More than 80 international guests met in Munich in April to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Cobb Germany, which today distributes the Cobb breed across 21 countries of central and eastern Europe.
In 1998 Cobb Germany was appointed to distribute Cobb500 parent stock in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and within a few months hatched its first chicks produced from just four grandparent farms. Now you can multiply the number of farms by ten as the company has grown to supply European and international markets.
Executives from around the world - Joel Sappenfield, president of Cobb Vantress; Roy Mutimer, vice president for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific; Mark Sams, Cobb Europe general manager; Rafael Gil, Cobb Spain general manager, and Konstantin Tishenkov, managing director of Cobb Russia - were invited by the Cobb Germany founders and owners Gerhard and Ulrich Wagner and managing director Leopold Graf von Drechsel.
Many Cobb Germany employees, old companions and partners who have played a role in the growth of the business joined this special event. With hatcheries near Leipzig and Budapest, the company now produces more than 14 million chicks / year, and Cobb Germany’s partners Cobb Spain and Cobb Russia are the leading suppliers of parent stock in their market areas.
In a moving address, Graf Drechsel reminisced about how Cobb Germany started. He spoke of adventurous journeys and talks with the former pioneers from Cobb Europe Gwyn Williams and John Baron, the recruitment of hatchery manager Uwe Weidenmüller and production manager Dr Ing Gheorghe Ciripoi and, more recently, the cooperation with Jozsef Kari in Hungary, with partner Rafael Gil in Spain and Mr and Mrs van Olst who transport most chicks.
According to Graf Drechsel, each could tell their own story of how they contributed to the success.
On behalf of Cobb Joel Sappenfield presented personalised gifts and a commemorative plaque from Cobb, and expressed his thanks and appreciation for the success of Cobb Germany in Europe.
“From small beginnings in 1998 Cobb Germany has grown into one of the largest Cobb distributors in the world,” said Mark Sams, general manager of Cobb Europe. “The leaders of the business have shown true commitment to Cobb and their success today is a clear demonstration of this.
“Covering such a broad swathe of countries across Europe, they are a key partner with the ability to reach markets from Germany to Ukraine and as far south as Cyprus.
"Over the last 20 years the relationship has become very strong. The businesses have grown together, trust each other and both have the desire to continue building for the future. Cobb Europe is very proud to have such an excellent distributor and partner. I am sure there will be even more success in the coming years as we work together to develop the presence of the Cobb brand across Europe."
Cobb Germany awards in the shape of lions made of Royal Nymphenburg porcelain were given to 10 employees for long term service including James Truscott whom Graf Drechsel described as ‘Mr Cobb Germany’ and a key part of the team that has made the company so successful. Vasyl Babych, Jasmina Atlic, Monaldo Rinaldi, Lubor Skalka and Ilias Alexiou were highlighted as the key sales representatives in their own countries, all celebrating their company anniversary this year.
Among those also specially mentioned were Friedhelm Pieper, who worked as chief financial officer for decades on alongside Gerhard Wagner and Graf Drechsel and supervised the business and accounting, Claudia and Uwe Weidenmüller for ‘their exceptional efforts’ in managing the parent stock hatchery over 20 years, Dr Ing Ciripoi for successful leadership of the grandparent farms, his colleague Mario Butschek for achieving the craftman’s diploma and Katrin Sauerer, who has been working tirelessly and highly reliably as chief secretary since she was 16.