The Bionade ABC

All you ever wanted, or not, to know about us, i.e. Bionade, to be found in an almost complete alphabet.

B is for Biodiversity

For us, biodiversity only exists in nature and is more important that what is on the supermarket shelf. This is why, in 2008, we were a founding member of the “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative. We believe that while you can squeeze out fruits, you cannot do this to nature and your farmers. Bionade manages to do perfectly well without the bitter after taste of ecological and human exploitation. Period.
But we don’t only look for the right thing in our own company back yard, but also in our neighbourhood. We are committed to species conservation, regeneration of drinking water and the rehabilitation of damaged habitats. So, we are completely “eco”, to ensure that our Bionade also continues to be.

B is for Bee

There has not been a team as powerful as Bionade and the bees since Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. But instead of jabs and side blows, we are sweetening you up – because without our flying friends, Bionade would be a pretty mediocre dishwater. Let’s start from the beginning: Our founder Dieter Leipold made use of a honey bee enzyme which turned fructose into mild, organic gluconic acid instead of into alcohol. Thus, a purely organic fruit acid could be manufactured out of barley malt. And this makes Bionade what it is: a VIP in everyone’s mouth. To show eternal gratitude and because black & white thinking doesn’t save the world, we think in black & yellow; we practise active bee protection to maintain biodiversity.

C is for Corporate responsibility

The only thing more cumbersome than this term is a piano during a house move. And in both cases it’s true that you won’t get anywhere by talking about it. This is why our motto is “More doing, less talking!”
We do respectable work. We make honest products. We make people happy. We stick up for society and nature. And it’s not only our bottles that are transparent. The only thing we don’t do is piano removals.

C is for Carbon footprint

Those who preach “no additives” cannot choke up other areas of nature. For this reason, since 2013, we have been climate neutral (according to scope 1 and 2). Our white shirts are muddied only by an elderberry stain – because it’s really hard to get out! The carbon footprint is calculated by the direct emissions of our main plant in Ostheim and the emissions created by producing energy which we buy for our production. It is based on the “Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard”.
However, in no way do we see this as a cause to sit back and slurp on a Bionade. With the support of myclimate we are currently working on recording the entire emissions resulting from production.

D for Doing

People who have visions should go to see their doctor. Either that or, like the Bionade founder Dieter Leipold, simply implement them. It was already in 1960 that the master brewer had the idea for a refreshment. He did not want to brew the 1000th beer, but an organic soft drink. His recipe for success: 100% organic ingredients, a large dose of will and yet more passion. After a long dry spell, and thanks to a small insect (see also B for Bee) he made it in 1994: the unique manufacturing process became patented. Bionade is just the way it tastes: simply brilliant.

D is for planting Drinking water

Eh? Planting drinking water? Yes, you read that right, drinking water really can be planted. Thanks to the organisation Trinkwasserwald®, this is how it works: with school classes, business partners and forestry enterprises, deciduous seedlings are planted within selected coniferous monocultures. This ensures that little by little natural forests grow which permanently supply the soil with more water. This also makes sure that you can slurp lots of delicious Bionade in the future. Sounds bio-logical, doesn’t it?

E is for Elderberry

The apple stays close to its main production-plant. This is how close good things can be.
Thanks to our partnership with the Rhön organic farming project, our organic elderberry, for example, comes from the immediate area. And this is good for everyone: the farmers receive real prospects, and we get the best elderberry in the world.

E is for Energy

The energy which we put into our Bionade has two colours: blood red and sustainable green. Our friends from Überlandwerk Rhön reliably supply us with clean electricity from water power. The great thing about this is that H2O cannot smell CO2.
But we have not just adapted our energy supply, we have also adapted our way of thinking. It is fine for our customers to be thirsty, but not our production facility. This is good for the environment and bad for those who provide us with the monthly electricity and gas bills.

E is for ecological farming

“Those crazy people from the Rhön” was said back in 2005 when we had the idea for a sustainable project. We wanted to cultivate as much organic elderberry as we needed to produce the most popular Bionade flavour. Rhön organic farming has meanwhile matured into a beacon of cooperation which enables us to acquire organic elderberry directly from the region. People don’t say anything any more; they are simply dumbfounded.

