Our sustainability strategy
In over 100 years, we have reinvented ourselves again and again, and we are always trying to evolve. So that we can offer you products that give you the best enjoyment experience every day. So that you can rely on us and our products. So that we live up to our responsibility and conviction as a family business.
Acting sustainably means conserving resources. With our products, it's easy to appreciate food again and buy it in one piece. This not only avoids unnecessary packaging and reduces food waste - it also simply tastes better. And since we pay attention to high-quality materials in the production of our appliances, maintain high production standards, and "Made in Germany" also means short transport routes for us, GRAEF is emblematic of sustainability and responsible entrepreneurship.
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„For today. For tomorrow. For you.“
Our new brand claim is a promise to you. It means that we keep you and your wishes for a product in mind when we develop a product. So that you can master your kitchen tasks every day with a reliable and durable product - today and tomorrow. That's why the claim also characterizes our entire philosophy, which we present to you on this page. Dive into the world of GRAEF and get to know us. We are looking forward to meeting you.
For today. For tomorrow. For you.
This is not just a brand claim, but a promise. It is closely linked to us and our values. That's why we want to tell you more about us, our mission, our vision and what it means for you.
A vision shows us the big picture. It holds before our eyes what we want to achieve by joining forces. If not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow.
Our vision is to become the most popular and sustainable supplier of cutting technology and kitchen appliances, inspiring and supporting you to live a sustainable lifestyle.
So that together we can contribute to a better future.
Our mission is our daily work assignment. For us, it is:
We bring enjoyment to every home - with high-quality, durable products that truly offer added value.
What does it mean?
Claim, mission and vision have a concrete impact on us, our actions and our products. It means, for example, that we are always looking for the best quality for our products - in materials, workmanship, supplier selection, customer service, design and everything related to our product and brand. Aspects such as recycling, reparability and product life are now key guidelines for development and for deciding whether or not to include products in our range. We are a reliable cooperation partner and, as a family-owned company, we make our contribution to a sustainable future. We are also aware of our responsibility towards our employees and always put long-term planning before short-term profit. With our new claim, we are setting out to become even more sustainable. The path is the goal and we are working towards it every day.
Sustainable products for a sustainable lifestyle
This central principle is at the core of our decisions and products at many levels. In the question of whether a product even makes it into our range, and during every development loop that a product takes until it is ready for the market. It covers aspects such as the durability and repairability of products, the production standards of our suppliers, the origin of materials, and also new ideas and concepts for tomorrow, such as the sharing economy or the establishment of a second-hand line for used products. To this end, we also want to become more sustainable in all areas and at the same time inspire others to follow the path. That's why we offer our employees benefits such as e-bikes, home-offices and bonuses, have completely rebuilt our headquarters to make it more energy-efficient, are changing our product packaging and are trying to become more carbon-neutral step by step. That's also why we provide you with shelf life studies, food upcycling ideas, and tips and tricks to help us get better every day - together.
GRAEF slicers - Quality, "Handmade in Germany"
For over 60 years, we as the family-owned company GRAEF stand for exceptional workmanship, durability and not least the design of our universal slicers. The value chain of our slicers - from development and production to final touch, logistics and repair - takes place at the main factory in Arnsberg, Sauerland. They are therefore "made in Germany at its best".
Think Green - Graef wins Plus X Award in the sustainability category
Durable materials, short transport routes, and products that counteract food waste - as a kitchen appliance manufacturer, we not only communicate dedication to environmental and climate protection, but also act with a sense of responsibility, foresight, and progress. This commitment has now been recognized with the Plus X Award - the world's largest innovation prize for technology, sports and lifestyle - in the sustainability category. "We are aware of our responsibility towards the environment and our employees, but above all - and this is particularly important to us as a family business - also towards our next generations. For us, the award is not only confirmation, but also a further incentive to live up to our newly formulated corporate vision and become the most sustainable supplier of cutting technology and kitchen appliances," says Hermann Graef.
Foresight - for the company and the environment
GRAEF was able to convince the jury of the coveted Plus X Award with environmentally friendly, alternative, green ideas that support consumers in integrating a sustainable lifestyle into their everyday lives. For example, the #besseramstück shelf life study or the #GRAEFgreenfamily project, in which eleven test families were able to reduce both their packaging waste and food waste in everyday life thanks to the GRAEF SKS700 fine slicer. Already during production, we pay attention to a high level of reparability, a long supply availability of replacement components, and sustainable transport routes - for example, 85% of the materials of the SKS700 come from North Rhine-Westphalia.
