Danish Crown cuts slaughtering shift as pig numbers decline

Danish Crown has stopped evening shift working at its slaughterhouse in Ringsted, Denmark, due to a “renewed decline in the supply of pigs for slaughter”, sacking 20 permanent employees and ending fixed-term contracts for a further 100 workers.

“This is a very unfortunate situation,” said Danish Crown Pork’s vice president, production, Per Laursen. “We saw a stabilisation in the supply of pigs for slaughter throughout 2015 but since the start of the year there has been a fall of about 3% compared to last year. Therefore, it’s now necessary to adapt capacity accordingly.”

Over the next month, the number of slaughterings in Ringsted (pictured above) will be reduced from 46,000 to 34,000 pigs a week.

“We are now returning to the lower number of slaughterings which was in the plan that was implemented in spring 2015,” said Mr Laursen. “Back then, we closed two of the slaughter lines in Ringsted, but during summer last year, it proved to be too big a contraction, which is why we created an evening shift.

“This has been running really well for a year, but now there are unfortunately no longer enough pigs to maintain an evening shift for slaughterings in Ringsted.”

The company added, however, that “fortunately” Danish Crown’s products are enjoying strong demand worldwide.

“We therefore expect to be able to offer other work to many of the employees who are currently engaged in slaughtering in the evening,” said Mr Laursen.

In addition to Ringsted, however, capacity is also being adjusted at Danish Crown’s biggest slaughterhouse in Horsens, Denmark, where the number of slaughterings is being reduced from 102,000 to 98,000 pigs a week.

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