Ringsted & Semler is established by Knud Peder Ringsted, who on 24thSeptember, as a mere 25 year old,
gets a citizen’s letter from the Copenhagen Magistrate. Shortly after he forms a collaboration with wholesaler Sophus Semler on 26thSeptember. It is 1 year before the first car arrives in Copenhagen and it is a time when the number of telephone subscribers in Copenhagen has reached over 2,300. The annual salary for the bank director Tietgen amounts to the neat sum of DKK 50,000, – An amount that, of course, stretches slightly further than today, as a tailor-made suit cost in the region of DKK 55; a pair of shoes DKK 8; a whole bar of pastry 4 øre; and one could buy a dozen oysters in a restaurant for DKK 1. In the beginning, wine and sherry are traded, and as a contact network is built, the range is expanded to various chemicals for different industries.
Alongside his work with Ringsted & Semler, Sophus Semler has a bicycle shop, and in 1899 Semler decides to step out of Ringsted & Semler to concentrate on his own business. It is founded as Scandinavian Motor Co. and to this day still stands for imports and sales of brands such as VW and Audi.
Around the turn of the century, the product range becomes solely concentrated on the sale and distribution of chemicals.
Women obtain the constitutional right to vote. Ringsted and Semler are at the fore front, hiring the first woman in the company’s history. After a few years she begins a relationship with one of the company’s employees and shortly after they are married at Copenhagen City Hall. Whereupon, she leaves the company to become a housewife.
The first typewriter is acquired. However, the cash register is still written by hand and one of the ledger’s accounts is called “horse and carriage”; an account that first disappears from the cash register in 1924. At the end of the twenties, the consumer price index falls by 40% and several banks go bankrupt. Many small and large companies also go bankrupt, especially because it is difficult to get businesses financed – a problem that apparently goes back in history. In the post-war years, Ringsted & Semler still trades with a number of German suppliers, but due to high inflation, deals are made exclusively in Pound. At one point, German inflation is so high that, on the Berlin stock exchange, the dollar rises by 613,000 marks per second, making international trade very difficult.
The international crisis hits the sale of goods. Ringsted & Semler gets lucky, becoming an agent for an English pharmaceutical company, who shortly afterwards launch a sulfonamide preparation which is one of the breakthrough cures for pneumonia; the most common cause of death among people. Before the sulfonamide preparation the mortality rate following pneumonia was calculated at 34%. After treatment with the new preparation mortality dropped to 2%.
The sulfonamide business has given Ringsted & Semler some good years. Business is strongly based on foreign trade. This trade is subject to unprecedented restrictions due to the German invasion of 9th April. Against expectations, parts of the dealings with German suppliers is maintained, as well as trade with Swedish suppliers and customers. On the other hand, trade with England largely ceases. Some of the German suppliers collapse in the last years of the war for various reasons, and some are so unfortunate that they fall into the eastern block, which means they disappear completely for political reasons.
Ringsted & Semler introduces a private pension scheme for trusted employees. This was one of the first private pension schemes, something that has become a standard custom today.
With the aftermath of the war a completely new business area arises, as plastic is invented, and Ringsted & Semler sells various raw materials for this production. The significant increased activity means that the company’s staff is doubled in a short time. The war has created a lot of misfortune, but has also resulted in many newly developed products. One of them is Silicone and silicone oils, which up until present day have been a significant part of the business area. The decade is also characterised by progress in the office area. New technology is purchased, including a duplicator capable of copying a written document, and at the end of the fifties, a bookkeeping machine is introduced which was actually more or less in use until 1983.
In April Ringsted & Semler begins trading as a stock company. During the decade, trading of plastic raw materials becomes such a big business that the producers choose to control the sale of their products themselves. However, Ringsted & Semler A / S acquires new chemical commissions and moves more and more into the food industry.
Ringsted & Semler A / S becomes an agent for AVEBE in the Netherlands, beginning with the sale of starch products for the food industry, and later for the feed industry. The arrangement continues to be a large part of the company’s work area to this day. Today, the company and its factory are located in Gesten, Jutland. Throughout the 1980s, society sees rapid development, with many agencies changing: Some die out and others are introduced.
Ringsted & Semler A / S can celebrate its 100th anniversary. In connection with the anniversary, 35 employees have over 10 years of service: 9 with over 25 years of employment, 4 with 40, and 2 with 50 years. During the nineties, the development of the Internet creates new ways of communicating and new ways of getting in touch with both suppliers and customers. Commissioned agent work becomes difficult as companies can now create direct communication with customers. After the turn of the millennium, Ringsted & Semler A / S initiates a collaboration with Scandinavian Agro Food ApS, which produces various kinds of feed and supplementaries for agriculture. For the first time in history, Ringsted & Semler A / S is part of an actual production, where previously it had focused exclusively on business in trade.
Ringsted & Semler A / S merges with Scandinavian Agro Food. Ringsted & Semler is the continuing company name, and now has access to a modern production facility and the challenge of producing goods that suit the integrated business trade. The customer portfolio is substantially expanded, with export customers in most of Europe and some overseas.
Ringsted & Semler A / S changes its name to Scagro A / S, which prepares the company for increased internationalisation.
Scagro A / S intensifies its export efforts and strengthens organisation of the Feed department, whilst simultaneously investing in further product development. Scagro has had an underlying philosophy that Feed products should be based on prevention rather than treatment. This philosophy is further reinforced in all subsequent progress.
Requirements for quality management, food safety, data acquisition and documentation are greater than ever – Scagro strengthens the organisation within the “Regulatory” department.
Scagro’s Food Market beats records and requires even more focus. It is no longer sustainable for the Fine Chem and Fragrance market to be handled by the Food Department. Fine Chem and Fragrance are considered to have further potential and the sales organization is strengthened in this area – this turns out to be intelligent foresight.
Scagro A / S celebrates its 125th anniversary and at the same time introduces the newly developed Uni Pre-FER. The product sets a new standard in its field and becomes a great success.
A year in which the turnover for the Food department, combined with a distribution surge, increases so much that a food warehouse is established and opened.
The turnover for iron products is the largest in Scagro’s history. The recession affects agriculture, which, in addition to 10 years of adversity, is hit by record low prices for their animal products and is affected by the worst drought in the century. The potato crop in the Netherlands – the foundation for Protastar Potato protein concentrate – is also hit hard and leads to a decline in their production.