About us

Our story

The Jacobs Foundation was established in 1989 by Klaus J. Jacobs and his family, with the goal of improving the education and development of children around the world.


Our founder was born on 3 December 1936, into the well-known Jacobs coffee dynasty in Bremen, Germany.

He first worked in Central America as a coffee trader, before returning to Europe in 1961 and assuming the leadership of the Austrian subsidiary of the family company. In 1970, after earning an executive master’s degree at Stanford University, Jacobs took over the management of Johann Jacobs & Co., moving the company’s headquarters to Zurich in 1973. He acquired the Suchard and Tobler brands in 1982 and eight years later sold his majority share in Jacobs Suchard to the U.S. company Philip Morris. In 2001 Jacobs transferred his interests in Jacobs Holding AG to the Jacobs Foundation, by means of a donation. 

Klaus J Jacobs testing Jacobs coffee

The Jacobs Foundation is now the sole beneficiary of Jacobs Holding AG, which is a majority shareholder of the following assets: Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products; several leading global dental services; and Cognita, a global network of high-quality schools.

I always felt driven to ensure that children have a good future ahead of them.
Klaus J. Jacobs
Klaus J. Jacobs