Today for tomorrow

We have been part of the food world for over 100 years and understand the many different effects on ecology, society and health. Today’s actions have a major influence on tomorrow’s world – positive and negative. Our goal? To set as many positive impulses as possible and thus enable a natural, sustainable and reliable food supply.

We want to balance our economic activities, environmental requirements and a good life for everyone – for us, that means sustainability. That is why we are taking responsibility for our supply chain and making it even more sustainable. As a family-owned company, acting responsibly has been very important to us for generations. The basis of our company is especially important to us: the protection of nature and high standards of human rights.

We build bridges between the growing region, industry and market and inspire our partners and customers to create sustainable value for all by raising awareness, empowering and enabling.

The global challenges of our time are not easy and can only be mastered together. We want to develop and implement innovative solutions for a sustainable future with transparency and respectful cooperation.

As a family-owned company, we have been taking responsibility for the environment and people for more than 100 years

Miriam Gautier, Managing Director, Dirk Schmidt, CEO und Shareholder, Patrick Burmester, Managing Director & Peter Sielmann, CFO (f.l.t.r.)

Strategic importance of sustainability

“Today for Tomorrow” – we want to live up to this claim. Decisions that we make today, here and now, have a major impact on tomorrow and create the foundation for a sustainable future.

As a family business, we are aware of this and have ensured that we act in a responsible manner for generations. The basis of our company is particularly important to us: the protection of nature, high standards of human rights and, of course, our employees.
We have firmly anchored economic, ecological and social sustainability in our corporate strategy and have been certified according to the ZNU standard since 2021. We have defined clear goals and want to initiate real changes that ensure improvements in the value chains at all levels. ​

Our aim is to provide as much positive impetus as possible and thus enable a natural, sustainable and reliable food supply.

Taking our key groups – customers, suppliers, employees, authorities and non-governmental organizations – into account, we have defined the central areas of action for our commitment:

  • Economic: Quality, innovation, procurement, good service performance
  • Ecological: Packaging
  • Social: Employee satisfaction, human rights
  • Sustainability communications

They form the framework for our strategic goals and the resultant measures, which we are continuously developing. Specifically, we have set ourselves the following goals:

  • Economic: IFS Broker certification always at Higher Level higher 95%

In 2023, we were pleased to complete the IFS Broker Audit at a higher level again.

  • Ecological: We have set ourselves the target of implementing at least 10 innovation projects that contribute to environmental sustainability (climate/energy, resources, biodiversity/animal wellbeing) by the end of 2024.

Our R&D team has already managed to implement 7 projects that achieve added value in one of the above categories.

  • Social: We want to be a good role model when it comes to equality and have therefore set ourselves the target that the female share in management positions should always be >30%.

We are proud that, at fall 2023, 38% of our managers are women and we want to maintain this high proportion in the coming years.

We take responsibility for sustainable development along our added value chain

We ensure more sustainable development here at our Hamburg location and with our partners at the origin. We build bridges between the growing region and the market in order to promote sustainable value creation at all levels. In our key role, we ensure a proactive exchange of knowledge. We want to sensitize, strengthen and empower our partners and customers with a view to sustainable added value for all (environment & people) AND we want a balance between our economic activities and environmental requirements.

For this reason, we are committed to contributing to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals – SDGsof the United Nations. Specifically, these are the following goals:


For us, social responsibility means actively promoting a society that is characterized by diversity, justice and respect for one another.

Sustainability goes beyond the borders of our company. We see ourselves as sharing social responsibility for the communities in which we operate.

We advocate human rights and fair working conditions for ourselves and our partners and promote the active participation of all actors along our added value chain.


We are aware of our responsibility to the environment and future generations. We act on the basis of this responsibility.

This means that we want to make our business activities and value chains increasingly sustainable, climate-friendly and resource-efficient.

Various areas such as climate, biodiversity, water and packaging are constantly being considered as part of our ZNU certification.

We want to be a role model and inspiration for others.


As a family business, we are very aware of the economic responsibility we carry for our employees, but also for our partners, suppliers and customers, and we strive for long-term success together with them.

We create the conditions for this with a corporate culture characterized by integrity and transparency, sustainable innovation and reliable quality.

We pursue the goal of continuous improvement in the area of sustainable procurement. We are committed to fair added value in our supply chains.

Sichern Sie sich jetzt Ihr Exemplar der Studie.

