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Alfred Ritter, Chocolate Manufacturer

Alfred Ritter heads Germany's second biggest chocolate company, especially known for its Ritter Sport brand.

The family business was founded in Stuttgart in 1912, and its chocolate squares later became known all over Germany. On Talking Germany, Alfred Ritter talks about his own beginnings as a psychotherapist with his own practice, and assuming the leadership of the company. Alfred Ritter GmbH now exports to the whole world.

Alfred Ritter was born in 1953 in Stuttgart. He studied economics and psychology and became a psychotherapist in Heidelberg. When the venerable family company was going downhill in the mid-1980s, Ritter gave up his practice and became chairman of the advisory board. Despite a few setbacks, he managed to get the company back on course and expand its international business.

In addition, Ritter is committed to environmental protection, with a solar technology company. He received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his dedication and in 1997 was honored as eco-manager of the year. Parallel to that, he funds development projects for small-scale cocoa farmers, with considerable amounts of his own money. Early this year, Germany's cartel office fined the Ritter company for alleged price fixing. Alfred Ritter denies the allegatins. He is married and has two sons and a daughter.

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