Interview with Andreas Brenner, Brenner, Germany

For over half a century, the Brenner family business has specialised in optimising the stream of rest wood, recycled wood and biomass between customers and suppliers. The German family focuses on supplying the raw material to customers who range from individual farmer to multinational conglomerates and factories. The Brenners now employ a little over 100 people and have offices in Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Three years ago, Andreas Brenner joined the family enterprise, established by his grandfather Benedikt Brenner in 1953. Today, the 28-year old works side by side with his father, creating new opportunities aimed at expanding the company. Tharawat magazine spoke to Andreas about his expectations when joining the business, how he managed to find his rhythm, and what it means to be a part of Generation Y.

The three Brenner generations

Andreas Brenner embraces all queries related to his family’s business enthusiastically, elucidating the origins of the company in fine form. “In the 1950s, just after the second World War, the need to survive drove my grandfather into founding this business,” he explains. “My grandparents had a small fruit and vegetable plantation and they started to sell some firewood to local customers. When Germany had to make reparation payments to the French after the war, the government came and cut a lot of trees from the forests but failed to uproot them leaving significant parts behind. My grandfather took to the woods with some bricks of dynamite to blow out the roots and the remaining stems and started to create a stock of firewood. He got in touch with a saw miller who produced a lot of rest wood. Around the same time he heard of a tissue paper factory that required rest wood for production. He started transporting the supplies from the saw miller to the factory in 1953, eventually signing a contract that was to be renewed annually. That contract still stands today,” he details making clear just how his grandfather’s legacy remains fixed within the family business’ activities at present.