Interview with Ralph Schwarz

Ralph is Managing Director of Andermatt Biogarten, the home and garden sector of the Andermatt Group.

Ralph, could you tell us your professional background and how you decided to work in the organic gardening industry?

I originally studied biology and have always been interested in everything alive, whether it was plants or animals.

Offering people smarter solutions to chemical pesticides, so that they can successfully grow their plants without poisoning the environment and themselves, has been highly motivating for me. When I started working at Andermatt Biogarten, the pesticides that were legally sold in the home and garden market in Switzerland were shocking. This motivated me not to tell the people what to do, but to give them the option while making better products available.

How has this industry developed? How do you think it will develop in the future?

A lot has changed in the last decade. Andermatt Biogarten and organic gardening was not taken seriously ten years ago. Only a few people were interested in knowing what happened in their garden, and what effect this had on them and the environment.

Now on one hand, the legal situation has changed, and many products are unavailable, as they have been removed from the market. And on the other hand, and even more important, people are much more aware of what effect the garden has and how important it is for biodiversity and what effects some products have on the environment.

This trend can’t be stopped and I think in the near future, we will only have organic plant protection products available in the home and garden sector.

What do you think are the reasons why people increasingly want to buy organic products for their garden/balcony?

They want to have a garden safe for themselves, their children, or their pets. Plus, they also want to help the insects and creatures that are threatened due to habitat loss or loss of foraging ground, like insects, birds, reptiles, hedgehogs, etc.

And why not change if there are smarter products available, products that are effective in protecting their plants.

Finally, a personal question. What motivates you outside of work?

I have two wonderful children, and spending quality time with my family is at the moment one of my top priorities. We spend a lot of time outside and discover the living world around us together.

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