Regional commitment to climate protection
Local responsibility - patronage for WaldLokal in Warstein
We at GRAEF are particularly proud of our location in the Sauerland region. For more than 100 years, we have been developing and producing our well-known universal slicers here, focusing on short transport routes and a low carbon footprint. In order to make a small contribution to the region and especially to the environment, we have taken over the patronage of the WaldLokal in nearby Warstein at the end of 2021. The WaldLokal project ensures that the now numerous gaps in the landscape of the Sauerland are reforested with climate-stable mixed forest. After the bark beetle infestation and other climate damage in recent years, at least 600 climate-stable trees can be planted each year in Warstein alone. Through the patronage of GRAEF, at least another 1.400 trees will now be reforested once.
GRAEF launches first planting campaign at the WaldLokal in Warstein.
In May 2022, we were finally able to carry out our first planting campaign at the WaldLokal. More than 1,000 seedlings were planted in just one day. 20 motivated employees and the GRAEF management spent a whole day in the 10-hectare area of the GRAEF WaldLokal and planted the robust young trees - a climate-stable mix of stone pines, mountain pines and giant sequoias - under the expert guidance of Lena Arens and her team from the Warstein Forestry Office. With this, the GRAEF planting team gave the starting signal for the reforestation program in the region.
WaldLokal - for a climate-stable mixed forest in the Sauerland region.
Throughout Germany, many forests are severely affected by the consequences of climate change, such as bark beetle infestations and storms of the century. With local programs like WaldLokal, it is possible to ensure that a climate-stable, near-natural and healthy mixed forest is created. "We love our Sauerland region and are particularly proud to have been producing our well-known all-round cutters here for more than 100 years. In terms of reforestation, however, there is still a lot to do here. That is why we are all the more pleased that we as a company can support the local WaldLokal and contribute to the sustainable development of the region," says Hermann Graef, Managing Director of Gebr. Graef GmbH & Co. KG, who actively helped on the planting day. Trees can generally always be planted in spring and fall, as the soil then offers optimal conditions for successful growth. In the next planting phase, red oaks and coastal firs, for example, would then be planted. For more than a year, the WaldLokal project has been ensuring that the now numerous gaps in the landscape of the Sauerland are replanted with climate-stable mixed forest.
For more information on the "WaldLokal" project, visit: www.waldlokal.de
Use for longer instead of wasting
Sustainable against food waste
12 million tons of food end up in the garbage can in Germany every year - that's 75 kilograms per capita and household. These figures from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) are alarming. The main cause is premature defects such as mold caused by incorrect storage. This means that many people simply don't know which foods they should store and how in order to extend their shelf life - and we want to change that. Did you know that it makes a difference where exactly you store your food in the fridge? Why you should definitely set up a dark box, what belongs in it and where exactly bread stays fresh the longest, we explain to you in our storage ABC.
GRAEF shelf life study proves: It's better to buy food in one piece.
However, it is not only the correct storage that determines how long a food product will keep, but also its texture. As we found out together with the Munich laboratory Dr. Böhm, everyday classics such as bread, sausage or cheese keep much longer - even up to 2 weeks longer! compared to cold cuts - if they are bought in one piece instead of pre-cut and only cut open as needed. Over several weeks, we closely monitored Gouda, salami, ham and co. microbiologically and the results confirmed our hunch: The piece goods keep up to two weeks longer than the sliced and packaged versions - wow! GRAEF slicers therefore help to reduce food waste and packaging waste, and are also easy on the wallet.
100% Service – for durable products
Anyone who buys a GRAEF product can expect more in every respect. Outstanding function, first-class design, ease of use - and, of course, the best service. This includes, for example, our own repair department at our headquarters in Arnsberg, spare parts stocking, often for decades, and competent product advice.
GRAEF products have become dear family members for our customers over the many years of use and they want to keep them. In most cases, our competent factory service makes it possible for your repaired GRAEF product to remain a family member for many years to come.
Our universal slicers, for example, are extremely durable - we see time and again that our customers pass their machines on within the family and still enjoy using them even after 40 years. Even these "GRAEF old-timers" can be sent to us for maintenance. We will bring them back into shape - for example, by installing spare parts or resharpening the blades.
We offer repair services for a large number of our products - including the universal slicers and many other products, e.g. from our CoffeeKitchen. If a product is no longer repairable at the end of its life cycle, we will of course take care of its appropriate disposal. For example, our products are professionally disassembled into their individual parts and the various materials are returned to their recycling cycles.
#graefgreenfamily - our sustainability field test
GRAEF greenfamilies save around 40 % food waste and more than 20 % plastic waste.
