Ekosem-Agrar founder Stefan Dürr makes it into finals of Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Ekosem-Agrar founder Stefan Dürr makes it into finals of Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

18 September 2013 Corporate News

Walldorf, 18 September 2013 – Personal commitment, sustainable corporate development, responsibility for people and society, innovation and, last but not least, visions and potential for the future – these are the key decision-making criteria for the judges of the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. This is the 17th time that auditing and consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) honours Germany’s best small and medium-sized enterprises. Having gone through a strict, multi-stage selection process, 58 enterprises made it into the finals, including Stefan Dürr, founder and Managing Director of Ekosem-Agrar GmbH, the German holding company of Russian milk producer Ekoniva Group.

“My team and I are very pleased about this nomination. We have the commitment and passion that are needed to take advantage of the fantastic opportunities arising in the world’s largest territorial state,” says Stefan Dürr. “Commitment to society and the ability to innovate are the key drivers of our sustainable corporate development.” Over the past eight years, the Group invested roughly EUR 230 million. Since 2013, it has been the largest milk producer in Europe, which is reflected in a headcount of just under 3,500, over 41,000 cattle and an average milk output of over 300 tons per day.

“These are remarkable entrepreneurs, who have successfully entered new business segments thanks to their ability to innovate,” says Peter Englisch, Global Leader of the EY Family Business Center of Excellence and responsible for the German Entrepreneurs Award. This year’s finalists impressively show that corporate growth and commitment to society are not mutually exclusive.”
An independent panel of judges, which is composed of renowned economic experts, will choose the “Entrepreneurs of the Year” from among the finalists. The winners in the five categories “Industry”, “Trade”, “Services”, “Information and Communications Technology/Media” and “Start-up” will be announced at a black-tie event at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt on 19 September.

Ekosem-Agrar wants to continue its growth going forward and help modernise Russia’s agricultural sector. In its milk production operations, the company attaches great importance to animal welfare to ensure that milk and meat are of constantly high quality and that optimum volumes are generated. All constructional and organisational measures implemented in the company's modern dairy facilities serve this goal. The high-quality fodder is produced in-house using state-of-the-art techniques and procedures. Modern milking systems automatically record the milk output and the milk quality per cow, thus facilitating continuous animal monitoring and care. These efforts are paying off, which is not least reflected in the fact that the average milk output per cow has increased from 14.2 litres per day in 2008 to 22.1 litres.

Says Stefan Dürr: “Besides fostering the success of our operations, we will also continue to live up to our responsibility for people, animals and nature.” Among other things, the company plans to promote organic farming in Russia. A first farm of Ekosem-Agrar in the Kaluga region near Moscow has already been converted to organic farming. If the venture is successful, more farms are set to follow.

About the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Ernst & Young organises the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in over 50 countries worldwide. 2013 marks the 17th edition of the awards in Germany. An independent panel of judges will choose the winners in five categories. The award identifies and recognises entrepreneurial achievements and is sponsored by renowned enterprises and media including DZ BANK, Jaguar, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Manager Magazin. Apart from awarding successful entrepreneurs, EY also operates the “Entrepreneur of the Year Junior Academy” programme to promote up-and-coming entrepreneurs.