A Weidemann among water buffaloes.

Weidemann Teleskopradlader 3080LPT steht auf einer Wiese mit Wasserbüffeln

The entrepreneur Matthias Wegert has been operating the restaurant “Luise” with beer garden in Berlin-Dahlem since 1996.

With the aim to produce regional and qualitative highquality products, he looked around for new ideas. In 2000, he started an agricultural business with a befriended business partner in arable and dairy farming, the Prignitzer Ackerbau- und Landmilch Gesellschaft (PAL). “We later converted to water buffalo, but that was by chance”, explains Matthias Wegert. Matthias Wegert was looking for a supplier for mozzarella and in doing so came across the small dairy farm run by the Italian Paotella family.

The highest quality for sophisticated customers.

The actual thinking was to process the milk from the agricultural business’ own cows in Prignitz into mozzarella. However, the experienced master cheesemaker of the small dairy noted that the flavour of the mozzarella would be significantly better and more exclusive if buffalo milk were used. “That niggled me and cost my nerves”, reports Matthias Wegert. “I went to Italy and after searching for a long time, I found a farmer who sold me 100 pregnant buffalo heifers.” However, a huge hurdle had to be overcome: strict quarantines until all animals were free from Bovine viral diarrhoea, abb. BVD. This took a full nine months - some patience and a lot of stamina was needed. At the end of 2013, there was then a notified supply chain: Buffalo milk from the Wegert agricultural business for the manufacture of mozzarella in Kremmen and the purchase of mozzarella from there for the “Luise” restaurant in Berlin. Among the buyers of mozzarella and burrata, as well as ricotta made from buffalo milk are high-quality hotels, like “Adlon” and the “Ritz- Carlton”, as well as sophisticated restaurants like “Borchardt” and “Grill Royal” in Berlin, as well as the gourmet bar of KaDeWe and Butter- Lindner in Berlin and Hamburg. In the “Luise” restaurant and beer garden, the milk and meat products from the buffalo are also sold.

Eine Verkäuferin steht vor dem Verkaufswagen und hält Büffelmozarella in der Hand

With direct marketing closer to Berlin.

As the opportunity then arose in 2019 to take over an agricultural business in Mittenwalde, close to Berlin, Wegert realised it and moved the whole buffalo herd. This affected around 500 animals. “My plan was to one day establish a show dairy in Berlin. Now the opportunity has arisen to concentrate on the self-promotion here in Mittenwalde and to create an attraction for the residents of the surroundings and those in Berlin. The start has been made, a sales vehicle opens on Fridays and at the weekend directly in front of our buffalo farm.” The meat is also processed nearby in two small butchers in Trebbin and Klein-Eichholz and self-promoted or sold via the supply chains of buffalo milk products. On the operation in Mittenwalde, in which eight individuals are employed full-time and three are temporary workers, 125 ha of pasture land and 75 ha of arable land is cultivated. “The former dairy stables had to be adapted and converted for the water buffaloes”, said Wegert’s son Paul, who is responsible for project development. “The animals create a lot more damage with their horns than dairy cows”. Even the animals’ well-being has been though about: with LED lighting, new watering stations and brushes.

Customised, reliable technology.

Even with the mobile technology the Wegerts count on reliability. The sturdy and powerful 3080LPT telescopic wheel loader by Weidemannperforms the many, different, daily tasks reliably. “For us, a known brand and dealer nearby were important”, says Matthias Wegert. “We have just a short journey to Rema Fahrzeug & Landtechnik. And the technical data of this red machine is absolutely right. With the support of the sales advisor, Kay-Uwe Löffler, we were able to choose from a really wide range. With the selected low cabin (LP = low position), it stands at 2.24 m tall. The tyres 12.5/80-18 are the largest tyres (width and diameter) for the vehicle’s external width to remain below 1.6 m.“ For driving on the fields, the decision was made for the tractor tread, although more work is performed on the yard with a paved substrate. With the telescopic arm, it is possible to work at heights up to 5 m, which is a primary requirement for stacking and removing bales in the warehouse. With the quickhitch system, attachments can be quickly and easily changed over so that the telescopic wheel loader is immediately ready for work again. The selected Euro admission enables the operation of existing attachments, e.g. grapple bucket or pallet fork, to continue.