Well I'm not too surprised in finding a horse drawn plow in the
lobby of fenaco. After all, fenaco, with over 57,000 members,
is a farmer's cooperative. With 1.8 billion Swiss Francs in revenues,
fenaco isn't exactly small potatoes.
Headquarters is a six-story building about a half-mile from downtown
Bern. I explain myself to the receptionist and in a few minutes
David Kaeser from the finance department comes to the lobby.
How did Kaeser, wearing Birkenstocks sandals, jeans and sporting
an earring end up meeting with me? He says no one else speaks
English. Unfortunately Kaesar has been with the company only
a few months and knows the answers to practically none of my
Kaesar estimates about 200 people work here. Smoking isn't allowed-though
I don't believe it because the receptionist smoked two while
I waited in the small lobby, which reeked of tobacco. The company
cafeteria serves only cold sandwiches. I leave without any material
on the company because Kaeser says it's only in French and German.
I do know fenaco operates a chain of 458 farm stores called LANDI
that sell farm, hardware and even grocery supplies because I've
passed quite a few of them while cycling. I can't see CEO Schlup
Ulrich's office because "he's busy".
However, all is not lost. Right there on the receptionist's counter
are brochures for the 49th World Plowing Contest that is being
held a few months from now in a farming town less than 30 miles
away. Not to be confused with the World Tractor Pulling Contest,
which is a completely different animal.