Our trading company was founded in 1792 and is one of the oldest medium-sized trading companies in Bremen. Our field of business ranges from the import of spices and herbs to honey, tea and various non-food consumer goods from all over the world.
As a raw material supplier and importer of household products, we supply the European food industry and food retail segment. In order to satisfy the increasing segmentation of the markets in which we operate, we have divided our company into specialised core business sectors. Today, these different business sectors are outsourced into separate subsidiaries.
Our company’s philosophy includes focusing on the needs of our customers in every business area, while creating a deep understanding of the developments and success factors in the producing and supplying countries in which we operate.
Therefore, we strive to be seen as a reliable and trustworthy partner in everything we do for customers and suppliers alike.
Our company was founded in 1792 by Johan Conrad Schütte, allowing us to look back on 225 years of company history. The name Johann Gottfried Schütte & Company, which the company still bears today, was introduced in 1815. As a family company, we are led today by the 7th and 8th generation of the family; Michael F. Schütte and Johann G. Smidt.
The company first became established with the importation of raw materials such as tobacco, spices, medicinal plants and drugs. Further business areas were added over the years. Trading in tea from 1841 and in honey from 1876 turned out to be especially interesting and still play an important role in our company today. After the Second World War, we were able to build an important export business, supplying European consumer goods to Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Since the early 1990s, our different core business areas have been divided into separate subsidiaries in order to better address the segmentation of the markets in which we operate. Today, these companies operate as independent raw material suppliers for the European food industry and the retail sector and as importers of non-food consumer goods.
In spite of several wars and other temporary crises and difficulties, the company has been able to survive over several centuries. This shows our strength, resilience and awareness for tradition as well as our many years of expertise and product knowledge due to our experience of trade developments through the ages.
Sustainability for us is a combination of ecology, economy and great social responsibility. Therefore, this principle has become the mission statement of our entrepreneurial trade in the various sectors in which our group operates. Consumer and environment protection as well as social conditions play an important role in many procurement markets together with the quality control of our products and product safety.
In this way, we process and trade several organically produced raw materials and comply with additional certifications such as fair trade products. Furthermore, the social standards of our overseas production facilities are regularly audited by neutral certification companies, and we are a member of the BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative, Brussels). We are also a member of the Forest Stewardship Council and our wood products are FSC-certified.
We also want to contribute to an ecologically climate-friendly and forward-looking business policy in Germany. Our efficient energy management system allows us to reduce power, gas and water consumption in all divisions, while our commitment to photovoltaics allows us to make a contribution to the reduction of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Certified and customer-oriented quality management is required for a high standard of quality and it is of central importance within our company. We work tirelessly to further develop our quality standards to fulfil the quality and safety needs of our customers and supply products of the highest quality. Extensive certification of our business divisions according to the IFS food standard and regular audits ensure sustainable product safety.
Our quality controls start with the selection of international raw material suppliers. Assessment methods, profound market knowledge and long-standing business relationships allow us to purchase raw materials of the highest quality all over the world.
A deep understanding of quality enables us to address the individual requirements of our customers and supply them with the desired raw material qualities. Before shipping merchandise to our customers, it is checked by our internal QS and by external laboratories with regard to product-specific parameters and released on the basis of exhaustive analyses.
In this way, we ensure that our products and raw materials always comply with legal provisions and quality requirements and meet the extensive expectations of our customers and consumers, in particular.
Training and Career
Support for the next generation
The topic of education is one of our company’s great success factors. We are regularly searching for young high school graduates, who have foreign language skills that they would like to build on within our company. We are also looking for young people who are interested in international flows of goods and logistical relationships, who would like to round this off with an apprenticeship within a trading company. We offer the following three-year-training occupations:
Management Assistant in Wholesale and Foreign Trade (m/f)
Office Management Assistant (m/f)
By involving trainees in the different departments of our company and sharing product-specific industry knowledge in our German subsidiaries, we are able to offer a complete apprenticeship. Our aim is to support young people in their professional and personal development and to promote skills such as initiative, autonomy, communication and problem-solving skills.
In this way, we make sure our trainees get an optimal start into working life and increase their chance of obtaining a permanent position in the company after successfully graduating from their vocational training. We sometimes also offer our Management Assistants in Wholesale and Foreign Trade the opportunity to start a career in our subsidiary in Asia.
Due to the high goals we constantly set for ourselves, we have been offering – for a number of years now – our trainees the chance to complete an additional Bachelor programme in Business Administration (Bachelor of Arts).
We cooperate with the distance learning study programme at the PFH Private University of Applied Sciences. PFH currently offers the programmes in Business Sciences -so far- only in German. Quality and the highest level in terms of content are a main priority at PFH: all distance learning courses are accredited and state-recognised. PFH offers individually tailored Bachelor’s qualifications, depending on prior education and objectives. At the same time, the PFH distance-learning study programme is taken in parallel with the 2.5 – 3 year apprenticeship. This enables our students to study and work at the same time, thereby securing their livelihood.
The advantages of PFH are: Practically relevant academic programmes. Full-time professors and practically experienced lecturers. A fully developed didactic blended learning concept with a proven mix of distance learning units, assignments by correspondence, videos and audio books. The virtual campus, myPFH, an e-learning platform. A broad range of services that facilitate studying.
We allow young people to gain operational work experience during a 2-6 months internship in our company before, during or after their studies.