When brothers Hans Otto and Claus Ewers joined the family business Brødr. Ewers in the early 1990s, they had a clear goal. They wanted to grow the company and become nationwide. To achieve this, they had to find the right location and suitable facilities for their feed factories and warehouse. They found both in GateDenmark at the Port of Aabenraa.

For 175 years, the family business Brødr. Ewers has produced and supplied grain and feed to Danish farmers. The company’s headquarters is in Sønderborg, but the heart of the business – their two feed factories and warehouse – is located at Gammelhavn 12–14 at the Port of Aabenraa. It is at this address that Brødr. Ewers receives approximately 120,000 tons of raw materials each year from countries such as Germany, Poland, and Eastern Europe. It is also here that the company produces 300,000 tons of feed annually, and from where the finished products are shipped to customers all over the country.


A crucial location 

Brødr. Ewers bought their first factory at the Port of Aabenraa in 1995, which at the time became Northern Europe’s most modern feed factory. In 2002, the company acquired the neighboring factory. According to the current directors of the family enterprise, Hans Otto and Claus Ewers, the decision to move the entire feed production to the Port of Aabenraa has been crucial for the success that has followed the two brothers throughout their leadership.

“The location fitted well with our strategy to grow our business as it gave us a naturally larger market area to operate in. Here, we are close to the highway, the German border, and, of course, the port, which has always been an important part of our DNA and our import strategy,” says Hans Otto Ewers, director and fifth generation at the helm of Brødr. Ewers.

Specifically, the combination of the right location and suitable facilities has meant that the two brothers have achieved their goal of becoming nationwide and can now call themselves Denmark’s largest producer and supplier of coarse goods.

“After we moved our production and warehouse to the Port of Aabenraa, we gained a significant competitive edge, allowing us to compete with the big companies. It has been crucial for us to have our factories and large warehouse in the same place, as we can utilize the same warehouse for both factories,” says Hans Otto Ewers.



CO2 benefit

Another advantage of having a central warehouse and factories in Aabenraa, according to the two Ewers brothers, is that they can use the “blue highway” and thus reduce the company’s CO2 footprint. Approximately 120,000 tons of raw materials that the company imports annually are received via ships. Brødr. Ewers has around 60 ship arrivals per year.

“In a time when we talk a lot about sustainability and CO2 emissions, it is clear that our CO2 footprint is much lower than other similar companies because we are located by a port. We transport a lot of goods, so it makes a big difference that we transport many of our goods by ships rather than, for example, trucks,” says Claus Ewers, director of Brødr. Ewers.

It is not only the company’s own CO2 footprint that concerns them. The sustainable development within agriculture, in particular, is something that occupies Brødr. Ewers at this time.

“We are very concerned about the future of agriculture and the entire question and debate about agriculture’s CO2 footprint. If significant taxes are imposed on farmers’ CO2 footprints, it will result in some farmers having to close down, which will affect us. Therefore, we are closely monitoring the development,” says Hans Otto Ewers.


A family business that cannot be defeated

Through five generations, the Ewers family has been at the helm, and today the company stands strong. But it is not a given. World wars, the German occupation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and most recently a storm surge that flooded the company’s factories are examples of the challenges the company has faced. But time and again, the family and the company manage to fight through.

“The storm surge is the worst thing I have ever seen. Our factories were under water, 60 cm everywhere. It really hurt. But with help from staff and families who voluntarily showed up to help us, we got through it, and we are so grateful for that,” says Hans Otto Ewers.

“One of the joys of running a family business is feeling everyone coming together when crises hit. And I believe that adversity has made our company strong. We have developed a DNA that no smart management principles can establish. It has been created over time, through ups and downs, and it is a great strength in our business,” adds Claus Ewers.


The 6th generation is ready – and the 7th is on its way

Although the storm surge is far from over, and the company is still struggling with its consequences, it has not stopped their future plans. The 6th generation of Brødr. Ewers is already poised to become an active part of the company, and the 7th generation is on the way.

“We are happy to be a family-related company with strong ties. It is said that 25% of all private companies survive after 10 years. So, we think we have done well here after 175 years,” says Hans Otto Ewers.

Facts about Brødr. Ewers

  • Brødr. Ewers A/S is a total supplier of all coarse goods and many related products to agriculture.
  • The company has an annual turnover of approximately 2.6 billion DKK, of which an annual feed production of 300,000 tons constitutes a significant part.
  • The company currently has 156 employees.

Read more about Brødr. Ewers.