At Das Geld hängt an den Bäumen in Hamburg, delicious juice is made from fruit that would otherwise be tossed. Besides, it also creates jobs for people at the margins of society.
Delicious organic juice
The delicious organic juice from Das Geld hängt an den Bäumen is made by people at the margins of society. The apples come from private gardens, allotment gardens and farms without an agricultural destination.
Founder Jan Schierhorn used to love sitting underneath one of his apple trees in his backyard and at some point thought, it’s crazy that there’s so many apples growing here that just get thrown away. There were so many delicious treasures in his garden, so much more than he and his family of five could ever eat. Dozens of tons of apples and other fruit get tossed every year and Jan decided he wanted to do something against this by making delicious juice out of the leftover fruit. Surplusses from private gardens, allotment gardens, orchards of the city of Hamburg and fruit growers wouldn’t go to waste anymore, but rather they’d get used for juice. This way he hadn’t just found a solution for the surplus, but it would also create jobs for people in need of work.
A successful start
Not just Jan and his neigbours had a surplus of apples and other fruit, many other citizens of Hamburg with allotment gardens had a surplus they were more than happy to share with Jan. Several farms without an agricultural destination would too donate their surplus.
Jan was looking for a solution for all this fruit surplus that wouldn’t just generate money; he wanted it to be good for both his heart as well as his stomach. He decided to make juice from the fruit and hire people who have trouble finding jobs to do that; a varied group of people with a range of situations and abilities that share a common difficulty in finding work.
In 2009 he presented his idea to the Körber Stichting who liked his idea enough to help him start his company with a donation of 10.000 euros. This allowed him to start his company Das Geld hängt an den Bäumen and hire his first employee. For the first harvest they thought they would be able to fill about 500 bottles but because everyone showed such a great interest in the project and donated fruit, they were able to fill over 9000 bottles with their first harvest.
The juice gets expanded
The company slowly grows and they start to organise pickingdays for kindergartens and companies. During these ‘social days’ kids and people form the workforce can see how easy it is to be socially involved. An added benefit of these days is that they can get in contact with different layers of society they wouldn’t normally get into contact with.
In 2011 the assortment of juices gets expandedn. It stays an applejuice base, but redcurrant, elderberry, pear and rhubarb are added into the mix. The ingredient stays the same though: juice, and nothing else!
More and more customers ask for the juice and it’s being sold in different stores, restaurants and companies. The company can be regularly found at festival and gastronomical fairs. The company is about more than juice and they feel it’s important to use opportunities such as these to connect people with and without a disability.
Eevery year the company grows so much that each year they have to move to a new, larger location. After six years and five moves, they finally found their permanent space! The company is also getting more and more professional and in 2014 they buy a labelling machine which speeds up the process considerably. The year after the juice-mobile is ready; a mobile truck filled with juice that allows the company to sell their juice on parties, festivals and other events.
More than just juice alone
Das Geld hängt an den Bäumen is foremost a company that combines sustainable with social. Its employees are people who are at the margins of society who all have a difficulty finding jobs. By creating work for them, the employees feel part of society. The workprocess is a bit slower which causes the prices of the juice to be a bit higher, but this in turns ensures that a group of people can join the workforce, pay taxes and feel good about the work they do.
Since two years, the visibility of the employees has grown since their pictures are shown on the juicebottles. Employee Simon is responsible for the redcurrant and can be found on its bottle, Olaf is responsible for the rhubarb and employee Samuel is responsible for the regular apple juice.
The company sells the juice to individuals and companies and 100% of the profits go back into the company to create more and more jobs and work.
The company has been selling spritzer as well, made from juice and sparkling water. These profits are divided: it goes back into the company, but it also supports Viva con Agua Sankt Pauli, on organisation that provides people with clean drinking water worldwide.
Das Geld hängt an den Bäumen - but not thát much
The company can alsways use money and other stuff to help their employees or future employees. On the website you can find the different ways in which to help. Whether that's by donating money, apples or other stuff.