The Westcrown sow meat joint-venture between Danish Crown and the Westfleisch business in Germany has been approved by the EU competition authority, clearing the way for operations to begin early next year.
Danish Crown slaughters approx. 325,000 sows in Denmark each year and, to date, these sows have been sold as half carcasses to buyers primarily in Germany. Westfleisch, meanwhile, operates a specialist sow deboning business in Schöppingen near the Dutch border with an ultimate processing capacity of 355,000 animals per year.
Under the joint venture agreement the deboning and sale of sow meat from the two companies will be handled through the new jointly-backed Westcrown facility in Dissen, south of Osnabrück, Germany.
“Now we can focus on starting production, which will hopefully be operational in early 2016,” said Danish Crown’s CEO, Kjeld Johannesen. “By investing in our own deboning facilities, we hope to secure better prices for our owners.”
Westfleisch spokesman, Christian Leding, added: “We are sure it will be a big win for both companies to join forces in sales and deboning of sows and expect it will be a highly valuable step to have a joint organisation regarding sales and marketing. We can hardly wait to get going.”
The new agreement further develops commercial links between Danish Crown’s 8,300 farmer owners and Westfleisch’s 4,200 farmer owners.