Since our establishment in 1923, we have been leading the way and, to an extent, always reinventing ourselves. From the first Dieselross in 1935 to the consistent expansion of renewable energies. We have represented continuous change for 100 years.
Our climate strategy will lead us to group-wide climate neutrality from 2030. The first goal has already been achieved: covering our electricity requirements with renewable sources. Let the future begin! We are ready!
1923 - 1933
BayWa’s founding years
1923: Founded as a listed company
The company, influenced strongly by the cooperative movement, commenced operations with 400 warehouses and a logo resembling a sheaf of grain, which it would continue to use until 1972.
1925: Slowed down by the crisis
Workers and clerks at the company’s warehouses – seen here in front of a typical operation with rail connection – had to overcome tough times.
1927: The roots of mechanisation
The use of machinery started increasing harvest yields in the 1920s.
1929: Drumming up business
BayWa’s drummer mascot was known and loved by all.
Economic crisis! Under galloping inflation, banking business is becoming increasingly risky. To protect the merchandise business, the Bayerische Zentral-Darlehenskasse (BZDK) separates financial and goods transactions. On 17 January 1923, the Bayerische Warenvermittlung landwirtschaftlicher Genossenschaften AG (Bavarian goods brokerage of agricultural cooperatives) – “BayWa” – is established. It starts with 400 warehouses in various parts of Bavaria. The chairman of the board is Clemens Löweneck.
The demand for food is increasing. Instead of importing cheaply from abroad, BayWa relies on quality and an increased use of operating resources and machinery. A favourable business year sees the company’s sales exceed 100 million Reichsmark for the first time.
The global economy is struggling, but BayWa can take advantage of the crisis. This year they take their first steps for expansion and expand their reach to include regions in northern Bavaria. From 1934 onwards, BayWa is represented throughout Bavaria.
Dr Josef Haselberger takes over as CEO from Clemens Löweneck. Haselberger, a lawyer, knows the company better than anyone else. He was a member of the BZDK Board from 1919 to 1935 and thus a member of the BayWa Board since 1923. In 1935, he dies unexpectedly. The NSDAP appoints Friedrich Eichinger as his successor and brings BayWa “on track”.
The war and a new beginning
1934: Active throughout Bavaria
Gleichschaltung led to the creation of a central cooperative organisation.The picture here shows a typical warehouse of the era.
1935: More production
The Reichsnährstand demanded increases in output.
1939-1945: Participation in the war economy
BayWa was forced to contribute to securing the foodsupply during WWII.
1945: Rebuilding begins
Many of BayWa’s buildings hadbeen destroyed or damaged bythe end of the war.
The first Fendt Dieselross is delivered by BayWa. The beginning of a long success story for BayWa and Fendt that continues to this day.
BayWa puts itself entirely at the service of the “Reichsnährstand”, a government body set up by the National Socialists to regulate food production and is involved in the war economy. The aim is to render the country self-sufficient in food. By the end of the war, 512 employees have died, 487 are missing or taken prisoner. After the end of the war, Dr Josef Singer takes over as Chairman of the Board of Management.
Praise for potatoes! Hunger prevails when the war ends, especially in the cities. BayWa imports potatoes from the USA, the Netherlands and Denmark and is exemplary in its role as supplier. BayWa is already making a profit again this year.
1950 - 1970
Setting the pace of progress
1950: Focus on qualification
Hohenkammer castle stood for intensive training and continuous professional development of employees.
1960: In the spotlight
BayWa showed off its diverse range of products and services at a number of fairs and events.
1970: A clear picture
Agriculture experts demonstrated the latest trends in plant cultivation on location at the test fields.
1970: The industry’s EDP leader
BayWa became the company in the industry to introduce electronic data processing (EDP), making extensive use of IBM page readers, which processed more than 100,000 receipts each day.
Reconstruction is in progress and building materials are needed. In 1949, building materials are listed as a separate division in the annual report for the first time. In the era of the “economic miracle”, the standard of living rises; structural change and mechanisation of agriculture pick up speed. Tractors, combine harvesters, choppers and milking machines are in high demand. Meat is being eaten more frequently and BayWa supplies farmers with animal feed.
Christmas 1956 and the first issue of employee magazine “Schwalbe” (Swallow) lands on the desks of employees.
BayWa breaks the mark of one billion Marks in sales. With automation advancing in the 1960s, BayWa provides the farmers with support in the form of innovative agricultural technology, training and individual advice. They sell 44,000 tractors during the 1960s alone.
