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In 1955, inspired by a simple idea, he came to Canada and sowed the seeds of Rolf C. Hagen Inc., which blossomed to become one of the world's largest family-owned manufacturers and distributors of pet care products.
He started by acquiring bird seeds from the Canadian prairies and exporting them back to Germany. His small export business eventually flourished and branched out into a solid, well-respected pet supplies business that today spans many continents.
Over the years, Mr Hagen was honoured with many awards in the pet products industry. In June 1999, he was inducted into the American Pet Products Association Hall of Fame, the highest honour that can be bestowed upon an individual in the pet industry. In March 2004, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pet Industry Distributors Association in recognition for innovative design of pet products and for his generous support of organizations and individuals dedicated to improving the lives of both pets and people. He is the only individual in his industry to have received both awards.
In 1996, he received The First Cross of the Federal Order of Merit from Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz der 1. Klasse). In 2005, he was awarded The Highest Order of Merit (Grosses Bundesverdienstkreuz am Band) from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, the highest honour that Germany can bestow upon a civilian.
There is a spot you can leave condolences for his family.