea­der, Klasmann-Deilmann is gui­ded in the­se are­as by cri­te­ria of sustai­na­bi­li­ty, part­nership and custo­mer ori­en­ta­ti­on, and by qua­li­ty and reliability.

CSR Report for Finan­ci­al Year 2013

2014 sees publi­ca­ti­on of the sustai­na­bi­li­ty report for the finan­ci­al year 2013; for the first time, this meets the GRI-G4 gui­de­li­nes and con­ta­ins a car­bon foot­print that is veri­fied in accord­ance with ISO 14064. 

Foun­da­ti­on of sales com­pa­ny Klasmann-Deilmann China

The sales com­pa­ny Klasmann-Deilmann Chi­na is foun­ded in Shang­hai, giving Klasmann-Deilmann an even stron­ger pre­sence on one of the key mar­kets of the future.

100th anni­ver­s­a­ry of Klasmann-Deilmann

In June 2013, Klasmann-Deilmann can look back on 100 years in busi­ness and invi­te guests from the fiel­ds of poli­tics and busi­ness, share­hol­ders, custo­mers and part­ners from all over the world to a cere­mo­ny to cele­bra­te this cen­ten­ni­al. The cen­ten­ni­al is also an oppor­tu­ni­ty for the com­pa­ny to say thank you to its custo­mers, sup­pliers and to all employees, fri­ends and part­ners who have play­ed their part in the making of this suc­cess sto­ry in the past. 

Wood­chip hea­ting faci­li­ty goes into operation

April 2013 sees Klasmann-Deilmann’s first pro­prie­ta­ry wood­chip hea­ting faci­li­ty with an effec­tive rated out­put of 440 kW go into ope­ra­ti­on at the Sedels­berg site. The swit­cho­ver from natu­ral gas to wood is cost-effec­tive, saves CO2 and thus impro­ves the sustai­na­bi­li­ty of today’s Klasmann-Deilmann Pro­duk­ti­ons­ge­sell­schaft Nord GmbH. Two addi­tio­nal wood­chip hea­ting faci­li­ties have sin­ce been instal­led in Lat­via and Lit­hua­nia, which sup­ply two sites with heat. 

First CSR Report

In 2012, Klasmann-Deilmann is the world’s first sub­stra­te pro­du­cer to publish a sustai­na­bi­li­ty report. While the report focu­ses on the company’s busi­ness activi­ties in 2011, it also covers the ent­i­re breadth of cor­po­ra­te activi­ties, which have met sustai­na­bi­li­ty cri­te­ria in a lar­ge num­ber of are­as for many years already.

Klasmann-Deilmann Pol­ska

Sin­ce 2012, Klasmann-Deilmann has also been the sole share­hol­der of the sales com­pa­ny Kro­nen-Klasmann, which was foun­ded in 2000 and now ope­ra­tes under the name Klasmann-Deilmann Polska.

New com­pa­nies

In 2011, the sales com­pa­ny Klasmann-Deilmann Ame­ri­cas Inc. based in Tama­rac (USA) takes over the sales regi­ons of South and Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca and also began to deve­lop the mar­ket in Cali­for­nia and Flo­ri­da, important hor­ti­cul­tu­ral regi­ons in the United Sta­tes. The com­pa­nies Klasmann-Deilmann Ita­lia and Klasmann-Deilmann Aus­tria are also foun­ded in 2011 with the aim of increa­sing the sale of gro­wing media in key Euro­pean markets. 

Activi­ties in Latvia

In 2011, Klasmann-Deilmann steps up its activi­ties in the Bal­tic regi­on and acqui­res the Lat­vi­an com­pa­ny Blue Moun­tain Peat SIA, which pro­du­ces mil­led and sod-cut white peat on an area of around 1,325 hec­ta­res in the Val­mie­ra dis­trict. Sin­ce then, the extrac­tion faci­li­ties in the towns of Zilais­kalns, Raki, Tev­garsas, Koce­ni and Ozol­mui­za have tra­ded under the name Klasmann-Deilmann Lat­via SIA. The­se new peat pro­duc­tion are­as not only broa­den the raw mate­ri­als basis in the Bal­tics, but also ensu­re that cen­tral pro­duc­tion in Silu­te in Lit­hua­nia will con­ti­nue for deca­des to come.

