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WHEN Dorset’s baby and toddler food brand Organix became part of an international group, cynics might have expected its founding ethics to disappear quicker than one of its banana soft oaty bars.

But according to the company’s new German boss, the original principles of the brand are held in high esteem by the owners nine years after that buyout.

Philipp von Jagow, 39, who is in the process of moving his family from Hamburg, has spent 13 years with sister companies in the Hero Group – most recently enjoying the title of vice-president of jams.

It didn’t take him long to say yes to the invitation to move to Bournemouth as managing director of Organix.

“I took the decision within one second. I then had to officially ask my wife,” he said.

Many of the brands owned by Swiss-based Hero Group are number one in their own markets, but Mr von Jagow says Organix is admired within the group for putting its principles first.

“I think this is from day one a purpose-driven brand,” he says.

“Nowadays they all want to be a purpose-driven brand, it’s become quite popular. Here, they had from day one a mission. ‘We want to see a world where healthy nutritious food is a real choice for everyone.’ This has really guided the brand for 25 years.

“There really is a certain spirit which you can find in none of the other sister companies. There’s this special atmosphere here.”

Organix was founded in 1992 by Lizzie Vann, who campaigned to remove additives from children’s food. (The company claims credit for Nestle removing the additive-heavy blue sweet from Smarties.) Mr von Jagow’s predecessor Anne Rosier was in the post for more than a decade.

Originally based in Christchurch, the company now employs 50 people in Commercial Road, Bournemouth, in the building most locals know as the former C&A site. They work on developing new products, quality assurance, marketing, sales and finance.

The business turns over around £40million and had a record year in 2016. “So far, it’s double digit growth in 2017,” said Mr von Jagow.

The Organix range contains healthy biscuits, breadsticks and “puffcorn”, as well as baby rice, cereals and fruit pots. A recent addition is Punk’d oaty bars, aimed at older children.

When Organix was founded, few companies marketed healthy food for little ones, but now there are competitors, and some of their healthy eating claims don’t stand scrutiny, Mr von Jagow says.

“If you look at their ingredients list, you can really see a difference to our ingredients list. Theirs are very long, there’s added sugar, there’s added salt – all the things which are no good for baby but you still find it,” he said.

The list of ingredients is “as short as possible” – normally no more than five items.

The company does more than the regulations require on matters of nutrition, Mr von Jagow said. “The laws in this food sector are a little bit outdated. We always set the barrier higher and made life more difficult for ourselves,” he added.

The company has also just published its 2016 Sustainability Report, setting out its progress against global and environmental goals.

Selling baby and toddler food is a unique challenge, since the customers come and go so fast.

“It’s totally different from all other food segments, because you have a new customer in front of the aisle for the first time in their life every day,” says Mr von Jagow.

“We’ve all grown up with going to the supermarket but we only go in front of the baby aisle when you really need to.”

Alongside familiarising himself with the company, the 39-year-old MD has been preparing to move wife Lisa and three-year-old daughter Marie to a home in Poole.

He has been picking out Farrow & Ball colours, initially unaware it was another Dorset brand, and timing the trip to Poole’s maternity unit ready for the birth of his second child.

“Just to live in the UK is wonderful. I very much like the British sense of humour,” he said.

“I’m intensively watching Fawlty Towers,” he added. (Yes, he has reached The Germans episode, and found it very funny.)

“I’m excited to now work with all my 50 colleagues to raise this business further and bring it to the next level.”