AGRANA's potato starch factory in Gmünd celebrated 75th anniversary - Over 3,000 visitors to open-day eventDate: 14.09.2014
From early challenges to innovative flagship
The potato starch factory in Gmünd was established through an appropriate entry in the commercial register on 5 May 1939. Despite difficulties in the early days at the outbreak of the Second World War and in the early post-war period, the Gmünd site has become an innovative flagship as a result of continual developments in the area of production. Today, over 300 different starch-based products are manufactured from around 250,000 tonnes of potatoes every year. These products are supplied to both the food and semi-luxury food sectors as well the non-food sector, such as in the paper, textiles, cosmetics and building materials industries. One of the main focuses in the food sector at the Gmünd potato starch factory is in the production of dehydrated potato products such as potato flakes and potato dough mixtures as well as in the manufacture of infant formulas. Located in the Waldviertel, Austria's main growing area for potatoes, the AGRANA facility in Gmünd is the country's only potato starch factory. With its 350 personnel, the plant is also an important buyer from around 1,350 potato growers.
Open day on 14 September
Over 3,000 visitors attended the 'open-day' anniversary celebration at the potato starch factory on Sunday where they were able to discover the wide-ranging product range in the course of site tours. The official part of the event was attended, among others, by the Member of Parliament Johann Hofbauer, the mayor of Gmünd, Andreas Beer, as well as Alfred Sturm, President of the Austrian Association of Potato Growers (VÖSK). AGRANA's CEO, Johann Marihart, who worked at the facility between 1976 and 1988 in the research department and later as the plant manager, highlighted the innovative spirit of the Gmünd site in his celebratory address. "The wide-ranging expertise of the employees has made it possible for the plant to maintain its standing in a Europe free of borders. The diverse technologies in place form the backbone of the Gmünd plant", emphasised Marihart. Regular innovations and further developments will also play a key role in shaping the future of the Gmünd facility. In the current year alone, around 7.5 million euros are being invested in modern facilities, particularly those to increase efficiency.
AGRANA turns agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and many industrial intermediate products. Around 8,800 employees at more than 50 production sites worldwide generate annual revenues of around three billion euros. Established in 1988, the company is today the leading sugar producer in Central and Eastern Europe and its Starch segment is a major European manufacturer of speciality products and bioethanol. AGRANA is also the world market leader in fruit preparations and Europe's largest producer of fruit juice concentrates.