The two firms are proposing to fund the ‘Westcrown’ JV with a 50:50 investment. Westfleisch operates a business specialising in the deboning of sows – approximately 355,000 animals a year – in Schöppingen, near the Dutch border, while Danish Crown slaughters around 325,000 sows in Denmark every year, which up till now have mostly been sold as half carcases to buyers in Germany.
Kjeld Johannesen, chief executive of the Danish Crown Group, said it had a clear expectation that co-investing in deboning facilities would secure better prices for its owners. "More specifically, we will remove an intermediary step to increase earnings for our owners," said Johannesen.
"For a long time we have been trying to find ways to increase the benefits for our cooperative members that supply sows. By pooling our resources with Westfleisch, we are confident to make possible a profitable proposition for both parties from day one."
Dr Helfried Giesen, spokesperson for the Westfleisch board, said the firm was pleased to see a "win-win partnership" emerging.
"We are very pleased to have found such an applicable partner for a common business in a competitive market segment. Danish suppliers are known for high-quality sow meat, which adds eminently to our current raw materials in north-west Germany and our know-how in refining," he said.
"Finding such a promising joint venture after our recent strategic investment concerning the beef market, is definitely a valuable signal towards our agricultural co-operators, members and customers as a reliable and future-oriented partner."
The JV is subject to approval by the Competition Authority in Brussels.