CDU delegation visits Dr. Eckel headquarters
Energy costs, a lack of skilled workers, excessive red tape, … there seems to be no end to the challenges German Mittelstand companies currently face. These days, politicians that are close to their constituents and take the time to listen to the concerns of local businesses are invaluable. Dr Antje Eckel, founder and CEO of Dr. Eckel Animal Nutrition in Niederzissen, and her eldest son Dr Viktor Eckel were pleased to welcome three active politicians to the Dr. Eckel headquarters, to discuss the pressing issues Mittelstand companies face, potential solutions to these issues and the way forward.
In the course of their visit, Petra Schneider (CDU, state MP for the Remagen-Sinzig district), Horst Gies (CDU, state MP for the Ahrweiler district) and Ralf Seekatz (MEP for Rhineland‑Palatinate) toured the company’s premises including the production facilities. They were especially interested in the natural landscaping of the grounds and the company’s plans for further expanding its green energy production. The company, which was one of the first in its industry worldwide to be consistently committed to improving animal welfare, is just as committed to promoting sustainability in all areas. It had placed great emphasis on biodiversity and green building standards when building its new headquarters back in 2009. Indeed, the sustainability goals are deeply ingrained in its corporate strategy.
The issue of the red tape companies have to deal with on a daily basis was also discussed. MEP Ralf Seekatz was particularly interested in how Mittelstand companies perceive EU regulations. Other issues that were addressed include digitalisation in administrative processes and the recruitment of skilled workers. With regard to the latter, the family business is already quite well-placed: its multinational team and open corporate culture, which has English in addition to German as a corporate language, attracts high potentials, both German and international, to this province in Rhineland‑Palatinate. However, there is still a lot of red tape involved, which takes an inordinate amount of time.
“We are very happy to take part in this frank, cordial and constructive discussion. The ability to voice our concerns in a forum where they are acknowledged and understood is immensely important to us,” states Antje Eckel. “And the fact that everything is within reach in Rhineland‑Palatinate is a definite advantage.”
They both thank the delegation for their visit on behalf of the Dr. Eckel team and look forward to meeting them again soon.