‘Death in the pot.’
The Fruit and Vegetable Preserving industry in East Scania during the 20th century
A Company History.
At the end of the twentieth century, only one of the six companies previously active in the Fruit and Vegetable Preserving Industry in East Scania survived as an independent company: Kiviks Musterier AB. Actual production remains at two sites only. The aim of this study is to determine the reasons for this development. The companies included in the investigation are AB Bjäre industrier, Gustaf Bong AB, Kiviks Musterier AB, AB Ruuthsbo konservindustrier, Th. Winborg & Co. and Őnos AB.
Research data was acquired from publications about the companies as well as from the archives of Bolagsverket (Swedish Companies Registration Office). The high fees required by Bolagsverket impeded any deeper analysis of the companies. Valuable information about the companies’ activities was, however, acquired through interviews with the former owners of the companies, their families and their former employees.
Four of the six companies were established at the beginning of the 20th century, or earlier. Bjäre was founded during World War II and Kiviks Musteri blossomed during the second half of the 20th century. Bongs, Kiviks, Winborgs and Őnos were family-owned businesses, while Bjäre was supported by industrial capital and Ruuthsbo by trading capital.
Apart from Kiviks Musterier AB, none of the other companies has retained its independence. Generation shifts within the owner families together with a lack of entrepreneurship have led to mergers with other companies, often foreign-owned. The structural and international ownership changes that took place during the second half of the 20th century have led to the concentration of production, both in Sweden and abroad. Only a few production sites have remained. Ruuthsbo is now completely unknown and Bjäre, Bong, Winborgs and Önos have survived as brand names only.
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