In a ceremony held earlier this month in Breitenbrunn/Weiden, Austria, Ritter, his family and representatives of the company as well as the members of the club and their partners celebrated a ‘perfect party for a very special personality’.
The club said it is proud to give the award to a man who has dedicated his life to chocolate and the people who work with and around it.
Ritter, who was born in 1953 in Stuttgart, is a shareholder and since 2015, has been chairman of the Advisory Board of Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG. From 2005 to 2014, he was CEO of the Ritter Chocolate family business founded by his grandparents in 1912.
The graduate psychologist, who practiced as a psychotherapist in Heidelberg in the 1980s, holds several positions on various foundation and supervisory boards and is a founding member, main shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Ritter Energie- und Umwelttechnik GmbH und Co. KG.
As a result of the reactor catastrophe in Chernobyl in 1986, Ritter increasingly turned to the topic of renewable energies and founded Ritter Energie und Umwelttechnik in 1988, which made him a pioneer in the field of solar thermal energy.
When Ritter Sport got into a difficult phase in the early 2000s, Ritter himself took over as CEO. "A company like this is like a family member, you can't let them down when they're not doing well," he said at the time, before he managed to put the company back on the road to success.
Ritter shares a passion for wider sustainably and under his watch the company started its first cocoa programme 30 years ago and made the switch to green electricity with construction of an own combined heat and power plant. More recently the company has benefitted from the development of its own cocoa farm El Cacao in Nicaragua.
About The European Candy Kettle Club
Founded in 1973 by the French chocolatier Guy Urbain, the ECKC´s purpose is to support the development of great and innovative sweets and confectionery all over Europe. Consisting of 30 machinery and ingredient suppliers from different European countries, the club awards the prestigious European Candy Kettle Award to a company in Europe every year. To win the award, the companies should be outstanding in criteria such as product quality, development in production, research and technology, performance in sales and marketing as well as international cooperation.