This was matched by his long-term, forward-looking way of thinking with ideas that were far ahead of his time. This was also the case with his courageous entrepreneurial decision in the early 1950s, together with his father Joseph and brother Otto, to turn the classic agricultural flour mill into a completely new form of industrial enterprise with new tasks – the J. Rettenmaier & Söhne OHG, from which today’s globally active JRS group of companies was formed.
Josef Rettenmaier has always understood perfectly how to approach people – customers, employees, friends, in politics or in voluntary work. As a self-confessed family man, he also shaped the JRS company as a large business family. Mutual responsibility and togetherness were very central values for him, which have been transferred to today’s JRS. The well-being of the employees and the desire to always be able to offer the customers an active added value have always been the driving force and basis of his entrepreneurial work.
His life’s work includes the expansion of the grain and oil mill founded in 1878 into one of the world’s most efficient industrial companies in the field of innovative functional cellulose and plant fiber products. Today, JRS plant fiber technology is used in almost all industrial sectors and areas of life.
Josef Rettenmaier started his professional career with a rock-solid miller’s apprenticeship, followed by further commercial training. During this time, he was actively involved at an early stage in the sometimes still very hard physical work in his parents‘ mill business. With a great deal of foresight, he succeeded as an accomplished, determined businessman in successfully growing the forward-looking, sustainable innovation field of plant fiber technology. This spirit continues to shape JRS a generation later, right up to the present day.
At the same time, as a creative insider with a great deal of practical knowledge, he was also always the technological driving force behind the company’s development, which led, among other things, to the development of completely new types of processing equipment for cellulose fine fibers, which led to many product and application innovations. He also has developed special production processes for the manufacture of dietary fiber concentrates, among other things.
Josef Rettenmaier was also active in many social, cultural, church and political organizations, institutions and initiatives. In addition to many honors, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Staufer Medal and the Business Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg, and the Papal Order of St. Silvester.
Today, the JRS Group employs more than 3,500 people at over 90 production and sales locations worldwide. With its sustainable green JRS plant fiber technology, JRS is committed to health, nutrition and resource-saving technical applications in almost all areas of life. The independent, owner-managed JRS family business group has its headquarters firmly rooted in the in the Ostalbkreis district, South Germany.