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Schmutte brings big packaging capability to the small farm

Step forward Schmutte GmbH

It's not just the world’s biggest egg producers that prefer Hartmann products. Lots of smaller egg producers do, too – including farmers with less storage space, mobile egg farmers and even large packers who distribute part of their egg range as side products in small print runs. The difficulty is that Hartmann can only supply minimum orders of 6 pallets. Which would mean significant cost outlay for a small business - and possibly renting larger premises.

Of course, this has brought its own challenges in the past - namely that very small henkeepers could only get predefined standard labels for a certain type of husbandry on their boxes - instead of a customised design. But as of January 2022, even small farmers have access to their own bespoke labelling – even on small print runs - thanks to Schmutte’s new self-adhesive labeller.

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Egg cartons on a labelling machine

Schmutte's new self-adhesive label machine

Great for the small customer and great for Schmutte, too

So in one stroke, our partners at Schmutte have increased flexibility for all small-scale producers, cut storage costs and slashed cost per order. In addition, since smaller hen farmers can order as little as two pallets at a time, Schmutte enables them to buy 6 or 10-egg boxes and offer their customers more choice. 

And of course, it means they can market different ranges of eggs – for instance, coloured and boiled eggs, or short-term promotions - in smaller quantities with individually-designed labels.

It’s clearly a significant acquisition by Schmutte and represents a huge investment in their current and future customers – improving both service and value on a scale not seen before. 

Daniela and Arno Schmutte, Joint Managing Directors at Schmutte GmbH


Joint Managing Director Arno Schmutte says it was important to the company to give customers more flexibility, but it’s also a valuable driver of sales. "We’ve been getting more and more requests for smaller quantities of egg packs,” he says, “especially from operators of mobile barns. We wanted to take this into account".

But his sister, Joint Managing Director Daniela Schmutte, goes on to say that it’s also a powerful attractor of new business, adding "We’re seeing an increase in mobile barn operators who can’t be supplied directly by Hartmann".

Needless to say, to create all these possibilities, it’s quite a machine…

About the labeller

The machine was specially designed for Schmutte - with conception, configuration and installation planned and supervised by Arno Schmutte and Sales Director Sebastian Harpenau. The core component - the labeller - is based on a SelfLan self-adhesive label machine from Langguth, custom-adapted to Schmutte's stipulations. The denesting unit comes from Moba. And, of course, the stacker was built by Hartmann Technology.

A high degree of precision

It’s a triumph of engineering collaboration, integrating world-beating individual components - stacker, labeller and denester - from three different manufacturers, and has involved a high degree of precision to ensure mechanical harmony.


It’s housed in a specially-built production hall on the company’s main site, which was co-ordinated by Joint Managing Director Daniela Schmutte. And it’s a highly capable unit, which can handle different types of packaging at speed and produce up to 200,000 high-quality labelled packages per week.

Two green egg cartons from German Hof Kipp

How it’s helping real customers

Schmutte customer Hof Kipp runs a family farm, using mobile barns to house 900 laying hens. The owner Christian Kipp currently uses the Hartmann imagic® 10-pack with a highly individual design.

He also wants to offer 6-packs, but doesn’t have the capacity to stock 6 pallets. However, the new offering from Schmutte means he can now order two pallets of imagic® at a time.

About Schmutte:

Based in northern Germany, Schmutte is one of Germany’s leading packaging wholesalers, supplying egg producers, packing stations and small marketers with egg cartons and trays, outer cartons, cardboard boxes and matching accessories. What began in 1961 in an old barn has developed into a highly professional logistics company, with 7000 square metres of storage space and a wide-roving fleet of vehicles. Already in its third generation, Schmutte handles warehousing for its 2100 customers across Europe and delivers the desired amount of packaging on demand - just in time.

Schmutte is one of Hartmann’s European network of wholesaler partners. Since 1963, Schmutte has enjoyed a mutually rewarding relationship with Hartmann, and has been an important gateway, extending the products to those who can only order smaller quantities.

07 April 2022
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