Siegfried Holzer replaces Josef Singer as CEO. Like his predecessor, he is Head of both BayWa AG and the Bayerische Raiffeisen Zentralbank (BRZ).
The construction boom is also felt at BayWa. Multi-purpose halls for trade, workshops, building material warehouses, retail markets and logistics warehouses are created.A filling station network is set up. Because meat consumption is also increasing, BayWa invests in animal feed production.
Energy-saving house and mobility
1970: Building blocks of the boom
Home ownership was all the rage, and the building materials business continued to grow in importance.
1970: New markets
Garden and do-it-yourself articles were in growing demand, so BayWa expanded its product range.
1971: Flowing business
Grain exports were an integral part of agricultural trading – and waterways were the main mode of transport.
1972: Advertising increases awareness
BayWa unveiled its new logo.
1976: BayWa Sonnenhaus
In 1976, BayWa’s Sonnenhaus, which used solar energy to cover more than 80% of its heating needs, showed people that saving energy was sustainable and did not mean sacrificing comfort.
Otmar Wasmer becomes Chairman of the Board of Directors at BayWa and retains this position for almost 20 years. The dual function of the management board for BayWa and RBZ, which had been customary up to then, is abandoned.
The Olympic Games are coming to Munich. BayWa supplies seeds for the parks. In 1972, star designer Otl Aicher designs a new logo for “BayWa AG”: the timeless green square with the company name in white.
BayWa invests and grows: 13,800 employees and sales of over three billion Deutschmarks set a record in the company’s history to date. Another record is set with 2,900 trainees. Despite the oil crisis, fuel shortages and a driving ban on Sundays, BayWa can be relied upon to supply their customers with heating oil, petrol and diesel.
All departments move to Bogenhausen in the “Sternhaus” (Star House) on Arabellastrasse, named after its star-shaped architecture. The 17-storey high-rise building is leased by BayWa.
1980 - 1990
The curtain rises to new markets
1980: A question of size
BayWa looked to strike a balance between small and large retail environments.
1980: Large quantities
Technology at BayWa’s agricultural centres continued to develop in order to cope with the large quantities of grain.
1984: Firmly in the saddle
Municipalities became an important target market for agricultural equipment.
1985: Close to the customer – literally
BayWa supplied even the most isolated communities, providing a full range of goods and services for customers.
1998: New arrivals
Political changes brought fresh colour into the picture. As seen here, East German Trabants were now a common sight at BayWa’s branches.
The Bayerische Raiffeisen-Zentralbank (BRZ), main owner of BayWa, plunges into crisis. The central cooperative banking institute in Germany, DG Bank Frankfurt, takes over the banking business and the holdings of the former BRZ are combined in a financial holding, which continues to belong to the Bavarian cooperatives. Bayerische Raiffeisen-Beteiligungs-AG (BRB) is now one of BayWa’s main shareholders. Today, they hold 34.26 percent shares of BayWa.
In response to structural problems in the agricultural sector and the construction industry, along with an economic downturn, BayWa introduces a divisional organisation. The regions are arranged according to the divisions of Agriculture, Technology, Building Materials, DIY & Garden Centres and Petroleum.
Even before German reunification, BayWa enters the franchise business in East Germany. The first franchise operation is the BayWa-BHG DIY & Garden Centres in Saxony’s Bad Düben, followed by further expansion of the franchise business for hardware stores and garden centres, as well as building materials. In the petroleum sector, BayWa concludes agency agreements with partners and opens the first filling stations.
1990 - 2000
On the road to the new millennium
1991: Uphill and downhill
A strong logistics element was one of the hallmarks of the building materials segment.
1992: Further growth
The end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for agriculture, but also new problems.
1993: Day and night
Self-service petrol stations enabled mobility in rural regions.
1995: Heating things up
The new Building Services Engineering business unit was set up to focus on energy-saving heating solutions for business and private customers, among other things.
1995: Delivering quality
BayWa was committed to quality management in every area.
1998: BayWa sets up a foundation
In the anniversary year, the BayWa Foundation is established with a financial base of DM 2 million.
Wolfgang Deml becomes the new CEO. The company faces major challenges with the onset of major structural changes in agriculture.
BayWa takes over 51 percent of the shares in Raiffeisen Warenverband (RWV) Tyrol and shortly thereafter the “Unser Lagerhaus” Warenhandelsgesellschaft (WHG) in Carinthia, as well as the BayWa Vorarlberg. A total of 1,000 employees generate sales of 600 million Deutschmarks.
The BayWa Foundation is launched. The first commitment is with a Bulgarian agricultural project.
