The site, which is based in the north of the Netherlands, started production two months ago after Vion invested €20 million in the site.
However, due to “teething problems” at the site, Vion will temporarily shut the site to make technical improvements and eradicate concerns over a high percentage of rejected carcases during inspections from the Dutch Food and Consumer Goods Authority (NVWA).
Nancy Aschman, communications director for Vion Food Group, told GlobalMeatNews that Vion had experienced significant changes in the inspection results of animals, which led to the failure of the review.
“In Leeuwarden this [rejected carcases] is higher that the norm we see elsewhere,” said Aschman. “We are now working in close cooperation with the Dutch authorities to see why these results are present and how we can solve this in the short term.”
According to Dutch press, an average of 1.8% of carcases in slaughterhouses across the Netherlands are rejected, but 5% of carcases were rejected at the Leeuwarden site in its latest inspection. As many as 50 employees are expected to be affected by the temporary closure, including trainees.
Vion said it had no option but to temporarily close the Leeuwarden site and had every confidence in the continued development of Vion Leeuwarden which, with a few technical modifications, would be further improved as the most modern beef abattoir in the Netherlands.
It is expected that the Leeuwarden abattoir will resume operations from September.
In March 2017, Vion was forced to close its pork slaughterhouse in Zeven, Germany, which resulted in more than 100 job losses, after the site was struggling financially.