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Robert Summer, former Hochland general partner, passed away

Robert Summer, former owner and general partner of Hochland Reich, Summer & Co. KG died on Friday, June 3, 2016, a few days before his 90th birthday.
For nearly 40 years Robert Summer worked with Hochland. The company was founded in 1927 by his father Georg Summer and Robert Reich, Georg Summer’s brother in law.

Robert Summer joined Hochland in 1949 as a sales representative. After his father had died in 1959, Robert Summer took over Management responsibility at Hochland Reich, Summer & Co. KG. In 1986 he retired from the company management, and his son Rolf († 2002) succeeded him.

From the early 1950s on, Robert Summer built up a business contact with Theo and Karl Albrecht. The trustful cooperation with ALDI, which continues today, brought the company strong growth in the 1960s. When McDonald's opened the first restaurants in Germany In the early 1970s, Hochland was their cheese supplier from the beginning on. It was Robert Summer who established personal contacts to McDonald’s management in the USA and maintained them for many years.

The values represented by Robert Summer still characterize the Hochland corporate culture today: Robert Summer not only stood for fairness and reliable partnerships with customers and suppliers. He also promoted an atmosphere of trust, which encouraged all employees to act self-dependently. He always had an open ear for the employees’ concerns and he attached great importance to their welfare: At a very early time, Hochland established comprehensive social benefits for the employees.

The development of Hochland as a branded company from the mid 1990s on as well as the expansion into the Middle and Eastern European countries took place after Robert Summer had retired from the management team, but he continued to take a great interest in this development. The transformation of Hochland into a joint-stock company was driven by Robert Summer in his role as a member of the advisory council of the KG (private limited partnership company), and from 1999 to 2000, he was a member of the Supervisory Board.

Hochland is to be full of gratitude towards Robert Summer and will honor his memory.