The Milky Way of family Mayer
Education – father’s “milk genes” assumed
On August 1, 1936 the parents of Josef Mayer came from Lower resp. Upper Austria to Weiz to establish a dairy. Josef Mayer sen. built up the dairy of Weiz as manager of the dairy in 1942/1943 and led it until his retirement in the year 1969.
Josef was born in 1943 and after the compulsory school in Weiz he did an agricultural practice at the learning farm Hierzer in Unterfladnitz. As from 1959 he attended the Federal College for Agriculture in Wieselburg (Lower Austria) with the field agricultural engineering, where he graduated with the so called Matura in 1964. Then followed an advanced training course for dairying at the Federal Institute of Dairying in Wolfpassing and a master course in the dairy and cheese making trade graduating with the examination for the master's certificate in 1968. During this period he worked in the bacteriological laboratory of the dairy farm in Linz and then in the dried milk factory of Lactoprot, now Prolactal, in Hartberg.
The dairy of Weiz – a success story of many years
As young dairy master he took on the technical management from his father on March1, 1969. The development of the dairy of Weiz was quite impressive during the 20 years under his management: 40 million kg milk processing and 1.000 t butter production per year were achieved in the nineties. In that time he was able to gain particular work experience, which are so important to him today. This was the time of the development of e.g. the fruit sour milk drink MINI-MIX, which he had organised and managed. This drinking yoghurt was then delivered to all Styrian fresh goods delivery.
In the year of 1986 the nuclear accident of Tschernobyl occupied the public. Immediately after the accident had become known, Josef Mayer organised a special selection of as little as possible atomically radiated milk. This campaign led to uninterrupted delivery of our customers and especially of the school children with milk.
In the early nineties comprehensive rationalisation measures started and reached the dairies. Little ones joined forces resp. have been taken over by bigger dairies. This also happended to the dairy of Weiz, which first became part of “Berglandmilch” and finally had been closed a short time later.
New beginning in self-employment – the “Ing. J. & E. Mayer OEG”
After that unintentional end of the dairy of Weiz Josef Mayer had to rise to the new challenge and started after some further education his activity as independent management consultant with the following emphases in 1991:
- nature protecting production
- product advice
- company organisation in the scope of foodstuffs
“To talk with the farmers and to recognize their concerns and worries, that’s what i have learnt from my father.”
At a meeting of the Styrian school milk farmers in August 1995 he realised that direct marketers of milk have a need of various fruit preparations. In cooperation with a partner from Graz he started the trade with fruit preparations of the Steirerobst company. Because this cooperation has not been really satisfactory he founded together with his wife Elfriede the Ing. J. & E. Mayer OEG on January 1, 1998. The foundation for the today’s company was laid. From this moment on sales and the number of fruit preparation sorts increased. Cultures, rennet and drinking straws broaden the range. Customers received tips and advice for the production of various milk products, which expanded the customer clientele suddenly. Shipments to Germany and export to Saudi Arabia.
The next generation in company – Andreas Geyer
With the steadily increasing sales a new era began in the year 2002. After Silvia Geyer, Josef Mayer’s daughter, collaborated already since the beginning, Andreas Geyer changed his profession and also joined the company. So the company Mayer & Geyer was born.
In December 2005 Josef and Elfriede Mayer retired from management and enjoy their well-deserved pension. Since that time Andreas Geyer manages the company as sole manager.
The MILKY WAY is thus continued within the family. A new generation has taken over the company, based on the experience of many years in the field of dairy farming, so that the family tradition will be carried on in this sense.
A pleasant continuation of the journey on the white milky way is the desire of Ing. Josef Mayer.