Champions of a healthy developmentReading Time: 5 minute
Stefan Hipp, one of the partners of the company HiPP, a family business producing food of organic quality for babies and toddlers, told us about the plans he has for the Romanian market, but also how the organization managed to obtain exponential increases in the last five years.
How were the last 11 months for the HIPP business?
At the beginning of the last year, the international business community was caught guard down in front of a new unknown virus. In just one day life changed radically. Not only people, but also the economies suffer under the current situation. Lots of economic sectors were powerfully hit by the pandemic. As a producer of organic food for children, HiPP is a relevant company on the market and passed relatively well over the last 11 months. HiPP is a family business with a long tradition in production of organic foods of the highest quality, in harmony with the nature. In the periods of crisis, especially, many consumers head towards the brands they trust. Also, our employees, who play a major role and who we can always rely on during difficult periods, performed very well in this period.
What plans do you have for the Romanian market?
HiPP has been present on the Romanian market for more than 25 years, and we have had a local office for 14 years. Each year, we increase our presence on the market, and we grow in the eyes of the consumers, by meeting the values of the company – quality products in harmony with the nature. The Romanian market is, from some points of view, different from the market of foods for children of the most European countries. Thus, the largest category is represented by products based on milk and only 12% is the weight of the solid food for children. We believe that the Romanian market is under development, and the consumers still need consultancy in terms of the products based on organic agriculture. One of the important directions of our strategy on the Romanian market is the increase of awareness of the organic food concept.
HiPP has more than 80 products on the Romanian market. What does the locally available offer include?
Our range of products available on the Romanian market includes cereals, milk formulas, children food in jars, juices, teas, snacks, water for children and products for skin care. All our products are developed in terms of nutrition so as to be adapted to the age and the particular needs of babies and toddlers. Each year, we improve our portfolio with new products focusing on the two different perspectives: innovation and/or the improvement of the already existing product lines.
How have the HiPP sales evolve on the Romanian market in the last years?
When it comes to sales, HiPP recorded a steady increase in the last ten years, with a peak reached in the last five years. In my opinion, both the market of children food, and the consumers in Romania need a constant brand on the market, and they needed time to assimilate it as a constant and reliable brand. At present, I can say that we are one of the main players on the market of children food in Romania and the leader of the jarred children food.
HiPP is one of the pioneers in the field of the organic agriculture, which has been a practice in company for more than 60 years. How do the vision and the sustainability strategy of the company look like?
Our sustainability strategy is very simple, because it is the only way to keep the planet habitable for the future generations. How agriculture have been practiced in the last decades constantly destroys the nature and the environment – and implicitly the conditions we live in. We have only one planet and we should take better care of it. We must learn to work with the nature, not against it. At HiPP we have promoted organic agriculture for more than 60 years and we avoid the chemical synthetical fertilizers and toxic pesticides. We also take care of the soil because healthy plants grow in a healthy soil that at their turn will feed healthy animals and people. In all the departments of the company, where it is possible, we work respecting all the principles of the sustainability and we actively support the nature, the environment and the climate protection. For example, we successfully managed to make all the HiPP plants int the European Union neutral in terms of the climate.
HiPP has its own organic label.
Which is the difference between it and the standard label of the European Union?
Both logos are in compliance with the methods of the organic agriculture. The label of the European Union is a good base, but for us it is not enough. At HiPP, we have always complied with the legislation of the European Union in terms of organic production, but we have higher requirements in terms of raw material of organic quality, because we imposed our own safety and health standards in the production of foods for babies and toddlers. The own organic logo proves it.
The management of the family business is a great responsibility. What is the vision you have for the future generations of leaders of HiPP?
In a business family we think in the generations terms. Firstly, we are concerned to keep the company success at a high level and to continue to provide certain revenues for the 3.500 employees and their families around the world. In order to do this, we want to keep the good practices in the past, while we make efforts to make of HiPP the largest organic food producer for children in Europe. In order to reach this goal, we always look forward and prepare the company for all the issues in the future. The purpose is to bring the company to a modern era, with concepts adapted to date and to hand it over to the future generations on a stable foundation.
Breast milk is the best and the cheapest feeding method of babies, providing the best protection against diseases at the same time. Hipp supports the recommendation of the World Health Organization regarding breastfeeding as exclusive feeding method of babies in the first six months and the continuation of breastfeeding after this age, in parallel with introducing diversification food. Mothers have to know that the decision to stop breastfeeding is hardly reversible. A milk formula is to be used at the doctor’s recommendation.
Translation Supported by AB Traduceri