1993 saw the takeover of the VEB Chemisches Werk Miltitz by the US family enterprise from the German government’s Treuhandanstalt privatisation agency. Today, 250 personnel are employed on a site exceeding 200,000 m² to produce flavours and fragrances for the international market.
As Raymond Heinz embraced this adventure in Germany 20 years ago, he only had one goal: To lead this traditional location for fragrances and flavours in Leipzig-Miltitz back onto the road to success. His family enterprise, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, which is based in Northbrook, Illinois, recognised the enormous potential in Germany: “We wanted to establish our presence in the new Europe”, remembers Raymond Heinz. “And today we can say with pride that Bell Flavors & Fragrances has become an integral part of the region and formed a close relationship to people in the City of Leipzig.”
Since the takeover from the Treuhandanstalt in June 1993, a lot has changed at the former headquarters of Schimmel & Co., the firm which later became the VEB Chemisches Werk Miltitz. The entire plant was modernised and new research and development laboratories established. The number of employees also grew continuously. Bell Flavors & Fragrances began in Leipzig with a staff of 65. Today, 250 personnel are employed here in the development and production of flavours and fragrances for the international market on a site of over 200,000 m².
2013 therefore sees a complete focus on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Bell Flavors & Fragrances in Leipzig. A festive ceremony will be held on June 18th and attended by political and business personalities in the region, customers and suppliers. “The long history of the company provides us with a firm foundation on which we can also shape the future of Bell Flavors & Fragrances”, says Vice President Michael Heinz, emphasising that: “The continuation of this history will be a success story.”
The celebratory program includes the opening of an exhibition entitled “Auf den Spuren der Vergangenheit” (“Tracing the Past”) which illustrates the unique history of the company. Tina Korinth, Marketing Manager, hopes this will stimulate a high degree of interest among people in Leipzig: “We’re looking forward to welcoming people from June 19th-21st to this informative exhibition which has been put together with such loving attention to detail.”*
Historical background: Miltitz is regarded as the cradle of the fragrance and flavour industry. The roots of the company known today as Bell Flavors & Fragrances are to be found in the Leipzig of the early 19th century. The history of the predecessor firm, Schimmel & Co., can be traced back to 1829. The company developed rapidly to become an internationally leading manufacturer of flavours and fragrances, a position maintained by Schimmel & Co. for more than 100 years. The company was nationalised following the Second World War and operated as the VEB Chemisches Werk Miltitz until the end of communist rule and reunification. The Treuhandanstalt privatisation agency sold the company in 1993 to the family-managed US enterprise Bell Flavors & Fragrances.
With the Schimmel Bibliothek, a library established in 1878, Bell Flavors & Fragrances possesses one of the world’s largest collections of books and treatises on flavours, essential oils, plant extracts, perfume oils and unified fragrances. The library encompasses over 30,000 reference works and symbolises all the innovations created here. Bell is proud of this inheritance and makes every effort to preserve and maintain it while rendering it accessible to all interested parties. “We feel a great sense of responsibility towards the rich tradition of this location”, Michael Heinz pointed out.