Author, presenter and at the moment mainly a hiker: in 2018, Manuel Andrack walks through Germany, following in the footsteps of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen.
Mr Andrack, a cooperative journey through Germany .... What's that supposed to mean?
Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, one of the fathers of the cooperative movement, was born 200 years ago. Germany is celebratingthis with the Raiffeisen Year 2018 and to mark this occasion I am going on a cooperative search for clues. I will discover cooperatives of all kinds, from a medical cooperative to a brewery cooperative to a winegrowers' cooperative. Everywhere I get talking to people and find out what has become of Raiffeisen's powerful idea. I also discovered cooperative roots at BayWa, for example in the field of digital farming, electromobility or a modern building materials business.
Sounds exciting. And apart from following in Raiffeisen's footsteps, which hiking areas can you recommend? Where can you discover something special, something extraordinary?
Nearly all hiking areas in Germany are great. My favourites are Saxon Switzerland, the Rhön Mountains because of the panoramic views and the Eifel Mountains because of their diversity. On my Raiffeisen tour I hiked Ahrsteig trail to the oldest winegrowers' cooperative in the world. And on the Westerwaldsteig trail I walked to Raiffeisen's most important biographical locations. Very exciting.
Did bad weather ever spoil your hiking tour? How do you prevent something like that?
The stupidest saying is: there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. OF COURSE there's bad weather, and I mean rain, hail, strong winds, thunderstorms. If possible, I would then postpone the hike, because hiking happiness definitely increases when the weather is pleasant. You can protect yourself against the cold. Although, when I started my hike at Raiffeisen tower in the Westerwald, the wind was so cold – well, that was something. You can follow all my Raiffeisen discovery hikes, in warm and cold weather, at www.raiffeisen-tour.de.