From a one man enterprise to a global player
The success story of sera began more than four decades ago: Josef Ravnak - who already had gained excellent reputation with the selling live food for aquariums -, founded his own company in 1970. He first worked as a one man enterprise and developed the company into a leading supplier within the aquarium, pond and terrarium industry step by step.
Today, the family managed enterprise rich in tradition distributes their high quality food, care and technical products in more than 80 countries and has subsidiaries on almost all continents. Besides the company headquarter in Heinsberg/Germany, sera has further subsidiaries in the USA, France, Italy, the Czech Republic and China. The company has over 200 employees worldwide.
Full range supplier for aquariums, ponds and terrariums
The food range has always been the main business segment. sera revolutionized the branch with a unique freeze drying procedure in the 1970s. Conserving different food organisms, such as bloodworms or Tubifex, while optimally preserving their nutrients and vitamins became possible for the first time.
The high quality food types of the company quickly became a synonym for quality, reliability and appropriate nutrition. sera Vipan is a good example. The flake food classic has been in the product range since 1972 and still belongs to the bestsellers.
The product portfolio for aquarium care was constantly optimized and expanded. The water and plant care ranges as well as treatments for ornamental fish developed into further important mainstays for the company.
Besides high aquarium care expertise, sera also has many years of experience and competence in the pond sector as well as in terrarium care. Towards the end of the Seventies, an extensive pond range from various food types, water conditioning and care products is being created. Products for turtles and other reptiles are also added to the product range.
Furthermore, sera added technical items such as filters and filter media, meters for water parameters, lighting solutions as well as aquarium heaters to the product range during 1980s and 1990s.
Today, the sera range comprises an almost gapless complete range with matching products for the freshwater, marine, pond and terrarium ranges.
sera ensures the quality of the extensive range by adhering to the strict regulations of Good Manufacturing Practice. These regulations are acknowledged worldwide.
They serve as customer protection and extend over the entire production process – from quality control upon raw material arrival via the processing up to the finished product. Aquarists, terrarium keepers and pond owners all over the world appreciate this.
Quality “Made in Germany”
sera products are subject to strict quality requirements whose compliance is permanently being monitored in the in-house laboratory. The best example: the food for ornamental fish and reptiles. On the premises of the company in Heinsberg, the different sera products, such as food, care products, treatments or filter media, are manufactured and bottled or packaged on numerous production lines, and sent to the retailers right away. Usually, only a few days pass between manufacturing and arrival in the pet store. This ensures maximum freshness and long shelf life.
Meeting point for know-how and competence transfer
Quality, research and competence made sera a specialist in the aquarium, terrarium and pond care ranges. In their own expertise center in Heinsberg as well as in seminars taking place worldwide, the company transfers expertise to its trade partners in dozens of seminars. sera experts such as Dieter Untergasser and Professor Dr. Günter Schmahl regularly inform about practically relevant problem cases and solutions.
In addition the well proven offerings for specialized retailers, sera in cooperation with the Verband Deutscher Vereine für Aquarien- und Terrarienkunde (VDA; Association of German Clubs for Aquarium and Terrarium Care) holds seminars especially for veterinarians.
Aim: To make the veterinarians even more familiar with care and diagnostics of aquarium and pond fish. Trade and consumers both benefit equally – from improved animal protection, healthy animals and higher counseling quality.
sera – lived and breathed sustainability
Being a medium sized, globally operating enterprise, sera is aware of their responsibility towards people, animals and environment. The specialist for aquarium, pond and terrarium care thinks and acts responsibly as to be able to leave future generations an intact ecological, social and economical structure behind. The principle of sustainability is firmly positioned in all company processes – from the production via transport up to sales.
Ressource saving manufacturing and acquisition
Only in 2015, sera invested about five million Euro in new machinery and software on their premises in Heinsberg. The aim: to make production even more efficient and sustainable. The first was to change the packaging of the food range. The cans became considerably more compact and thus more resource saving. The contents, however, remained the same.
sera uses only natural ingredients from renewable sources for their high quality food. The company is strictly against fish meal from food fish. sera thus clearly positions themselves against species extinction and overfishing the oceans.
Another bonus point concerning environmental protection: Due to short supply chains, only a few days pass between manufacturing the food in Heinsberg and their arrival in pet stores. This ensures maximum freshness and keeps the burden for the environment as low as possible.
sera relies on sustainable energy supply
Sustainability has been being lived and breathed for decades by sera – in the truest sense of the word: Since the 1990s, the company has had several large photovoltaic systems on the roofs of the production halls. These produce a maximum performance of approximately 500 kWp in total. During the last three years, the photovoltaic systems alone allowed saving more than 1,100 tons of CO2.
Furthermore, a block heat power plant is in operation on the premises of the company, which sera operates together with a regional energy provider. The produced electricity could cover the requirements of 400 single family houses. It is partially being used on-site. The rest goes to different purchasers industrial estate Heinsberg/Oberbruch. sera uses the heat energy occurring during electricity production for the production as well as for heating the halls. It is thus produced on-site and does not have to be transported a long way, which would mean considerable losses.
Further examples for sustainability being lived and breathed: Both the administration building and the training, break and social rooms are heated with geothermal energy and lighted in an energy saving way. Corresponding domotics additionally avoids unnecessary energy consumption. The air-conditioning or heating switches off automatically in case of opened windows. The light automatically goes out in rooms where no people are staying.
Sustainability by research
sera develops sustainable product solutions for the aquarium, terrarium and pond in the own laboratory of the company. The aim is to provide an appropriate living environment for fish, reptiles and plants. Maintaining a biological equilibrium is very important for this purpose. sera products are intensely being tested concerning their tolerability, efficiency and functionality. The complex recipes of the different food types are, for instance, optimized in a way that the underwater inhabitants in aquariums and ponds as well animals in terrariums are fed ideally. The food ensures healthy growth of the animals as well as best possible utilization. Food utilization, in particular, has great influence on water pollution. Low water pollution means less water changes and a healthier environment for the underwater inhabitants.