G is for non Genetic engineering

Genetic engineering can leave us in peace. What arrives in our bottles has passed more screening tests than a NASA astronaut. Bionade is made exclusively from high-quality organic raw ingredients – guaranteed! The subject of agro-genetic engineering gives us a lot of agro so we have joined a series of initiatives to torpedo the use of genetically modified organisms in farming by all possible means (where necessary also manure).

G is for Ginger

Xicotepeque is not a Chinese conglomerate but a region in Mexico from which we source organic ginger for our Bionade Ginger-Orange.
Since the farmers there switched completely to cultivating ginger, they couldn’t care less about coffee any more. Their new independence is dedicated to sustainable agricultural projects such as cultivating the wild Mayan rainforest ginger in the Yucatan. And because “Wild Maya Rainforest Ginger-Orange” sounds even better, we are supporting and promoting the project from the ground up.

H is for Home

Wikipedia calls it a low mountainous region, the official tourism campaign says “simply exhilarating” and most Germans call it “pampas”. We call the Rhön our “home”. Here we have enchanted moors, ragged valleys and small baroque towns. People get along with each other here – so long as they speak the Rhön dialect. And this is where Bionade calls home. But we don’t just want to tend to our own beer – er, sorry, I mean soft drinks – but also give something back to the region and it’s people. This is why we support the Rhön Biosphere Reserve and, as far as is possible, we source our raw ingredients from “as close as possible” and are delighted that the majority of our employees come from the area.

H is for Habitat (or Biosphere…)

More than anyone in the world, we respect our “mother”. That is, “mother nature”. After all, in addition to the delicious fruits such as elderberry, raspberry and plum, she has given the world more than 10 million animal and plant species. For this reason, we love her and treat her as if every day were Mother Nature’s Day. We do this, for example, by getting involved in projects which promote biodiversity (see also B for Biodiversity).

I is for Ingredients

Everyone is complaining about the bureaucrats in Brussels. But when it comes to organic, you won’t find anyone worse than us. Our own purity law even far exceeds the strict criteria of the EU organic provision. It reads: only what is derived from organic fruits and herbs is added to Bionade. And we didn’t even need an EU commissioner to tell us that. We came to this idea all by ourselves. Now do you understand why brewing Bionade is an art and not artificial, geddit?

N is for putting it in a Nutshell

We love nature! Rather than giving it to you in writing, we of course prefer to do it in liquid form: in 7 refreshing flavours, like elderberry, lemon etc., squeezing them until they’ve given their best. Our head master brewer is on it – sorry, Wolfgang, it’s nature. And most of the time she likes to work so quietly and contemplatively. However, she does also like to get the whip out: Brew more naturally! Less sugars! I only want raw, organic ingredients in it! … It was a school of hard knocks for us. But it was good, as it’s not only nature that benefits from it but mainly your tastebuds!

N is for Natural

When it comes to natural, you might be thinking of unshaven underarm hair. For us, nature is the most important thing. This is because we have a healthy respect for it and because the Bionade founder Dieter Leipold believed in it. Because it provides the best and most diverse raw ingredients and inspires us to come up with extraordinary ideas (see also O for Organic). We don’t let anything get in the way of nature – apart from the occasional razor.

O is for Organic

We were already producing organically while elsewhere sheep were still being cloned. At a time when the word organic was still raising eyebrows rather than thumbs we barricaded ourselves into the cellar and created a refreshment using a purely organic production process which is 0% artificial and 100% delicious. Our soft drink friends in Atlanta were already green with envy…
In short: Without organic, we would be nothing – and this is why our range of flavours and manufacturing process is and continues to be an ode to nature.

O is for Orchard meadows

Orchard meadows are the Noah’s Arc of croplands. Sometimes, up to 5,000 animal and plant species can be found in these small ecosystems. We always found this field very exciting but didn’t want to farm it alone. This is why Bionade Garden Fruits then came into existence in cooperation with Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union Germany. The apples, pears and plums originate from organic orchard meadows all over Germany, plus the organic plums from the Rhön organic farming project (see E for ecological farming). Unfortunately the yield is limited. A Bionade orchard meadow flush of biblical proportions is therefore unlikely.

P is for Principles

We too act according to specific principles. But just because they can be swallowed, does not by a long shot mean that they have been diluted.

Q is for Quality

Quality comes from agony. And this is precisely what we do with our producers, retailers and hauliers. At home and abroad, three to four times a year. We don’t apply thumbscrews but we do fire questions at them. And we drill down deeper if we’re not happy with the answers. Yes, we have the highest requirements of our suppliers and our organically-certified ingredients (see also O for Organic). Our home mountain in the Rhön is probably the only thing that is higher.

