1942: The world is at war. German troops have advanced across the Volga to Stalingrad and the town is besieged. That event marks the turning point of the Second World War. General Bernard Montgomery, commander of the British Eight Army, is threatening an counter offensive against the German and Italian troops in North Africa. British and American forces land in Morocco and Algeria. Great Britan and the Soviet Union sign a twenty-year Treaty of Friendship and occupy Iran.
September 25: A periodical intended to serve the international produce trade sees the light of the day, firstly as a supplement to the journal „Transport“, once a year in 1942 and from 1945 twice a year. By 1948 the publication has become independent and published three times up to the present day.
What did „Fruits and Vegetables“, as it was called in 1942, write about? 1940/41 Germany was the biggest importer of Spanish oranges with 309,000 t. The journal reported about an agreement between Sweden and Italy concerning the delivery of lemons. In May 1945, the magazine was quoted as follows:“The cease-fire means the end of military hostilities for Europe. This, however, does not mean a complete return to normality all at once. The transaction from a war economy to peace-time will give rise to many problems still to be overcome.“ In the years following the end of the war Oscar Bauer continued to develop the publication and as a result of numerous visits to many parts of the world he succeeded in maintaining contact with our readers and advertisers. He was 59 years old when he died in August 1972. Half a year before Gerhard Breuer, a newspaper editor, took over the editorial department.
He says:“I found myself thrown in at the deep end. It was a change from working on a newspaper to steering a trade journal which was published in three or four languages. As it wasn’t enough, I had to learn all about the fundamentals of the fruit trade in double-quick time. I remember that my first interviews with the experts of the trade were done entirely by the respective interview partners.” After the departure of Oscar Bauer Christoph Hodel ran the company from 1973 to 1985. He followed his predecessors’ footstep in the truest sense of the term, travelling the globe, helped on this way by a sound command of English, French, German and Spanish besides ‘Schwyzerduetsch’, of course.
After his retirement in 1985 a team including Pierre Magne (Finance), Hans P. Pavlik (Marketing) and Gerhard H. Breuer (Editor) took over the company and it was renamed as AgroPress still until today, now for the last twelve years with Gerhard Breuer at the helm. As of 2012 Axel Breuer, son of Gerhard, developed Fruit World Media, the online portal for the fresh produce trade.