Unsere aktuelle Studie zusammen mit der Dualen Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (DHBW) Heilbronn identifiziert in Europas Food- & Beverage-Industrie nur wenige Nachhaltigkeitschampions und viel unterdurchschnittliches Engagement. Größte Herausforderung ist die vollständige Transparenz der Lieferkette in Verbindung mit den entsprechenden Qualitäts-Lieferanten.

#Embrace your Pain:

Auf dem Weg zu einer nachhaltigen Food Supply Chain – Das Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement der europäischen Food- & Beverage-Industrie und ihre Anforderungen an die globalen Rohwaren-Lieferanten

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Climate change is one of the crucial challenges of our time. We want to be part of the solution.

We are climate-neutral since 2021


Therefore, Bösch Boden Spies is committed to keeping its own ecological footprint as small as possible. A first step towards this was that our office location in Hamburg with around 120 employees has already been climate neutral* since 2020, followed by our location in Wageningen in 2021.

Our internal sustainability measures include energy-efficient ceiling cooling, the use of motion detectors for lighting control, the purchase of company bicycles and an electric car for general use, and the subsidization of monthly passes for public transport. We also regularly receive further suggestions for improvement via our internal employee suggestion system. Irrespective of the corona lockdown restrictions, we offer our employees a comprehensive mobile working arrangement that massively reduces the amount of commuting and motivate everyone to ideally communicate with customers and suppliers via video conferencing solutions wherever possible, thereby reducing the number of long-distance trips in a climate-friendly manner.

Our customers in industry and commerce strive for climate neutrality

The majority of our European customers have set themselves concrete climate and environmental targets as part of their sustainability commitment. With the EU target of climate neutrality by 2050 in mind, many of them are already striving for climate-neutral business within the next 10 years. We support these efforts with corresponding sustainable product and transport concepts.

Climate and environmental activities of our suppliers and business partners

As part of their sustainability management, our global manufacturing suppliers and our packaging and logistics partners also strive to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce their energy and water consumption or use them more efficiently, avoid waste, minimize soil pollution (e.g., by reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides) and air pollution, and promote biodiversity.

*Climate neutrality for companies includes direct emissions caused within the company (electricity and heat generation, vehicle fleet, fugitive gases) and indirect emissions from purchased energy, business travel, and employee commuting. Other indirect emissions that occur outside the company in the production of raw materials and intermediate products, external logistics, and the use and disposal of products, or other processes, are not covered by climate neutrality.


Seamless control of the global supply chain of our raw materials from cultivation, through on-site processing at origin and transport to Europe.

Our suppliers
are our partners.

As early as the 1950s, Bösch Boden Spies transformed itself from a traditional trader and broker of raw materials from various producers into an import agency that exclusively represents its quality producers from overseas in Europe. Therefore, we have maintained a close partnership with our suppliers, often for many decades, characterized by trust. The majority of these suppliers are cooperatives, i.e. the association of several farmers to form a joint supplier or family businesses that maintain close personal relationships with their farmers. For our customers, this division of responsibilities has the advantage that they usually buy from the world’s leading producers, who at the same time set the quality standards in their areas, but do not have to personally take care of every detail of handling and control, because Bösch Boden Spies does this bundled for all 1000+ customers.

Every year, we move more than 110,000 tons of fruits and nuts to Europe as raw materials for final food production. The majority of this, over 70%, comes from North America, with another 13% from South America (Chile, Colombia, Peru). The remaining volume comes from Europe (Poland, Spain, Greece) South Africa, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

The planned supply chain law puts even more focus on the responsibility of industry and trade. For our quality-oriented European customers in the processing food industry as well as the trade, the complete control of the global supply chain of our raw materials from cultivation, through further processing on site in the origin and transport to Europe has already been a central issue. Our special role as a B2B supplier and partner is to create maximum transparency along this supply chain. Advising our partners on compliance with the legal minimum standards, as well as analyzing the feasibility of often higher standards of our customers and the joint work on continuous improvements together with our partners is the focus of the measures. This monitoring process includes social as well as climate and environmental standards.

Efficient supplier management

We currently represent almost 40 raw material suppliers. The prerequisite is a GFSI certificate. In addition, some of our suppliers are already pursuing their own sustainability strategies, in which they set themselves specific targets in conjunction with comprehensive packages of measures.

