Danish Crown forced to cut capacity at two slaughterhouses

Despite high prices for meat in the cold counter, it is difficult for many farmers to get healthy finances in production, and therefore the number of pigs for slaughter in Denmark is falling. This forces Danish Crown to cut capacity at two slaughterhouses. Around 275 employees stand to lose their jobs in Sæby, while 75 are expected to be discharged in Ringsted.

Posted on Sep 20 ,04:28

Danish Crown forced to cut capacity at two slaughterhouses

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in record high prices for energy and feed for, among other things, pigs. The payments to the farmers have not kept up at the same pace, and therefore the supply of fattening pigs to Danish Crown has fallen noticeably over the past months.

"It's really a difficult situation. The employees who are affected by this have put in an excellent effort. Since autumn 2020 and until a few weeks ago, we have almost constantly had more pigs ready for slaughter than we could manage to slaughter. Now the picture looks completely different, and it hurts that we are now, by all accounts, going to say goodbye to around 350 skilled employees," says Per Laursen, who is production director at Danish Crown.

Danish Crown saw a large increase in supplies on the back of the outbreak of African swine fever in Germany two years ago. This created the need for several hundred new employees at the slaughterhouses all over the country, but the record high costs for feed and energy are now causing many farmers to throttle back or completely close their production.

The evening shift at Danish Crown's slaughterhouse in Sæby is set to close. In addition, a number of employees on the day shift will be affected, because a number of workplaces on the day shift are linked to the production of the evening shift. In Ringsted, the redundancies are expected to be distributed evenly across the slaughterhouse's various departments and affect employees on both the day shift and the evening shift.

Danish Crown will actively try to help the employees who are about to lose their jobs in the coming months. In the collective agreement applicable to Danish Crown's slaughterhouses, it is agreed that a social plan must be implemented in connection with major redundancies. Each of the affected employees will be invited to an interview to clarify his or her options.

"We will work actively to help the dismissed employees further in collaboration with the Food Confederation and the local job centres. We are also setting up job banks, and in general we have had great success with our social plan in the past. In fact, over the years it has been possible to help more than 90 percent of the affected employees move on to new jobs or start training within six months," says Per Laursen.

The purpose of the job bank is, among other things, to ensure that the employees who are made redundant have priority for vacant jobs at other companies in the Danish Crown group. At the same time, through the social plan, there will be the possibility of courses and training paid by the Danish Crown.

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