The Stuff of Modern Foodstuffs

Jürg Oleas, CEO of GEA.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Processed foods are normally avoided by modern consumers who can afford to pay for the organic label. Food science companies like GEA say their job is to help produce enough to feed the billions of others.

  • Facts


    • Jürg Oleas is from Switzerland, but was born in Quito, Ecuador. He joined GEA in 2001 and became CEO in November 2004.
    • In 2014, the MDAX-listed firm had sales of €4.5 billion, or about $4.8 billion.
    • One target of restructuring was unifying 200 smaller units within GEA, each with their own marketing, development, distribution or service divisions.
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Dūsseldorf-based GEA Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of food processing technology, from farm to factory to table and beyond. Its thousands of products include systems used in dairy production, filtration, brewing, blending, granulating, sterilizing, bottling and packaging. It also provides technologies for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, for instance, in processing tablets or converting raw materials into biochemicals.

The group profits from megatrends, such as the world’s rising population and growing industrialization. As the demand for more food constantly rises, the company’s chief executive, Jürg Oleas, is not content to sit back. He recently embarked on a radical company restructuring and explained why in an interview with Handelsblatt.


Handelsblatt: Mr. Oleas, you are restructuring your business to become more efficient and grow stronger. Where do you want to go?

Jürg Oleas: Our goal is to be everywhere that complex foodstuffs appear on the table. The world population is growing and prosperity too. That means foodstuffs must be used down to the last proteins, to feed as many people as possible. “Fresh from the farm” only works for the few who can afford that.

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