The founders

Heinz Lohmann (1901 - 1975)

"Looking back to the future"

These are the words of Heinz Lohmann and they are more than just a quote. With these words the company founder established the basis for the WIESENHOF philosophy. Because, even then, Heinz Lohmann always had an instinct for a promising "idea with future potential".

Paul Wesjohann (1905 - 1989)

"From farm shop to global company"

DEM 5.70 is all Paul Wesjohann had in his pocket when, in the 1920s, he took a job on a farm in Rechterfeld in the Oldenburg Münsterland area. In 1932 Paul Wesjohann opened a small farm shop with hatchery, then with diligence, austerity and courage he steadily expanded his business.

Founder years

Let’s look back to 1932: economic crisis, high unemployment, reduction of welfare benefits. But in this period there were still young merchants with healthy optimism and entrepreneurial initiative. Such as Heinz Lohmann in Cuxhaven and Paul Wesjohann in Rechterfeld.


Paul Wesjohann founds farm shop with hatchery.

Heinz Lohmann founds the German fishmeal factory (Deutsche Fischmehlfabrik).

New start after the war

Starting up again after the war was difficult. The buildings were in ruins. But both entrepreneurs rolled up their sleeves and drove on the rebuilding of their businesses. Paul Wesjohann concentrated more and more on poultry breeding.


Rebuilding of the Wesjohann farm in Rechterfeld


Establishment of a microbiological lab / First fermentation plant in Cuxhaven


Heinz Lohmann begins poultry breeding in Cuxhaven
The "Gold Chicken" is born


Construction of a new hatchery on the Wesjohann farm in Rechterfeld


Founding of Brüterei Süd in Regenstauf


Foundation of a poultry trading office in Frankfurt and promotion of the WIESENHOF brand

Beginning of the collaboration

The first contact between Heinz Lohmann and Paul Wesjohann

In the mid-60s the two successful entrepreneurs founded the broiler hatchery in Rechterfeld, today known as BWE-Brüterei Weser-Ems GmbH & Co. KG. In its very first year of business the firm achieved a turnover of DEM 20 million.

In 1959 and 1962 Paul Wesjohann’s two sons, Paul-Heinz and Erich Wesjohann, joined the firm as trainees. In 1965 they took on managerial roles in the hatchery Brüterei Weser-Ems founded in Rechterfeld together with the pioneer of broiler fattening, Heinz Lohmann.


First visit to Cuxhaven by Paul Wesjohann


Founding of Lohmann Tierernährung in Cuxhaven


Founding of TAD Pharma in Cuxhaven


Formation of Lohmann & Co. AG in Cuxhaven
Formation of Paul Wesjohann & Co. in Rechterfeld


First stake in abattoirs in Holte and Lohne
Foundation of the mixed feed plant MEGA in Rechterfeld


Involvement in agricultural businesses in the USA


Foundation of Allfein – development of convenience products


Foundation of NUTRILO – nutritional supplements for human nutrition

Start of the PHW-Group

The Lohmann and Wesjohann family business thrived in the 1970s and 1980s through the expansion of their business activities and the foundation of new companies. In April 1987 the brothers Paul-Heinz and Erich Wesjohann assumed the majority shareholding in Lohmann & Co. AG in Cuxhaven. The Group LOHMANN – WESJOHANN was formed with an overall turnover of around DEM 1.5 billion and 3,400 employees with an international focus. At the end of 1998 this became what is now the PHW Group.


Involvement in vaccine production in the USA
Take-over of businesses in the former East German states


Research successes in the field of live vaccines


WIESENHOF is the first German chicken supplier to provide documented guarantee of origin.


Foundation of Lohmann Animal Health (from LTE and TAD-Veterinär)


The Lohmann Group becomes wholly owned by the Wesjohann family.
Foundation of the Heinz Lohmann Foundation.


Splitting of the LOHMANN-WESJOHANN Group between the families Paul-Heinz Wesjohann and Erich Wesjohann and reformation of the PHW Group, whose logo is derived from the initials of company owner Paul-Heinz Wesjohann – "PHW".


Entry of the 3rd generation into the PHW Group with Peter Wesjohann, the present Chair of the Board of Directors.

Seit 2000

You can find out about the latest developments in the PHW Group in our press section.