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Regional Star Award '23: Bohlsener Mühle green corporate philosophy with Snäckebrot

Mr. Luthard, the most important question first: what is "snack bread"?

Snäckebrot has evolved from crispbread, but it does not need a spread and can be enjoyed conveniently and on the go. The Rye & Quinoa variety won the Regional Star Award at Green Week.

What is so innovative about the new Rye & Quinoa variety?

What's special about Snäckebrot Rye & Quinoa is the co-use of regionally grown quinoa as a raw material, which leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions. This is no coincidence. In comparison with other snack breads, for example, we have focused from the outset on using regional raw materials for this product in order to support farmers here in the region and at the same time reduce CO2 emissions.

Is quinoa a local crop?

Like corn or potatoes, quinoa originally comes from the Andes, but it can also be grown in this country. Together with innovative farmers from the region who are willing to experiment, we started growing quinoa a few years ago - with success. One of the advantages of quinoa is that it is more drought-resistant than conventional cereals. For some farmers, therefore, cultivation also means adapting to climate change. Dryer phases in summer can be bridged with quinoa cultivation.

The new variety is therefore environmentally friendly and at the same time strengthens regional agriculture. That sounds like a holistic concept in terms of sustainability.

Exactly. The snack bread Rye & Quinoa exemplifies the sustainable philosophy of Bohlsener Mühle. One and a half to two years ago, we started calculating the respective climate footprint for each product. Since then, the product development division of Bohlsener Mühle, together with marketing, has been looking at how we can reduce the CO2 emissions of new products. The Rye & Quinoa variety is a successful example.

How else does Bohlsener Mühle's commitment to sustainability manifest itself?

We focus on many sustainable projects with selected farmers. These include detailed climate balances that, for example, include the farm cycle under sustainable aspects. How often is the tractor in use? How much diesel does it burn? Does the farm in question run on green electricity or not? The hummus balance also plays a role. We take soil samples to test the soil composition and, if needed, give tips on how to farm in a more hummus-promoting way. It's a holistic approach to sustainability.

It's now been about nine months since the product won the Regional Star Award. What new products does Bohlsener Mühle have in store for sustainable consumers?

There's a lot coming. We continue to try to promote local agriculture and at the same time offer more climate-friendly alternatives. Our focus right now is on developing legume-based meat substitutes such as pea sticks or fava burgers (fava = field bean, editor's note). Here, the CO2 savings compared to conventional beef are considerable, at around 98 percent.

Where can one find your products?

You can find our products in organic specialty stores and also more and more in commercial food retail chains like Edeka or Rewe.

Thank you very much for the interview.

Snäckebrot Rye & Quinoa.

Tastes good to the climate, the region and the palate - the award-winning Snäckebrot Rye & Quinoa. Copyright: Bohlsener Mühle

Philip Luthardt is Head of Sustainability Management and Communication at Bohlsener Mühle.

Philip Luthardt is Head of Sustainability Management and Communication at Bohlsener Mühle. Copyright: Bohlsener Mühle