Declining numbers of slaughtered animals and decreasing consumption of pork in Germany are now causing Danish Crown to adjust its approach to the German market with the clear aim of improving earnings. Therefore, a deboning facility is scheduled for closure, so that all slaughtering and deboning are joined at the group's German abattoir.
Since Germany was hit by African swine fever in the early autumn of 2020, the country's production of pigs has dropped. 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. Danish Crown is now taking the consequence and is reducing its production capacity in Germany.
"We simply have to make more money in Germany. 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," says Jais Valeur, Group CEO of Danish Crown.
Specifically, Danish Crown's facility in Boizenburg, east of Hamburg, is set for closure. The group has had production at the facility in Boizenburg for almost 20 years, but within the next six months the plan is to transfer a large part of the activities to Danish Crown's abattoir in Essen, southwest of Bremen.
The 200-plus employees at the facility have been informed. As far as possible, they will be offered work at other facilities in the Danish Crown group.
"It is a sad situation, because there are many skilled and loyal employees at the facility in Boizenburg. To the extent that it is possible, they will be offered a job at one of our other facilities," says Per Laursen, who is production director at Danish Crown.
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. Once the negotiations have been completed, Danish Crown will draw up a plan for the winding down of production in Boizenburg. After that, it is expected that the buildings will be sold.