Cooking for the whole family is healthy and sustainable - that's now clear. Our field test proves it: Slicing food fresh in one piece reduces plastic waste and food waste. The experiment started in July 2021, in which eleven test families were equipped with the latest fine slicer from GRAEF, the SKS700, to counteract food waste and packaging waste. With success, as has been shown: The GRAEFgreenfamilies reduced their plastic waste by more than 20 percent within six months. The experiment also made it clear that the use of the SKS700 fine slicer noticeably reduced food waste. Eight of the eleven families reported putting less food in the trash, and for those families that still had to dispose of food during the preparation phase, the amount of food that ended up in the trash was reduced by an average of 40 percent. All of the test families were already very concerned about sustainable living before the field trial - yet they all confirmed that they are now much more aware of how easy it is to make a small contribution to environmental protection in everyday life and that they want to keep up the practices.
Sustainable family cooking - the results of the field test.
For six months, eleven families, small and large, tried to reduce their consumption of plastic packaging and minimize food waste with the help of the GRAEF SKS700 fine slicer. The idea: All families buy food as unpackaged as possible, in one piece and in the right quantities, and cut it up fresh using the kitchen appliance manufacturer's latest all-purpose slicer.
Before starting the experiment, the families recorded how often they cooked, how much waste was generated by packaged food, and how much leftover food ended up in the trash can. Since July 2021, they have been using the SKS700 to try out new cooking and eating behaviors and have documented this in detail. After six months, they took stock, with pleasing results: On average, the test families produced 20 percent less packaging waste. The families were also able to counteract food waste. Significantly less food ended up in the trash - families who had to dispose of food before the start of the experiment even reduced waste by an average of 40 percent. In individual cases, the effects were even more pronounced: the Schwalbe family, for example, reduced their household plastic waste by more than 50 percent. "Even before the experiment began, we made sure to buy little packaged food. Not so easy in a household with two children. The fact that we were able to save so much more by cutting up fresh was something we didn't realize until our documentation - really great," says C. Schwalbe. During the experiment, the Schmitt family produced 66 percent less food waste and was very surprised themselves: "Of course we sometimes have to dispose of food because it doesn't last long enough. Since the SKS700 has been decorating our kitchen, we have noticed that food lasts longer in one piece and that the trash can lid can stay closed more often," says C. Schmitt.
More food in one piece and more cooking fun
On average, the families bought 14 more groceries in one piece than before. None of the families felt that shopping was particularly time-consuming. Nine of the eleven GRAEFgreenfamilies reported more effort overall. Nine of the eleven GRAEFgreenfamilies reported having more fun cooking overall. Families used the fine slicer not only for sausage, cheese and bread, but also for fruits and vegetables, and tried many of the recipes specially created by GRAEF to turn food scraps into delicious dishes. In most families, the fine slicer has become a daily kitchen companion, because it can be integrated super into everyday life. One thing all families have confirmed as well: Their perception of food, its purchase and disposal has changed significantly and taken on a whole new significance. They are now even more sensitive to food and have a greater awareness of sustainability.
*The average values given here are taken from the weekly documentation and the subsequent evaluation of the GRAEFgreenfamily evaluation form as well as the evaluation of a LamaPoll final survey of all test families.
Questions and answers around our sustainability ambitions
What role does sustainability play in the manufacture of GRAEF products?
For us, factors such as sustainability, durability, repairability and highest quality have always been important and inevitable in a family business. In the production of our products we always pay attention to the best quality, be it in material, processing, supplier selection, customer service or design. Aspects such as recycling, repairability and product life are decisive for the development of a product and for the decision whether to include it in our range or not.
How is "green production" implemented at GRAEF?
GRAEF stands for durable and high-quality kitchen appliances. We see "green production" first and foremost in our range of valuable products that accompany the consumer for many years. In the coming years, we will of course also try to realize "green production" with new facets of sustainability, such as the increased use of recycled and/or sustainable materials, as cost-neutrally as possible or through cost savings in other areas.
How does GRAEF deal with the issue of (packaging) waste?
We are currently working on a new packaging concept for our products in order to use even more sustainable packaging and to make them completely plastic- and styrofoam-free on the inside in the long term.
As a kitchen appliance manufacturer, we are of course not only concerned with the topic of waste and packaging in relation to our products, but also want to support you as a consumer in this topic. The best example: use our all-in-one slicers in your kitchen! Just recently, our big GRAEFgreenfamily trial showed that freshly slicing food in one piece reduces plastic waste and food waste. So we're also taking this topic a step further and communicating "sustainable enjoyment".