R is for Raw ingredients

Gas from Russia, Oil from Saudi Arabia: all finite. Only the good taste of Bionade is forever. This is because our 100% organically-certified raw ingredients grow back, even sustainably, all over the world and right outside our front door. The Rhön is where our roots lie, and they bear fruit in the form of ecological farming methods (see also E for ecological farming) which we have established in the various pilot projects.

R is for River patron

Our latest liquid achievement is not the elderberry or the bergamot, but the River Streu. We are proud patrons of the river which is close to our hearts and our front door. However, before too much water passes under the bridge, we would like to let actions speak for themselves: together with the Landschaftspflegeverband Rhön-Grabfeld, the Landesbund für Vogelschutz and many volunteer helpers, we have been cleaning the river of rubbish and non-native plants and are erecting nesting sites for endangered animals and plant species. Why? Because we don’t just want to quench thirst, we want to quench the thirst for enterprise, by getting helpers of all ages inspired by nature conservation.

S for Supply chain

Of course, we don’t have a problem with animals. But we don’t allow any black sheep into our house. We therefore closely check our partners and suppliers. Before anyone is allowed to work with us, we inspect them almost more thoroughly than your baggage is checked at airport customs. We err on the side of caution to ensure that our standards are being adhered to. 100% organic and protection of biodiversity are just as important to us as ensuring human rights and fairness (see also Q for Quality). From the purchase of goods to packaging and logistics, our strict guidelines are seen through consistently. Because you would hate nothing more than a bitter after taste while sipping on your cool Bionade.

S is for Supporting

Those who take from nature should also give something back. This is as clear as the brewing liquor from Bionade. This is also why we support a range of projects and initiatives which promote subjects such as environmental protection, sustainability and nature conservation. The systematic cooperation of companies such as “Biodiversity in Good Company” is one example and the “Assoziation ökologischer Lebensmittelproduzenten (Aöl)” [association of ecological food producers] is another. We are also committed with life and soul to the region. Starting with the Rhön apple initiative all the way to the Rhön Biosphere Reserve, because we believe that achieving something together is just as much fun as drinking Bionade together.

T is for Thank you

To begin with because “Tamarind” is unlikely to appear in our range, for ‘T’ we would prefer to give a short “thank you speech”.
A lot of sweat, heart and soul has gone into each bottle of Bionade – metaphorically of course. The first thank-you is therefore owed to our fellow campaigners who every day make sure that things “flow” and that we are not only reliably on the supermarket shelves but also standing by our values.
Thank you also to our partners for standing by us from the first drop, for sharing our philosophy and getting sour when we clink glasses of Lemon-Bergamot Bionade at the end of the working day.
However, the biggest thanks is owed to you, the Bionade consumers, for what, and how, we do things still being according to your taste.

V is for Vegan

Your diet is extremely important to us. This is why Bionade has been, is and always will be, free of animal-derived ingredients. This applies to all ingredients but also for all aspects of the production process. And while we’re on the subject, Bionade is both gluten and lactose free. We give you our word.

W is for We

We are Bionade. We don’t talk, we do. We are organic farming champions and nature anti-farmers. We are river patrons, deciduous tree planters and orchard meadow supporters. We are not simply a colony of people, we are two bee colonies. We are fair, we are genuine, we are different. And in this way we make the world a little more colourful – day by day.

X is for X factor

“X Factor” – what to you might sound like a TV show is the clever idea of using natural resources more efficiently. Sounds complicated, and it is. But this doesn’t put us off getting it underway, and that was already the day before yesterday. For example, we have already been supporting the cultivation of organic fruits in the Rhön region for years. Or we generate our energy from renewable energy sources. Or this or that.

Y is for Yucatan

The Mexican peninsula has not driven us round the bend but brought us an exciting pilot project: this is where we are supporting the cultivation of wild rainforest ginger (see also G for Ginger).

Y is for Yes

We love to say yes, without being a rubberstamper. We look positively towards the future and when opportunities arise we seize the bottle by its neck. We are pioneers, and pioneers like Columbus don’t say “no” just because India turns out to be America.
We at Bionade believe that, as long as we continue to say ‘yes’, you will not be able to say ‘no’ to Bionade.