Chan­ge at the helm

In 2011, Dr. Hans-Georg Bel­ka reti­res and is suc­cee­ded by Moritz Böcking. He and Dr. Nor­bert Siebels have sin­ce been at the helm of the company.

New sub­stra­te fac­to­ry in Lithuania

In 2010, Klasmann-Deilmann opens a new fac­to­ry in Lit­hua­nia. The pro­duc­tion faci­li­ty of its sub­si­di­a­ry, Klasmann-Deilmann Silu­te, is desi­gned to pro­du­ce more than 1 mil­li­on cubic metres of gro­wing media per annum, a hig­her out­put than any other sub­stra­te fac­to­ry in the Bal­tic region. 

Intro­duc­tion of 200-litre-bales

On laun­ching its 200-lit­re-bale con­cept in 2009, Klasmann-Deilmann exploits an important oppor­tu­ni­ty for actively inter­vening in logistics pro­ces­ses. The new bale size is based on a con­cept for impro­ving the capa­ci­ty uti­li­sa­ti­on of con­tai­ners, in par­ti­cu­lar. The new pal­let size is ide­al­ly tailo­red to con­tai­ner dimen­si­ons, enab­ling the num­ber of pal­lets loa­ded per con­tai­ner to be increa­sed. This leads to more effec­tive logistics, as each truck and con­tai­ner can now car­ry a hig­her volu­me of goods.

First wood fib­re facility

Sin­ce the 1990s Klasmann-Deilmann has been using wood fib­re as a base mate­ri­al for substrates. In 2010, the first wood fib­re pro­duc­tion plant, fea­turing sta­te-of-the-art tech­no­lo­gy, is taken into ope­ra­ti­on, fol­lo­wed by fur­t­her plants of this kind in Ire­land the Netherlands.

Roll­out of GreenFibre (wood fibre)

The posi­ti­ve expe­ri­ence with the use of wood fib­res in gro­wing media leads to the intro­duc­tion of the company’s own GreenFibre label, which empha­si­ses the excel­lence and qua­li­ty of the company’s own wood fib­res. GreenFibre is not only cer­ti­fied to PEFC resp. FSC, but is also in com­pli­an­ce with RHP qua­li­ty guidelines. 

Short-rota­­ti­on plantations

Sin­ce 2010, Klasmann-Deilmann has con­duc­ted several lar­ge-sca­le pro­jects to inves­ti­ga­te the use of fast-gro­wing forestry crops grown in short-rota­ti­on plan­ta­ti­ons. At the end of 2015, Klasmann-Deilmann alre­ady owns 3,000 hec­ta­res for the cul­ti­va­ti­on of short-rota­ti­on forestry plan­ta­ti­ons. It intends to fur­t­her streng­t­hen its raw-mate­ri­als base so that, in the long term, it can advan­ce to beco­me one of the lea­ding SRF pro­du­cers in various mar­kets. Fur­ther­mo­re, the com­ing years will see the esta­blish­ment of pro­duc­tion faci­li­ties for fuels deri­ved from rene­wa­ble tree spe­ci­es. The inten­ti­on is to achie­ve a signi­fi­cant mar­ket posi­ti­on as a pro­vi­der of inte­gra­ted fuel and logistics ser­vices for power sta­ti­on operators.

Start of activi­ties in the field of rene­wa­ble ener­gy and resources

In the search for addi­tio­nal and future-ori­en­ted busi­ness oppor­tu­nities, the area of “Rene­wa­ble Ener­gy and Resour­ces” is iden­ti­fied as a per­fect fit with Klasmann-Deilmann’s sustai­na­bi­li­ty pro­fi­le. In 2009 it is the­re­fo­re deci­ded to set up a com­ple­te­ly new busi­ness unit that ties in seam­less­ly with the company’s deca­des-old core com­pe­tence in mana­ging lar­ge are­as and wide-ran­ging exper­ti­se in the pro­ces­sing and uti­li­sa­ti­on of biomass. 

ISO 14001 certification

Sin­ce 2008 Klasmann-Deilmann has been cer­ti­fied to the inter­na­tio­nal­ly valid envi­ron­men­tal stan­dard ISO 14001. The core ele­ment of this cer­ti­fi­ca­te is an envi­ron­men­tal poli­cy that is gea­red to sustai­na­bi­li­ty, based on eco­lo­gi­cal­ly accep­ta­ble and con­troll­ab­le envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment pro­ces­ses. It com­pri­ses an envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment sys­tem that is imple­men­ted at all cor­po­ra­te locations.

