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Agrargenossenschaft Landgard: The escapades of the management team

Fat company cars, horrendous consulting fees, escalating expense accounts: One of the largest German producer groups has been living beyond its means for years.

The managers of the agricultural cooperative Landgard like to think and live big. Members of the board of directors sometimes drive Mercedes-AMG sports cars as company cars, consultants cost a few million euros. Managers enjoy themselves at the company expense at carnival or the Oktoberfest. Restaurant visits with management personnel can cost a few thousand euros. Money, it seems, is not important.

If it weren’t for the debt: At the end of 2019, the company from Straelen near the Dutch border was pressing 141 million euros in liabilities. According to internal documents, new loans are already being considered again, 30 million euros could therefore come from the state-owned KfW Bank. There is not much to be felt of solidarity any moreFor a large corporation, such sums would hardly be worth mentioning. But Landgard is a cooperative that is financed by its members: 3000 horticultural businesses that grow flowers, fruit or vegetables and market them through Landgard – there is no larger organisation of this kind in Germany. The idea is that farmers can only hold their own against the power of the retail trade if they work together. However, there is not much of this idea of solidarity left. Among the comrades there is growing displeasure about the high-handedness of their bosses and their lax supervisors. The first ones have already fallen victim to the escapades.

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