Biography Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth


Born in Herten, a small mining town in Westphalia.
Strongly influenced by artisanal practices at the family butchery.


Apprenticeship in butchery trade and graduation from high school.


Journeyman years at artisanal butcheries and meat processing facilities in Germany, Switzerland, France as well as industrial meat processors in the US.


Master of Business Administration at Cologne.


Reorganization of parental butchery operation into an industrial enterprise: ‘HERTA – Means Sausage’ (HERTA – wenn’s um die Wurst geht)

1958 ff.

Marriage to Doris Rath and birth of children Karl, Georg and Anne.


Death of father; head of HERTA management. HERTA expands operations and becomes the largest meat processing company in Europe: Artland, Dörffler, Casserole and Stastnik Austria, HERTA France, HERTA do Brasil. Facilities in Germany, France, Austria, Brazil and Ethiopia. 5,500 workers employed by 1984.


President of the Federal Association of the German Meat Industry (Bundesverband der Deutschen Fleischwarenindustrie) as well as President of the European Meat Industry Association for three years.


‘Kunst geht in die Fabrik’ (‘Art Meets Factory’): Work places should not only be more efficient, but also more attractive for workers.


Marriage to Dorothee Rüdiger.


Master Craftsman Certification at Augsburg.


The turning point: Sale of HERTA to the Nestlé Company.


Exhibition at Bonn Science Center: ‘Art Meets Factory’.


Establishment of the Schweisfurth Foundation at Munich. Its goal: Searching for holistic and fulfilling lifestyles where work and technology are in harmony with nature.


Establishment of Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstätten at Glonn near Munich. Ethical basic values guide production and distribution of life-giving food items of optimum taste and health properties.

1990 ff.

Start of organic agriculture operations; production workshops as well as farm market and inn, etc. opened at Herrmannsdorf.
Gut Sonnenhausen turned into a seminar facility and hotel.


‘Kunst geht in die Natur’ (‘Art Meets Nature’): Major Schweisfurth Foundation project at Herrmannsdorf and Sonnenhausen.


Transfer of all economic activities to children: Karl in charge of Herrmannsdorf; Georg in charge of Sonnenhausen; Anne (as of 2010) of the Foundation.


EXPO 2000 gave rise to the construction of a new Herrmannsdorf on meadowland outside of Hannover


End and closing down of project.


First Private Agricultural Experimental Station for Symbiotic Agriculture. (Erste Private Landwirtschaftliche Versuchsanstalt für eine Symbiotische Landwirtschaft) focussing on pasture grazing of pigs together with chickens as well as with cattle, sheep and other poultry.


Establishment of ‘Schweisfurth Consultants’ (‘Planungsteam Schweisfurth’): Consulting services for enterprises in Germany, Russia, Denmark and Austria.


Establishment of the ‘Village for Choildren and Animals’ (‘Dorf für Kinder und Tiere’).


Bavarian Nature Conservancy Award (Bund Naturschutz Bayern – Bavarian Nature Conservancy Association) given to KLS.
Extensive public relations work in print media, radio and TV. Interviews, lectures, guided tours, etc.


Passed away in Herrmannsdorf, Glonn near Munich on February 15, 2020.