Global pork giant Danish Crown has announced the closure of a major pork plant in Germany, in response to falling pig production in what has traditionally been one of Europe’s biggest pork producers.
The group’s plant in Boizenburg, east of Hamburg, will close, affecting more than 200 employees. After producing pork at the facility for almost 20 years, the plan is to transfer a large part of the production to the company’s abattoir in Essen, near Bremen, within the next six months.
Explaining its decision to reduce production capacity in Germany, the company pointed out that since Germany was hit by African swine fever in the early autumn of 2020, pig production has dropped significantly. From being one of Europe’s leading exporters of pork, Germany has now been reduced to a country with a focus on the domestic market, it said.
“We simply have to make more money in Germany,” said Jais Valeur, Danish Crown’s group CEO. “Therefore, we believe it is time to shift the focus from pure large-scale production to a more agile setup. The abattoir in Essen has an important task in supplying our own processing facilities with raw materials, and at the same time production will be adapted so that we can produce exactly the goods that our customers in both Germany and the rest of Europe demand from week to week.”
Per Laursen, the group’s production director said was a ‘sad situation’, with many skilled and loyal employees at theBoizenburg facility. “To the extent that it is possible, they will be offered a job at one of our other facilities,” he said.
The management in Boizenburg is now negotiating with the facility’s work committee about the conditions for transferring employees to other facilities, as well as what can be done for the employees who may not want to accept the offer of another job in the group.
Danish Crown in Germany
- Sites: 1 pig abattoir, 2 cattle abattoirs and 3 processing facilities
- Tonnage: 460,000 tonnes (Financial year 2021/22)
- Revenue: DKK 10.4 billion (Financial year 2021/22)
- Employees: Approx. 3,400.