Klaus Horstmann retires after long career in rice milling industry

by Teresa Acklin
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   REINBEK, GERMANY — Klaus Horstmann, the sales manager for F.H. Schule Muehlenbau GmbH, Reinbek, retired on Dec. 18 after 23 years with the company and 46 years in the rice milling industry.

   His duties at Schule Muehlenbau are now shared by Thomas Strandt, who is responsible for sales in Asia, Central and South America; Carsten Schrader, who oversees sales in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Australia; and Sylvia Becker, who handles exports.

   Mr. Horstmann, who was born in Mozambique in 1934, began his career in 1952 as an apprentice in an agency company that represented many international companies, including F.H. Schule GmbH. He sold his first rice mill in 1954.

   In 1975, Mr. Horstmann moved to Hamburg to become technical salesman in F.H. Schule's export department. In 1994, the company was acquired by Amandus Kahl and renamed F.H. Schule Muehlenbau. Mr. Horstmann was named sales manager.

   The rice milling industry has changed much in the past 25 years, Mr. Horstmann said. "The shelling system changed from disc shellers to rubber roll shellers," he said. "Pearling cones were substituted by either friction or abrasive whiteners. Parboiling plants had to undergo innovations to meet the ever-increasing quality requirements of rice on the international markets. And electronic color sorters nowadays are a must for modern rice mills."

   Mr. Horstmann said he enjoyed the challenge of his job. "A technical salesman has to be aware of all requirements in each country, considering the many varieties of rice, eating habits and quality requirements," he said.