In 1999, BayWa enters into a strategic alliance with the Austrian Raiffeisen Ware Austria (RWA) and increases its sales volume by 40 percent or DM 2.8 billion. The group enters the new millennium with a turnover of 10 billion Deutschmarks.
2000 - 2012
Shaping the future with positive energy
2007: By water
The new agricultural operation in the town of Freiberg am Neckar set standards.
2008: New momentum
The merger with Württembergische Warenzentrale WLZ Raiffeisen AG provided a considerable boost to the company’s fruit business.
2010: A new field
The many international renewable energy projects now included a rooftop solar power station in the port in Barcelona.
2012: Agriculture strengthened
BayWa’s acquisitions in 2012 made thecompany a global agricultural trader.
The Bundeskartellamt (German federal antitrust authority) approves the takeover of WLZ Raiffeisen AG, which operates in Baden-Württemberg. This is a defining event in the first years of the new millennium. BayWa can thus significantly improve their market position. The fruit business also gains momentum as this is a strong area for WLZ.
The BayWa share is listed in the SDAX for the first time. According to Forbes, BayWa is ranked among the 2,000 most important companies worldwide for the first time in 2004.
Prof. Klaus Josef Lutz takes over as CEO from Wolfgang Deml mid-2008. Lutz takes a new approach with BayWa. His term of office is characterised by a dynamic course of growth. The core strategies involve internationalisation, diversification, specialisation and digitalisation. Milestones include the internationalisation of the agricultural and fruit business and the entry into renewable energies.
2008 turns out to be the best financial year in the company’s history up to that point. Group sales grow by 21 percent to 8.8 billion euros. The agricultural segment alone (Agricultural Trade and Technology) accounts for more than four billion euros.
Within just under six months, BayWa acquires three sustainably-oriented companies: Renerco, Aufwind and MHH Solartechnik. The focus is on international business right from the start.
BayWa enters the US market with the takeover of Focused Energy, the PV wholesaler. A year later, the international share of turnover of BayWa r.e. amounts to 44 percent.
The acquisition of Turners & Growers Limited (T&G) in New Zealand represents BayWa’s largest international transaction to date. Through the acquisition of Cefetra and a majority stake in Bohnhorst Agrarhandel, BayWa also moves from a European player to a global one in the grain market and is one of the top ten agricultural traders worldwide.
From the end of 2012, renewable energy business activities are summarised under the umbrella of BayWa r.e. (renewable energy). BayWa r.e. develops to become one of the world’s leading developers, service providers, PV wholesalers and providers of energy solutions in the field of renewable energies with branches in 29 countries. In 2015, BayWa r.e. reaches the sales mark of one billion euros.
2013 - 2023
Sustainable Solutions for Life
2017: First climate-neutral location
BayWa's wholesale fruit market in Kressbronn on Lake Constance is the company's first climate-neutral site in Germany.
2018: Variable Rain
With satellite-based irrigation, farmers increase yields and protect the environment.
High-efficiency floating PV systems on unused water surfaces.
Satellite-based electric robots for mechanical weed control.
2020: Electromobility booming
BayWa Mobility Solutions GmbH founded for CO2-optimized mobility solutions.
Already standard in other countries, the first agri-PV plant was built in Germany together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.
BayWa continues to pursue its course of international growth with investments and acquisitions: Companies such as the Dutch agricultural technology dealer Agrimec, the Al Dahra (UAE) joint venture for the production of tomatoes in climate greenhouses, the Dutch specialised dealer Thegra Tracomex and TFC Holland, supplier of exotic fruit, become part of the group.
With the establishment of the“Innovation and Digitalisation” segment, BayWa develops digital offers for agriculture and bundles its own activities in e-commerce.
Establishment of BayWa Mobility Solution GmbH. A year later, BayWa becomes a partner in operating company Hy2B Wasserstoff GmbH.
The first milestone of the BayWa climate strategy is achieved: For the first time, 100 percent of the electricity throughout the group is covered by renewable energy sources.
As a result of the acquisition of a 49 percent stake by funds advised by Energy Infrastructure Partners (EIP), an equity contribution of EUR 530 million flows into BayWa r.e. BayWa AG remains the majority shareholder of BayWa r.e. with a 51 percent shareholding.
The growth momentum continues. BayWa comfortably survives the third year of Corona and the energy crisis. It achieves another rise in earnings and enjoys a record result.
In 2023, BayWa AG can look back on 100 years of company history. During this time, the company started out as a traditional regional trader with cooperative roots and developed to become an international group of companies with locations in 50 countries.