Kirstin Walther is a company director who really knows how to listen. She and her brother Jens manage juice maker Walther in Arnsdorf, near Dresden, now in its fourth generation of family ownership. The pair have successfully steered the family firm through financially troubled waters and reinvigorated sales. “We’ve managed to get where we are by focusing on our strengths and offering customers juice made from domestically-grown fruits such as apples, pears and quinces,” says Kirstin Walther. “And we also made sure we listened.” One of their fruit growers told them about a new type of packaging – an innovative carton. “He asked us whether we wanted to test it out,” she says. By coincidence, an e-mail from a customer in Wilhelmshaven arrived at the same time enquiring whether the company would be able to send him 10 litres of aronia juice per month. Aronia juice is rich in vitamins and minerals, but is pressed in only a handful of juice production plants in Germany.