Healthy soil – Happy animals – Better food

The Schweisfurth Foundation supports small-scale agriculture that is both animal-friendly and organic. Established in 1985, the Foundation is one of the early pioneers of the Green Movement.

We believe

  • that soils, water and seeds are valuable resources to be preserved for present-day humans as well as for future generations.
  • that animals are sentient beings which deserve being treated humanely and in accordance with their specific needs.
  • that food is life − as long as the ingredients are fresh, free from harmful residues and processed under fair conditions.

Finding solutions for a sustainable future

The Schweisfurth Foundation is committed to an ethical framework for sustainable agriculture. Download here the Vision (PDF).
Foundation projects, publications and lectures inform, motivate and mobilize consumers as well as farmers and processors.

The Foundation seeks to work together with people who

  • commit themselves to a never-ending quest towards new and life-enhancing modes of behavior in order to improve their own lifestyles and reduce their impact upon the world they inhabit,
  • accept responsibility for their own welfare and for the world around them,
  • respect the limitations imposed on them by their acceptance of the intrinsic value of other life forms and by the necessity to safeguard and sustain these very foundations of life.

The meat millionair

In 1985, Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth founded the Schweisfurth Foundation. Schweisfurth is a master butcher, entrepreneur and pioneer for organic agriculture. During the 1950s, he worked hard to expand his parent’s butcher shop into the Herta Company, one of the largest meat processing businesses in Europe. In the end, 25,000 pigs were slaughtered at Herta every week. It was during the early 1980s that Schweisfurth, the meat millionaire, began to question his motives. What about the animals? Where do they live? How do they die? What has happened to taste and quality of meat?

The 180°-turnaround

Schweisfurth sold Herta to the Nestlé food conglomerate and founded the Schweisfurth Foundation in Munich. At the same time, he established the Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstätten, an organic farm where animals are raised extensively and where they have access to green grass and fresh air. Animals are slaughtered directly on-farm, without further need for long-distance transport, with an emphasis on avoiding stress, and always in keeping with respect for all life. Furthermore at Herrmannsdorf, food processing is wholly artisanal. In addition to animal husbandry, Herrmannsdorf includes market gardens, brewery, bakery, butchery and a raw-milk cheese making dairy.

People behind the Foundation

Executive Director
Prof. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald

Supervisory Board
Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth (Founder and Honorary Chair)
Anne Schweisfurth (Chair)
Dr. Christa Müller (Vice Chair)
Dr. Tanja Busse
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Heß
Georg Schweisfurth

Carmen Grimbs (Secretary)
Klaus Groß (Controller)
Sascha Freitag (Admin. Assistant)
Matthias Middendorf (Project Assistant)

If you would like to contact Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth, please mail to (Christa Thomas).

Funding Guidelines
Funding on request is not possible. The Foundation does not award scholarships, nor does it sponsor doctorates. Assistance on printing costs is possible only for publications resulting from internally-sponsored projects.

In close cooperation with various donors, the Foundation has been successful in implementing a number of projects in recent years. Donations to the Schweisfurth Foundation are tax-exempt. You can donate directly to our projects or for our work in general. Please use the donation button in the header.

Contact information

Schweisfurth Foundation
Rupprechtstr. 25
D-80636 Munich

Tel: +49 89 179595-0
Fax: +49 89 179595-19