Foun­da­ti­on of UAB Bio­en­er­gi­ja LT

UAB Bio­en­er­gi­ja LT is foun­ded in Lit­hua­nia. Klasmann-Deilmann initi­al­ly owns 51% of the sha­res. Sin­ce 2012, Klasmann-Deilmann has been the sole share­hol­der and the sub­si­di­a­ry mean­while tra­des under the name UAB Klasmann-Deilmann Bio­en­er­gy. The object of the com­pa­ny is the pro­duc­tion and sale of fuel peat and wood chips for the gene­ra­ti­on of ener­gy in bio­mass power stations. 

Roll­out of „Easy Gro­wing” and „Select” pro­duct lines

Klasmann-Deilmann responds to the chan­ging eco­no­mic con­di­ti­ons in the com­mer­ci­al hor­ti­cul­tu­re sec­tor by intro­du­cing the pro­duct lines ‘Easy Gro­wing’ and ‘Select’, ther­e­by con­tri­bu­ting a long-term solu­ti­on to the new chal­len­ges. Based on the know­ledge that the sub­stra­te used at any plant nur­s­e­ry must ensu­re the suc­cess of the respec­tive crop, “Easy Gro­wing” and “Select” com­bi­ne the strengths of Klasmann-Deilmann gro­wing media in two pro­duct lines which satis­fy all the requi­re­ments of the modern hor­ti­cul­tu­ral business.

Inau­gu­ra­ti­on of new fac­to­ry buil­ding in Schiedam

In 2006, the two exis­ting buil­dings of Trio Pot­grond Cen­trum B. V. in Schie­dam in the port of Rot­ter­dam are joi­ned by a third. The new fac­to­ry has a floor area of 6,500 m² and two pro­duc­tion lines, each with a capa­ci­ty of 180 m³ gro­wing media per hour. It also now per­mits the pro­ducts to be loa­ded direct­ly onto ships. 

Take­over of Beveco NV and Klasmann-Wes­t­hoek­­veen NV in Belgium

In 2005, Klasmann-Deilmann acqui­res the Bel­gi­an com­pa­nies West­hoek­veen NV and Beveco NV; two of the best-known manu­fac­tu­rers of gro­wing media in Bel­gi­um. After the Ingel­muns­ter faci­li­ty was shut down, pre­sent-day activi­ties con­cen­tra­te on the sub­stra­te fac­to­ry in Bru­ges, which was tho­rough­ly refur­bis­hed in 2011. The com­pa­ny has tra­ded under the name Klasmann-Deilmann Bel­gi­um sin­ce 2012, and sin­ce 2015 the pro­duc­tion site has been named Klasmann-Deilmann Brugge.

Take­over of UAB Eze­r­elio Durpes

Klasmann-Deilmann takes over UAB Eze­r­elio Dur­pes, which has a total extrac­tion area of a good 3,000 hec­ta­res. The pre­sent UAB Klasmann-Deilmann Eze­r­e­lis, which pro­vi­des around 300,000 m³ of mil­led peat per annum, is an important sup­plier of raw mate­ri­als for Klasmann-Deilmann’s cen­tral sub­stra­te pro­duc­tion faci­li­ty in the Bal­tic regi­on, which is in Silu­te, and for Bol Peat.

We make it grow

The “we make it grow“ slo­gan, crea­ted in 2002, is a per­fect sum­ma­ti­on of what the brand core of Klasmann-Deilmann is about. While initi­al­ly being tied to the “Klasmann“ pro­duct brand, it beco­mes part of the com­pa­ny logo in 2008.

Foun­da­ti­on of a sales com­pa­ny in Singapore

The mar­ke­ting com­pa­ny Klasmann-Gree­nic, in which Klasmann-Deilmann initi­al­ly owns a 51% sta­ke, is foun­ded in Sin­g­a­po­re in 2001. In reco­gni­ti­on of the increa­sing impor­t­an­ce of the tar­get regi­ons of Asia, Ocea­nia and the Midd­le East for the over­all suc­cess of the Klasmann-Deilmann Group, in 2007 Klasmann-Deilmann takes over all the sha­res in the com­pa­ny, which is then ren­a­med Klasmann-Deilmann Asia Pacific.

