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Saxon Entrepreneur of the year 2017: Werner & Maximilian Deharde

Congratulations to Werner & Maximilian Deharde, Lausitzer Früchteverarbeitung GmbH.
When people refer to the company of the successful duo Werner and Maximilian Deharde as a "Juice Shop*" (*also a German colloquialism for "lousy outfit"), then it is full of appreciation and respect, because fruits and their processing is the business of Lausitzer Früchteverarbeitung GmbH. Today, the company from Sohland an der Spree is the largest fruit processing plant in Saxony and one of the leading food additives and consumer goods companies in the fruit segment. What sounds like good flavour and enjoyment is still a tough competition for ratings and the place on the shelf, a fight against declining prices and a battle for changing consumer tastes. Ullrich Lingnau, Managing Director of Freie Presse and presenter of the award, therefore explained the jury's decision like this: "Saxony is benefiting from your courage, because the success of entrepreneurs like Werner and Maximilian Deharde provide the basis for jobs and prosperity in our country. We need people who take responsibility and dare to do something new, who won't wait but take their chances into their own hands."

This is how the jury especially acknowledged the successful takeover of the Kinella brand. The former traditional East-German brand was at risk after the insolvency of the manufacturer. By making a strategic investment, the Deharde family has not only saved the Kinella brand, but also the jobs of 28 employees and has supplemented their main business with the production of children's juices and children's food ever since. The way Lausitzer Früchteverarbeitung is handling succession within the company also deserves an award: Maximilian Deharde has the opportunity to grow into the company's management and to take over gradually. In addition, the two entrepreneurs are involved in business associations as well as the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and supports regional sports. And father and son are committed to Saxony: since taking over the company in 1992, they have invested more than Euro 30 million. Today, the company has 130 employees and produces exclusively at the main location in Sohland and in Ellefeld in the Vogtland region. "They are brave, conscious of tradition, consistent, growth-oriented and highly innovative in a very conservative industry. The jury therefore showed great unanimity when it came to the decision to award the prize "Saxony's Entrepreneur of the Year" to Mr Werner Deharde and Mr Maximilian Deharde.

Congratulations and a lot of success in the future!“, said Ullrich Lingnau of the management board of Freie Presse.

Saxon Entrepreneur of the Year

Werner & Maximilian Deharde with the sculpture
Lausitzer makes fruit taste better.