The performance of each supplier is permanently monitored. This includes regular on-site audits, in which our customers also participate upon request. Every customer complaint is recorded by us, the cause and countermeasures are clarified by our quality management in direct dialog with the supplier and made transparent to the customer. All performance data is included in an annual scoring, the results of which we discuss with our suppliers in order to initiate further improvements. Likewise, every potential new supplier undergoes comprehensive screening according to clearly defined minimum standards before we include it in our supplier portfolio.

Development of a global code of conduct

In addition to compliance with quality standards, we are increasingly taking into account compliance with corresponding ethical guidelines in our supplier management, such as compliance with occupational safety, respect for human rights, the documented exclusion of child labor, the guarantee of freedom from discrimination, freedom of assembly and organization, fair payment and the offer of health benefits as well as opportunities for training and further education based on the standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO) as provided for in the planned European Supply Chain Act. We have summarized the variously grown requirements in a supplier code, which will become the binding basis for the cooperation with Bösch Boden Spies in the future.

In the future, we will summarize the various requirements in a supplier code, which will become the binding basis for the cooperation with Bösch Boden Spies.

Comprehensive quality management

For more than 10 years BBS has established an independent quality department, in which the needs of the customers are processed with regard to the quality assurance of the goods and the quality management of our products. We are a highly motivated team of 9, consisting of a good mixture of young graduates but also experienced employees who have been involved in the development of the department for more than 10 years. The range of tasks could not be more diverse and includes activities such as specification coordination, processing of customer-specific documents and the coordination of quality requirements, complaint management, but also the auditing of our suppliers and service providers. In doing so, we always act in close coordination with our internal departments but also with our customers and suppliers.

Furthermore, we ensure the maintenance of our own internal quality standards within the framework of the IFS Broker certification and critically question where there is potential for improvement. A strategically structured supplier management with constant monitoring and evaluation of our partners is a matter of course for us in order to meet our own quality requirements. For several years, we have had products packaged under our name for the retail trade. In cooperation with our customers, a dedicated team takes care of the packaging design in compliance with food regulations and the secured introduction into the market.

Recently, the QM department has been expanded to include Sustainability. As a company, we are committed to fulfilling our responsibility towards society and on a global level, and to making our contribution to a planet worth living on, also for future generations. We have therefore set ourselves the goal of strategically integrating sustainability into our actions. In order to be able to fully implement this, Ms. Dorota Kollien, who has established the Quality Management department over the past years and leads it in disciplinary terms, completed the Sustainability Manager at the ZNU (Center for Sustainable Corporate Development) in 2018. Step by step, we now want to implement more and more topics at the corporate level as well as along the value chain and act in an increasingly sustainable manner. We set ourselves measures and targets for ecological, economic and social aspects and would like to update this process continuously with the aim of constantly improving ourselves at sustainability level and becoming more sustainable. As a first step in the right direction, we joined a ranking by EcoVadis for the first time this year and to our delight we were directly awarded a silver medal. According to the ranking, we belong to the top 25% of the companies evaluated by EcoVadis in the wholesale of food, beverages and tobacco industry.

In the quality management we pursue the goal to be available for our customers, suppliers but also internal departments in an advisory capacity in order to keep an eye on all conceivable risks and thereby ensure that we can fulfill the expectations placed on us. To this end, we regularly undergo further training in order to be able to pass on all new key topics to the company as well as to customers and suppliers in good time and in full.


Sustainable and
healthy products

The fruits and nuts we trade are naturally healthy and nutrient-rich. Numerous scientific studies clearly prove this and recommend their regular consumption as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Together with our producing partners, we make these health benefits transparent.

In addition to sustainable cultivation and processing, we therefore pay particular attention in our co-product development work to ensuring that these natural raw materials are part of balanced recipes. The focus of our current R&D work is therefore on:

  • Nutrient-rich nutrition
  • The significant reduction of , salt and fat
  • The replacement of artificial flavors and colorants with natural alternatives
  • The simplification of ingredient lists (clean label)

Our suppliers are our partners

As early as the 1950s, Bösch Boden Spies transformed itself from a traditional trader and broker of raw materials from various producers into an import agency that exclusively represents its quality producers from overseas in Europe. Therefore, we have maintained a close partnership with our suppliers, often for many decades, characterized by trust. The majority of these suppliers are cooperatives, i.e. the association of several farmers to form a joint supplier or family businesses that maintain close personal relationships with their farmers. For our customers, this division of responsibilities has the advantage that they usually buy from the world’s leading producers, who at the same time set the quality standards in their areas, but do not have to personally take care of every detail of handling and control, because Bösch Boden Spies does this bundled for all 1000+ customers.