DIN EN ISO 9001 certification

In the finan­ci­al year 1998, the Klasmann-Deilmann ‘Werk Süd’ and ‘Werk Nord’ loca­ti­ons are cer­ti­fied for the first time to the ISO 9001. In 1999, the com­pa­ny begins to deve­lop an inter­nal KPI sys­tem. Sin­ce 2000, all pro­duc­tion loca­ti­ons of the Klasmann-Deilmann Group have been cer­ti­fied to ISO 9001.

Brand relaunch

A radi­cal relaunch of the ‘Klasmann’ brand takes place in 2000, with the green ‘K logo’ being moder­nis­ed and the indi­vi­du­al ele­ments given roun­der con­tours to crea­te a more flo­ral appearan­ce. This ver­si­on of the ‘K logo’ is still in use, and today the­re is no lon­ger any need to addi­tio­nal­ly use the „Klasmann” and “Deilmann” names.

Foun­da­ti­on of Bal­ti­sche Torf­ge­sell­schaft mbH (BTG)

In 2000, Bal­ti­sche Torf­ge­sell­schaft (BTG) – the Bal­tic Peat Com­pa­ny – is foun­ded in Lit­hua­nia. Klasmann-Deilmann initi­al­ly holds 51% of the sha­res. Via BTG, the com­pa­ny enjoys direct access to exten­si­ve quan­ti­ties of high-qua­li­ty white peat reser­ves held by Lit­hua­ni­an peat com­pa­nies UAB Silu­tes Dur­pes und UAB Lau­ke­sa WTL. In 2003, BTG also purcha­ses UAB Gedrimai.

Inau­gu­ra­ti­on of sub­stra­te fac­to­ry at the port of Rotterdam

Trio Pot­grond Cen­trum B. V., a whol­ly owned sub­si­di­a­ry of Klasmann-Deilmann, is inau­gu­ra­ted in May 1996 in the port of Rot­ter­dam. The sub­stra­te fac­to­ry is desi­gned for a pro­duc­tion out­put of 250,000 m³ raw mate­ri­als and gro­wing media per annum. In 1997, pro­duc­tion alre­ady reaches a volu­me of 325,000 m³. 

Klasmann” pro­duct brand

In 1995, ‘Klasmann’ is cho­sen as the pro­duct brand for gro­wing media. The custo­mers had long beco­me accusto­med to tal­king about buy­ing ‘Klasmann’ products.

Con­struc­tion of new machi­nes discontinued

1993 sees the in-hou­se con­struc­tion of machi­nes dis­con­ti­nued: the mecha­ni­cal equip­ment is out­da­ted and would have had to be moder­nis­ed with con­s­i­derable invest­ment – inclu­ding the con­struc­tion of a new buil­ding. An increa­sing num­ber of orders invol­ve one-off manu­fac­tu­re, which ent­ails high deve­lop­ment and design costs and is not com­mer­ci­al­ly fea­si­ble in all cases. 

Bol Group

Star­ting from 1993 Klasmann-Deilmann ent­rusts the Bol Group with its inter­na­tio­nal tra­ding activi­ties in raw peat for sub­stra­te pro­duc­tion and also with the pro­vi­si­on of hand­ling and sto­ra­ge ser­vices of base mate­ri­als. The com­pa­ny, later ren­a­med Bol Peat B. V. and beco­m­ing a whol­ly owned sub­si­di­a­ry of Klasmann-Deilmann in 1998, is based in Schie­dam in the port of Rot­ter­dam, near to the pre­sent-day Klasmann-Deilmann Bene­lux, with whom it works in clo­se cooperation. 

First com­pos­ting faci­li­ty goes into operation

In addi­ti­on to its com­pos­ting plant in Schwe­ger­moor, Klasmann-Deilmann has ope­ra­ted a green-was­te com­pos­ting faci­li­ty in Gross Hese­pe sin­ce 1991 and ano­t­her one in Dör­pen sin­ce 2006. The­se are the only such units in Ger­ma­ny which are sub­ject to RHP qua­li­ty assuran­ce. Mee­ting this pre­re­qui­si­te means this com­post can also be used in substrates. 

