In the context of the international seminar “Creating Bridges for Europe” at Haus auf der Alb in Bad Urach, Germany, an international group of the Danube-Networkers visited the company BeckaBeck in Römerstein on the Swabian Jura on 26th July. The 20 participants from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Germany are all actively involved in the Danube project “Bread connects”. Thus, they were all interested in the production of traditional bread and its commercialisation in a bigger company.
In the beginning, the owner of the company, Mr Heinrich Beck, introduced the participants into the basics of traditional bread baking as it is applied by him and his company. He solely uses ingredients such as ancient grains from the Swabian Jura, herbs from organic farming and fruits from regional gardens. The quality of his raw materials and products are controlled regularly. His goal is to produce decent and rich baked goods and in doing so to strengthen regional products and farms. Because his 17 stores are nearby, he can always sell his goods right from the oven. Even though BeckaBeck emphasises tradition to a great extent, innovations and improvements are implemented reasonably. For instance, the employees get training courses in the internal BeckaBeck Academy continuously. Also, the apprentices are taught to bake properly. To Mr. Beck it does not come into question to let machines do the baking.
After an interesting tour, the Danube-Networkers started baking. They learnt how to produce Swabian pretzels and baked a big number which they could take back to the seminar.
Enjoying coffee and delicious cake, the guests watched films about the production of regional products and they could ask Mr. Beck many questions, also about aspects compared to the production forms they knew.
A special experience was that Neli, a participant from Silistra, Bulgaria, had brought the ingredients for Baniza, a typical Bulgarian pastry, and while the others baked pretzels she produced two baking trays of Baniza which everyone could tast later. Heinrich Beck and his team got one tray of Baniza as a little thank you.