From Trainee to Boss

Carsten Habermann is the new head of Business Unit Brand. He has been at the company for 23 years and has big plans in store.

Everyone you ask says the same thing: whatever Carsten Habermann does, he does it with passion. No matter whether it’s playing as a team or planning new DMK products, he never runs out of energy and creative ideas. He joined DMK at the age of 21, at the time when it was still Nordmilch. He started out as an apprentice to become an industrial clerk. Then, as a member of the field sales force, he had a first taste of working with customers, not always smooth sailing. He found he could rely on his team 100 percent and they appreciated that about him, too. Much time has passed since then, and after many other posts along the way, he became Chief Operating Officer for the entire BU Brand in January. That is where all the business with branded products such as MILRAM, OSTERLAND and Uniekaas come together. “It’s remarkable to see the passion that people there put into dealing with challenges,” says Habermann, who also coaches youth soccer in his spare time.

Dairy industry from the ground up

After working in field sales and key account management, Habermann held a range of management roles for four years, gaining experience in the European business. That gave him a knowledge of the industry from the ground up and he is also well acquainted with the employees. Habermann shares their dedication and passion, because he also focuses on solutions rather than the problem. That will also help with the implementation of DMK’s Strategy 2030, as he looks at market trends such as sustainability, animal welfare, plant-based dairy alternatives and online retail.

Reaching European markets

Carsten Habermann also wants to make his mark when it comes to developing “snackification,” meaning the changing eating patterns among consumers. The tendency nowadays is for people to eat smaller meals. “This offers lots of opportunities we can pick up on,” he says. His agenda includes extending the success of the MILRAM brand on the European market in the core segments of cheese and spring- and spiced quark. He is also focusing bringing OSTERLAND to the nation, a dessert popular in eastern Germany. Habermann is grateful for the fact that his team is keen to go the extra mile to ensure DMK’s continued success. “I work for a cooperative. For me, that means being close to the agricultural producers, the responsibility to make high-quality goods out of their products and, at the same time, the challenge to achieve the best possible result.”