Falling pig numbers cause Danish Crown capacity reduction

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pork

Falling pig numbers cause Danish Crown capacity reduction
Pork processor Danish Crown is to cut 175 jobs at its Horsen slaughterhouse due to a reduction in the number of pigs available for slaughter.

During the summer, the number of slaughterings at the Horsens site will be reduced from about 100,000  to approximately 85,000 pigs a week. The reduction at Horsens is primarily due to the fact that it slaughters more pigs than the employees can process. Therefore, thousands of pieces are run daily from Horsens to other Danish Crown slaughterhouses in Denmark.

The decrease in supplies to Danish Crown is due to the fact that, following the drought last summer, some members of the cooperative stopped slaughtering piglets to avoid buying expensive feed while at the same time, the export of Danish piglets sent for fattening and slaughtering primarily in Germany and Poland continued to increase.

Per Laursen, production director at Danish Crown Pork, said: “It is a really crazy situation. We saw a slight increase in deliveries of finishers through 2018, but since the New Year we have experienced a decrease of about five percent compared to last year. That is why it is now necessary to adjust capacity, and we are, after all, going to say goodbye to about 175 employees.

“For a company like Danish Crown, it is always about having as efficient a setup as possible. In this case, by reducing capacity in Horsens, we can achieve a noticeable reduction in costs. However, it is at least as important that with this model we retain the opportunity to increase the number of slaughterings again, because we have a belief that as early as the autumn we will see an increase in the supply of pigs from our owners.”

Laursen added that Danish Crown will try to help those affected. “We will do our part to help the fired employees continue in collaboration with the Food Confederation NNF and the local job center. We set up Danish Crown's social plan, where each employee is invited to interview to clarify his and her opportunities, just as we create a job bank for the employees. Among other things, there will be opportunities for courses and education paid by Danish Crown. We have had great success with this in the past. It has ensured that 92% of our employees have progressed into life, either through a new job or through courses and education.”

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