135 years at a glance
In Göppingen, in the south of Germany, the brothers Heinrich and Paul Koepff start producing gelatine from pigskin, thereby laying the foundation for the company Deutsche Gelatine-Fabriken (DGF). In Schweinfurt, in Bavaria, a similar gelatine factory is founded that is later to become part of DGF.
Heinrich Stoess establishes himself in Ziegelhausen near Heidelberg, Germany, producing gelatine.
Both families, Koepff and Stoess, grow continuously and successfully. Export business flourishes. Heinrich Stoess, who in the meantime has made substantial progress in the manufacture of photographic gelatine, maintains a good business relationship with the American company Eastman Kodak – the producer of the first camera for private use. Capacities are being fully utilized and the company HQ is relocated to Eberbach near Heidelberg.
Production starts in a new and modern factory – die Chemische Werke Stoess & Co. GmbH (Stoess & Co.).
After the 2nd World War, both companies restart operations from a very small base – and come closer together. Heinrich Koepff, son of Paul Koepff, becomes Managing Director of Stoess & Co. in Eberbach.
Together with the American Robert Pauli Scherer, Heinrich Koepff sets up the first German-American joint venture after the war: the R.P. Scherer company in Eberbach. Today, it is the largest manufacturer of soft gelatine capsules in the world.
Subsequent to Heinrich Koepff bringing the companies DGF and Stoess & Co. closer together in a series of steps, a fusion is carried out, resulting in the establishment of Deutsche Gelatine-Fabriken Stoess GmbH (DGF Stoess).
Rapid growth ensues after the fusion. DGF Stoess focuses on internationalization in order to be present on all important markets. At the same time it secures adequate supplies of raw materials for its various production plants. The company acquires a number of companies, including a bone-processing factory in Memmingen in the south of Germany, DYNAGEL Inc. in USA (as a joint-venture with Davis Gelatine) and a majority in the Brazilian company SARGEL Ltda.
Deutsche Gelatine-Fabriken Stoess GmbH is converted into a public company (DGF Stoess AG).
To grow even more and to increase global presence, the company acquires the company Gelatine Products Ltd., Runcorn, UK and EXTRACO AB in Sweden.
KIND&KNOX Gelatine Inc. is acquired.
DGF Stoess acquires fat-processors UNKEL GmbH and SCHWAKE GmbH and consolidates them into the UNIMELT Group.
A new, modern gelatine plant is constructed in Vlagtwedde, Holland and named VLAPRO.
DGF Stoess acquires seven gelatine production plants of the Gelatine Division of Leiner Davis from Goodman Fielder Ltd. in Australia. The company is now the world's leading gelatine specialist in all relevant segments: foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, photography and special products.
DGF Stoess AG is renamed GELITA AG.
The company, after more than 135 years of tradition and growth, is still owned by the founder families. Gelatine is only one of the products of a constantly growing portfolio comprising innovative products based on collagenous protein. GELITA AG is continuously opening up new markets for itself and its customers.