Bösch Boden Spies has been certified organic for over 15 years and has been trading in raw materials from organic cultivation ever since. With currently 28 items, organic is already a relevant part of our overall business today. The expansion of our organic business is therefore an integral part of our growth strategy 2025+.

Regional products

In addition to high quality standards in cultivation and processing, we are increasingly taking into account the climate and energy balance of the individual raw materials in the interests of consumers. Therefore, we import mostly fruits and nuts from overseas (such as cranberries or raisins), which are only grown there in the corresponding quality and quantity. Where domestic alternatives are available (e.g. tomatoes, apples, sea buckthorn), we use European producers accordingly.

In 2021, we will start to determine the C02 footprint for key products in order to intensify the necessary measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions together with our partners with the aim of being able to offer climate-neutral raw materials in the future.

Sustainable products

Under the motto “All from the fruit”, the producers of our raw materials are increasingly striving to process the harvested fruits and nuts as completely as possible as edible foodstuffs and to avoid unnecessary waste (upcycling). Current examples in our portfolio are the seeds of the cranberry as well as the cacaofruit, i.e. the pulp that contains the cacao beans and was used as compost in the past.

Sustainable packaging

The massive reduction of packaging waste is already one of the top sustainability goals of food production and trade. At the same time, our customers are working hard to develop packaging solutions that are 100% recyclable. We support and promote this endeavor with corresponding proposals and product concept ideas (“Design for Recycling”) as part of our development work.


Sustainability management


For sustainability to be lived, it must also be anchored in the organization.

That is why we have had our own certified sustainability officer at Bösch Boden Spies in Dorota Kollien since 2018. As head, Kollien has built up our quality management over the past few years. In her functions, Ms. Kollien reports directly to the management. Since this year, she is supported in her work by a sustainability team consisting of several experts from the following departments:

  • Global Partner Management
  • Portfolio-Management & Innovation
  • Corporate Communications
  • Sales
  • Sales Operations
  • Quality Management
  • Logistics
  • The first task of this team is to develop a comprehensive sustainability strategy as part of our Growth Strategy 2025+ with concrete targets and measures for the individual fields of action, to take the lead in coordinating implementation in the individual departments, and to regularly communicate our sustainability activities internally and externally.

Cooperation with the Center for Sustainable Management (ZNU)

In the step-by-step development of our sustainability management, we rely on the expertise and network of the Center for Sustainable Corporate Management (ZNU) at the University of Witten-Herdecke, of which we have been a member of the partner network since 2018. In April 2018, we as a company underwent an initial ZNU sustainability check including a first materiality matrix as well as hot-spot analysis, which resulted in the definition of first concrete targets and measures. For the second half of 2021, we are striving for the certification of the ZNU-Standard Nachhaltiger Wirtschaften for the sustainability activities of Bösch Boden Spies as the next step. The ZNU Sustainable Business Standard helps companies to become more sustainable step by step and requires continuous improvement. It is the only field-tested and implemented standard for sustainable management that integrates all three dimensions of environment, economy and social issues and requires and promotes the development of an integrated management system for more sustainable management.

In addition, we are working with Professor Dr. Carolyn Hutter and the Food Management course at the Dualen Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (DHBW to update our sustainability strategy. partnerAs the former Head of Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability at Lidl Germany, her teaching and research activities focus on the topic of sustainability.

Top score in EcoVadis sustainability rating

In the first rating by EcoVadis, Bösch Boden Spies immediately achieved 54 out of 100 possible points and received a silver medal for this result. This puts Bösch Boden Spies among the top 25 percent of companies rated by EcoVadis. EcoVadis is a sustainability rating platform for global supply chains. Here, performance in the areas of ethics, environment and social issues is analyzed and measured.

A cornerstone of Bösch Boden Spies’ EcoVadis rating is the evaluation of environmental protection performance. Since 2020, the CO2 emissions at the Hamburg site have been completely recorded with the help of an external service provider, evaluated and compensated by supporting a sustainable project in Brazil. This means that BBS has been climate neutral since 2020.

ecovadis - Silver medalecovadis - Silver medal