Manufacturing fine sausage specialties is RACK & RÜTHER GmbH’s strong suit. The German company adheres to the principle that “we only produce what tastes good to us,” and has been successful with this approach for close to 60 years. For around 20 years, the company has relied on production systems from Schröter to manufacture its high-quality products.
Sausage as a Gourmet Experience
Erich Rack and Anton Rüther founded their specialty butcher’s shop in Berlin in 1961. Ten years later, they moved their sausage production to a new building in the municipality of Fuldabrück just outside the city of Kassel, where the company is still headquartered today. With 50 employees, the company now produces 1,500 tonnes of sausage products per year on 1,000 square meters of production space. The company’s product range extends from the North Hessian air-dried “Ahle Wurst” and “Stracke” pork sausage to scalded and cooked sausage, as well as headcheese and ham. These specialties can be found at more than 1,000 specialty stores and deli counters throughout Germany, from Sylt in the north to Munich in the south. To transform the sausage into a tasty gourmet experience, the raw sausage specialist uses, on the one hand, salt extracted by hand without anticaking agents as well as organically grown herbs and spices, and, on the other hand, the quality of the sausage maturing process plays a decisive role. This is why the company has long relied on the sophisticated technology of CLIMAjet® and THERMICjet® systems from Schröter for uniform and controlled airflow in the maturing chamber.
In November of this year, the company brought a new 28-wagon pre-maturing system into operation In this design, the focus was on accurate control and optimized energy efficiency. “This is why the system features, on the one hand, coarse and fine filters for the fresh air supply and enthalpy control for the use of the outside air temperature and humidity, and on the other hand, the ability to finely control the climatic conditions by means of infinitely variable heating and cooling valves for the hot water and brine,” explains Klaus Schröter. In addition, a UV-C disinfection unit integrated into the post-maturing system sterilizes the air to the greatest possible extent. “All of this, combined with our process control software, gives RACK & RÜTHER maximum flexibility in controlling and monitoring the systems,” he sums up. Dr. Gernot Peppler, general manager of RACK & RÜTHER since 1983, adds: “This project posed a special challenge because the available space was extremely limited. The air-handling equipment first had to be installed above the non-existent slab. To do this, we first placed the system on supports, and the slab was then poured around them. Only then could Schröter lower its system down onto the slab. It all worked out great and all of the different contractors worked hand-in-hand to successfully complete this complex project.”
“We believe that craftsmanship doesn’t end with excellent taste. Our specialties come from sustainable agriculture on German farms that prioritize the welfare of their animals,” says Peppler, describing the company’s philosophy. This is why RACK & RÜTHER began to establish a contract animal farming operation in the 1980s according to the principles of ethical animal husbandry. In addition, the company never uses unnecessary additives such as flavor enhancers and iodine. “What’s more, we produce all of our sausage specialties without any additives containing gluten or lactose and without adding any of the 14 allergens that must be listed on food labels,” he explains. Furthermore, many of the products are available in organic quality and without genetic engineering. And to ensure that its high-quality product range will continue to grow in the future, it has already planned the next expansion steps of its production systems with Schröter for 2021 and 2022.
Schröter has continued to impress us with the quality of its pre-maturing and post-maturing systems over the years.
Dr. Gernot Peppler, general manager of RACK & RÜTHER GmbH, talks about his many years of experience with Schröter Technologie GmbH & Co. KG.
MeetingPoint: Why did you select Schröter?
Dr. Gernot Peppler: We’ve always liked the clarity and simplicity when working together. Schröter kept its promises and there were never any surprises when it came to the costs. They always found solutions for any issues that came up – and ultimately, the quality of the systems in pre-maturing and post-maturing impressed us.
MeetingPoint: Were there any other decisive criteria?
Dr. Gernot Peppler: For a raw sausage specialist like RACK & RÜTHER, the quality of the sausage maturing process is, of course, crucial – when it comes to the uniform and controlled airflow throughout the entire chamber, for example.
MeetingPoint: How long has RACK & RÜTHER worked together with Schröter?
Dr. Gernot Peppler: Company history isn’t my strong point, I prefer to focus on the future. I think for 20 years.
MeetingPoint: How has it been to work with Schröter?
Dr. Gernot Peppler: Completely pain-free – which is rare in construction.
MeetingPoint: What are the key benefits of producing with systems from Schröter?
Dr. Gernot Peppler: The quality of the airflow and the systems’ low likelihood of failing.
MeetingPoint: What projects have you implemented together so far and are further projects planned?
Dr. Gernot Peppler: Yes, several, I think at least five systems – primarily maturing systems but also a kettle- based system. A 28-wagon pre-maturing system is currently under construction. And this will not be our last maturing system.
MeetingPoint: Dr. Peppler, thank you very much for your time.
Rack & Rüther GmbH, located in Hesse, has been producing a wide range of premium sausage specialties for almost 60 years. For General Manager Dr. Gernot Peppler, the focus has been on sustainability for some time. For this reason, the company sources its meat from German farms where animal welfare is a priority. When it comes to the ingredients, there is also an emphasis on exclusivity, with only organic seasonings used.
COMPANY FOUNDING: In 1961 by Erich Rack and Anton Rüther in Berlin
HEADQUARTERS: Fuldabrück, near Kassel, Germany since 1971
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN 2020: 50
RANGE OF PRODUCTS: From Ahle Wurst and raw sausage (Stracke straight pork sausage with caraway seeds, with garlic or without seasonings, or in a loop or club shape) to cooked-meat sausage (Ahle liver sausage, blood sausage in a bladder or cooked onion sausage) and boiled sausage (Jagdwurst hunter’s style sausage, organic wiener sausage and bratwurst) to hearty organic cooked ham
PRODUCTION AREA: 1,000 square meters
OUTPUT: 1,500 tonnes of sausage products per year
SALES: Meat counters, butchers, delicatessens and organic retail all over Germany
ANIMAL WELFARE: A contract animal farming operation was established in the 1980s according to the principles of ethical animal husbandry
ORGANIC SAUSAGE RANGE: Since 2000
ALLERGY FRIENDLY: All sausage products have been free from ingredients containing gluten and lactose since 2002