Foun­da­ti­on of Deut­sche Kom­post­han­dels­ge­sell­schaft mbH (DKH)

Deut­sche Kom­post­han­dels­ge­sell­schaft mbH (DKH), for­med in 1991, begins dis­tri­bu­ting qua­li­ty-assu­red green-was­te com­posts, bark mulch and com­posted bark, as well as spe­cial blends under the Ter­ra­hum brand. DKH pri­ma­ri­ly sup­plies the peat and gro­wing-media indus­try, but also ser­ves the hor­ti­cul­tu­re and land­s­ca­ping sec­tor, tree nur­se­ries and busi­nes­ses gro­wing spe­cial crops, as well as agriculture. 

First sup­ply con­tracts with peat com­pa­nies in the Bal­tic region

First ties are for­ged by Klasmann-Deilmann in the Bal­tic regi­on, whe­re the raw peat mate­ri­als requi­red for substrates are avail­ab­le in out­stan­ding qua­li­ty for the long term. In the same year, the com­pa­ny enters into first sup­ply agree­ments with local peat ope­ra­ti­ons, which initi­al­ly focus on sod-cut white peat and mil­led peat.

Start of busi­ness activi­ties in Ireland

In 1991, Klasmann-Deilmann acqui­res the Irish peat com­pa­ny Mid­land Irish Peat Moss Ltd, which today ope­ra­tes under the name Klasmann-Deilmann Ire­land Ltd. In 2005, a sub­stra­te fac­to­ry goes into ope­ra­ti­on that pro­du­ces white-peat-based substrates for sale both loo­se and in bales (inclu­ding big bales), pri­ma­ri­ly with the Bri­tish mar­ket in mind. In 2013, a wood fib­re pro­duc­tion faci­li­ty is added at the site.

Mer­ger to form Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH

In the late 1980s, nego­tia­ti­ons begin con­cer­ning the pos­si­ble amal­ga­ma­ti­on of the two major rival com­pa­nies, i.e. Klasmann Wer­ke GmbH and the peat ope­ra­ti­ons of C. Deilmann AG, lea­ding to their mer­ger, on 1 Janu­ary 1990, to form the pre­sent-day Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH. This marks the start of a pro­cess of inte­gra­ti­on las­ting several years.

New manage­ment

In 1990, Dr. Nor­bert Siebels and Dr. Hans-Georg Bel­ka are appoin­ted Mana­ging Direc­tors of Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH, with the lat­ter reti­ring in 2011.

New manage­ment

Ger­hard Kampf lea­ves the com­pa­ny in 1988 and is suc­cee­ded by Hel­mut Men­ke, who stays on as Mana­ging Direc­tor until 1994.

Klasmann purcha­ses sha­re in Torf­werk Schwe­ger­moor GmbH peat works

Initi­al­ly foun­ded in 1910, the com­pa­ny known today as Schwe­ger­moor GmbH was for­med in 1968. Klasmann-Deilmann acqui­res a sta­ke in it in 1984; in 1998, the com­pa­ny is inte­gra­ted as a whol­ly owned sub­si­di­a­ry. As well as the pro­duc­tion of mil­led peat and sod-cut white peat for use in pot­ting soils, Schwe­ger­moor has also been ope­ra­ting a com­pos­ting faci­li­ty sin­ce 1990. 

Klasmann’s mecha­ni­cal engi­nee­ring division

Right up to the 1980s, mecha­ni­cal engi­nee­ring is a main­stay of Klasmann’s ope­ra­ti­ons. The final major deve­lop­ment is ‘exca­va­tor no. 15’, which is com­mis­sio­ned by C. Deilmann AG and built from 1981 onwards. The machi­ne, which fea­tures a uni­que bucket-lad­der exca­va­tor design, weighs 80 ton­nes and is able to exca­va­te and spread out 150 cubic metres of indus­tri­al peat per hour at a speed of 30 metres per hour. It digs to a width of three metres and a dep­th of up to 1.7 metres. 

Inter­na­tio­na­li­sa­ti­on

In 1979, Klasmann Wer­ke founds its first for­eign sales com­pa­ny, Klasmann Bene­lux. This is fol­lo­wed in 1980 by Klasmann Fran­ce. In the ensuing years, Klasmann begins set­ting up a net­work of sales part­ners in nume­rous coun­tries insi­de and out­side of Europe. 

K-Torf

Set­ting up inde­pen­dent dis­tri­bu­ti­on ope­ra­ti­ons for black-peat substrates pro­ves a com­plex pro­cess. Klasmann staff tra­vel exten­si­ve­ly throug­hout Euro­pe in order to win custo­mers over. In 1977 Klasmann begin mar­ke­ting their own gro­wing media under the brand name ‘K-Torf’ (‘K Peat’), star­ting with Pot­grond H and Pot­grond P, which today count among the classics.

