ALPMA has long been a global brand in the milk and cheese industry. It’s a brand which stands for the highest quality in process and cheese-making technology, as well as in cutting and packaging technology. With subsidiary companies in France, Spain, Russia, England, Turkey, and the US, German company ALPMA has managed to reach new markets via local know-how. In an industry such as dairy, where tastes change quite a lot from continent to continent, it makes perfect sense to employ people who know the local market. Co-CEO Frank Eberle joined the business five-and-a-half years ago to complete the two-head leadership team, when the German family who own the business decided, for the first time, to hire external management. He has big plans for ALPMA, and is looking to further expand its global reach.

“We are not venturing out to do something entirely different—we will stay within our core business—but we have taken an even broader approach to our international footprint as well as our product range” he says.

“In the last few years we established offices in Turkey and the United States. We continue to look at other countries to grow our international footprint and to be more present in these markets, and so it’s been important that we have our own staff onsite.

“This is because we need to be close to our customers and understand those markets first. There’s no point in only developing products which may be perfectly fitted and designed for European needs, but may not appeal to markets overseas. We need to understand the markets globally—which products are being produced and consumed in different regions—and then customise our production solutions to suit those specific markets. When it comes to the food industry, as you know, the type of foods that people eat in different countries can differ greatly. For example, Russia or markets such as Turkey are quite different in their tastes to Europe. That’s why it’s very helpful to have our own staff in these countries—so in Russia we have an office in Moscow and from Ankara in Turkey we serve the surrounding Region. So in this way we receive a direct understanding of what the trends are in these markets and then bring that knowledge back here and let it influence our product development.”