Mem­bership of RHP, Netherlands

Via its Dutch sub­si­di­a­ry Trio B.V., Klasmann is admit­ted to ‘Rege­ling Han­dels Pot­gronden’ (RHP), a Dutch asso­cia­ti­on which moni­tors the qua­li­ty of raw mate­ri­als and addi­ti­ves for use in gro­wing media, as well as pro­duc­tion pre­mi­ses, based on strict criteria.

Resi­gna­ti­on from Peat Lit­ter Association

Klasmann seeks to per­sua­de the Peat Lit­ter Asso­cia­ti­on to chan­ge its stra­te­gy and use not only white peat but also black peat in the pro­duc­tion of gro­wing media. When they fail to find a majo­ri­ty for this, Klasmann Wer­ke lea­ve the Asso­cia­ti­on, as do the peat ope­ra­ti­ons of C. Deilmann AG a short time later. 

Peat-fired power sta­ti­on in Rüh­le clo­ses down

The peat-fired power sta­ti­on in Rüh­le is shut down; this means that the most important sales chan­nel for fuel peat no lon­ger exists. An agree­ment for the sup­ply of indus­tri­al peat for the manu­fac­tu­re of activa­ted car­bon in the Nether­lands pro­ves a worthy fol­low-up solution.

New manage­ment

As part of the reor­ga­ni­za­ti­on of the busi­ness group, Ernst Siebels and Ger­hard Kampf are appoin­ted mana­ging direc­tors of the Klasmann works. Ger­hard Kampf lea­ves the group in 1988; in the wake of the mer­ger in the year 1990, Ernst Siebels joins the Super­vi­so­ry Board.

Mer­ger

With effect from 1 Janu­ary 1971, Hese­per Torf­wer­ke GmbH and its sub­si­dia­ries Anna­veen GmbH and Torf­werk Klasmann Velen GmbH are mer­ged to form Klasmann Wer­ke GmbH, which begins to sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly gear its­elf to the use of white and black peat.

Deilmann purcha­ses Neu­haus peat works

In 1971, Deilmann acqui­res the Reh­den-based sub­stra­te and pot­ting-soil manu­fac­tu­rer Torf­werk Neu­haus GmbH. In so doing, Deilmann fur­t­her expands its raw-mate­ri­als base, enlar­ges its pro­duc­tion capa­ci­ty and gains more direct access to the mar­ket. The Neu­haus sub­stra­te brand beco­mes esta­blished espe­ci­al­ly in Spain, Fran­ce and Italy.

Manage­ment of Torf­be­trie­be C. Deilmann

Sin­ce the peat ope­ra­ti­ons of the Deilmann Group do not con­sti­tu­te a legal­ly sepa­ra­te com­pa­ny, no mana­ging direc­tor is spe­ci­fi­cal­ly appoin­ted to run them; rather, this ‘area of ope­ra­ti­ons’ is mana­ged from cor­po­ra­te head­quar­ters. Pre­vious­ly – until the mer­ger in 1990 – this was the remit of share­hol­der Hans Carl Deilmann. The mana­ging direc­tors of Torf­wer­ke Neu­haus are Rudolf Diek­mann and Bru­no Meissner.

Com­mer­ci­al horticulture

In 1959, with com­mer­ci­al hor­ti­cul­tu­re in mind, Deilmann begins pro­du­cing the world’s first ready-made sub­stra­te at its Sedels­berg site; the pro­duct is a blend of white peat, lime, fer­ti­li­ser and trace ele­ments which is con­sistent­ly avail­ab­le with the same composition. 

Florabella

On 5 April 1957, Hese­per Torf­werk GmbH files the word mark ‘FLORABELLA’ with the Ger­man Patent and Tra­de Mark Office (DPMA) for regis­tra­ti­on in class 04 (hor­ti­cul­tu­ral peat, peat lit­ter, peat as a fertiliser).

Hese­per Torf­wer­ke GmbH

Wolf­gang Dill joins the seni­or manage­ment team of Hese­per Torf­wer­ke GmbH, along­side Georg Klasmann and Wil­helm Schel­ling. He also stays at the helm of the com­pa­ny until 1971. 

Hese­per Torf­wer­ke GmbH

Wil­helm Schel­ling is appoin­ted to the seni­or manage­ment of Hese­per Torf­wer­ke GmbH, whe­re he joins Georg Klasmann. He stays on as Mana­ging Direc­tor until 1971.

Ful­ly mecha­ni­cal white peat extraction

In the 1930s, the main­ten­an­ce work­shop at Hese­per Torf­wer­ke GmbH alre­ady deve­lo­ped a func­tio­nal mecha­ni­cal-engi­nee­ring depart­ment which – both at home and abroad and befo­re and after the Second World War – sold exca­va­tors, sod collec­tors and tur­ning machi­nes desi­gned and built in-hou­se. The bre­akth­rough for Klasmann’s mecha­ni­cal-engi­nee­ring ope­ra­ti­ons comes in the mid-1950s with the mar­ke­ting of its paten­ted white-peat dig­ging machi­ne, which is able to cut white-peat sods and stack them for dry­ing in a ful­ly auto­ma­ted pro­cess. It repla­ces labour-inten­si­ve hand peat cut­ting and soon beco­mes a big seller.

Georg Klasmann is awar­ded Ger­man Order of Merit

On 4 Novem­ber 1953, Georg Klasmann is awar­ded the Ger­man Federal Cross of Merit on behalf of the country’s federal pre­si­dent. In his address, dis­trict pre­si­dent Dr Egon Frie­mann com­mends Georg Klasmann’s con­tri­bu­ti­on to the peat indus­try and to the Ems­land eco­no­mic area.

Ems­land Plan

The Ems­land Plan is laun­ched. Huge Otto­mey­er ploughs break up imper­vious hard­pan lay­ers in the peat­land soil; drai­na­ge chan­nels and roads are built, rivers regu­la­ted, and new vil­la­ges built in the Bourtan­ger Moor area. The peat indus­try steps up its extrac­tion efforts in order to crea­te new land for hou­sing development.

Deilmann purcha­ses Sedels­berg peat works

To place peat extrac­tion and pro­ces­sing on an even broa­der foo­ting, in 1951 Deilmann acqui­res the agri­cul­tu­ral bog­land esta­te situa­ted in Sedels­berg and the peat lit­ter fac­to­ry – with 1,200 ha of peat­land and extrac­tion are­as – from the Klöck­ner-Wer­ke company.

The war years

During the war years, the Ger­man peat indus­try has to make do without most of its core male work­force. To rep­le­nish their ranks, forced labou­rers and pri­son­ers of war are brought in ins­te­ad. Without them, the win­ning ope­ra­ti­ons would have had to clo­se down. The same also app­lies to Hese­per Torf­wer­ke. On 30 Novem­ber 1944, around 7,500 peop­le are employ­ed in the Ger­man peat indus­try, rough­ly 1,100 of whom are women. Around 1,700 workers are Ger­man natio­nals, 2,000 come from the occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries in the East, and ano­t­her 2,300 are civi­li­ans most­ly from the Nether­lands, Bel­gi­um and Fran­ce. In addi­ti­on, 1,350 Rus­si­an and Ita­li­an pri­son­ers of war and 150 con­victs are put to work in the Ger­man peat industry. 

Klasmann builds its own peat-fired power sta­ti­on in Rühle

Bet­ween 1924 and 1926 the ‘Rüh­ler Moor’ peat-fired power sta­ti­on is built by Hese­per Torf­werk GmbH. It uses black peat extrac­ted wit­hin the regi­on, and with two steam tur­bi­nes gene­ra­tes around 6,600 kW of elec­tri­ci­ty, which is trans­mit­ted via an over­head power line to Nordhorn.

Nar­row-gau­ge bog railway

Owing to a lack of sur­fa­ced roads in the Ems­land regi­on, the peat-extrac­ting ope­ra­ti­ons usual­ly main­tain their own light-rail­way net­work. In 1922, a pri­va­te nar­row-gau­ge rail­way is com­ple­ted, run­ning from the peat lit­ter fac­to­ry via Gross Hese­pe, Klein Hese­pe and Rüh­le on to Meppen.

Deilmann acqui­res rights to extract peat in Bör­ger­moor near Papen­burg, Emsland

Mining and under­ground-engi­nee­ring com­pa­ny C. Deilmann Berg­bau- und Tief­bau GmbH begins increa­sing their use of hor­ses below ground. This makes white peat necessa­ry as bed­ding. The use of “hor­se power” pro­ves effec­tive, and in 1920 Deilmann acqui­res peat extrac­tion rights to Emsland’s Bör­ger­moor peatlands.

Foun­da­ti­on of Peat Lit­ter Association

On 21 May 1919, the com­pa­ny Torf­streu­ver­band GmbH (Peat Lit­ter Asso­cia­ti­on) is foun­ded. The initi­al signa­to­ries are Georg Klasmann Sr. and Georg Klasmann Jr., who­se com­pa­ny holds a 33.4% sta­ke over­all. Georg Klasmann Sr. beca­me a mem­ber of the six-strong Super­vi­so­ry Board.

Georg Klasmann dies

In the spring of 1961, the indus­tri­al dis­pu­te is tra­gi­cal­ly inter­rup­ted by the death of Georg Klasmann on 5 March of that year. Out of respect for the high­ly regar­ded com­pa­ny foun­der, the picket lines are with­drawn on the day of the fun­e­ral, with the work­force atten­ding the buri­al as one man.

Lar­ge-sca­­le strike

In 1961 the Ger­man che­mi­cal workers’ uni­on (‘IG Che­mie’) calls for an effec­tive increa­se of 34 pfen­nigs for all hour­ly pay rates – cor­re­spon­ding e.g. to a 20% increa­se for wage group I. On 13 Febru­ary 1961 peat workers at the Gross Hese­pe and Anna­veen plants embark on an inde­fi­ni­te strike which lasts until 17 April 1961. The work­force recei­ves a pay rise of bet­ween 25 and 31 pfennigs.

Foun­da­ti­on of Vehne­moor GmbH

1916 sees Georg Klasmann and Fried­rich Count of Lands­berg found Vehne­moor GmbH. The two share­hol­ders and their mana­ging direc­tor Franz Mecking start on the con­struc­tion of a peat lit­ter factory.

Georg Klasmann founds Hese­per Torf­werk GmbH

On 2 June 1913, the com­pa­ny Hese­per Torf­werk GmbH is for­med. Georg Klasmann (1885 – 1961) is given a life­time appoint­ment as mana­ging direc­tor. Drai­ning ope­ra­ti­ons in the area extend from Octo­ber 1913 to mid-1915; from Decem­ber 1913, the fac­to­ry buil­dings are erected.

Carl Deilmann founds „C. Deilmann, Ber­g­­bau-Unter­­neh­­mung” mining company

At the age of 22, Carl Deilmann (1866 – 1936) founds the mining com­pa­ny ‘C. Deilmann Berg­bau­un­ter­neh­mung Dort­mund’ and is soon con­s­i­de­red one of Germany’s most suc­cess­ful deep-dril­ling engineers.

Avail­ab­le here: our com­pre­hen­si­ve Cor­po­ra­te Histo­ry 1913 – 2013

Georg Klasmann and the firms he led had a signi­fi­cant impact on both cen­tral Ems­land and the peat indus­try in north-wes­tern Ger­ma­ny. To coin­ci­de with the company’s cen­ten­ni­al year (2013), Dr Micha­el Haver­kamp, Direc­tor of the Ems­land Moor Muse­um, published a full and aca­de­mi­cal­ly robust Cor­po­ra­te Histo­ry char­te­ring deve­lop­ments ‘From the Hese­pe Peat Plant to Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH’. Dove­tail­ed with poli­ti­cal, eco­no­mic and cul­tu­ral con­tem­pora­ry histo­ry, what emer­ges here is not only a vivid pic­tu­re of a lar­ge fami­ly busi­ness, but also – and equal­ly – the uni­que por­trait of a regi­on shaped by peat­lands and peat extraction.

Von den Hese­per Torf­wer­ken zur Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH 1913 – 2013’
(From the Hese­pe Peat Plant to Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH 1913 – 2013)

A Ger­man-lan­guage publication
Published by Micha­el Haverkamp
In col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with Die­ter Ostendorf
Rasch-Ver­lag, Bram­sche, 2013
ISBN 978–3-89946–201-2
450 pages
EUR 25.00 plus EUR 2.40 posta­ge and packing

Plea­se send an e-mail, indi­ca­ting the num­ber of copies you wish and the deli­very address. You will recei­ve your order prompt­ly (payment against invoice).

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