The largest meat processing unit in Germany hit by COVID-19
The largest German meat producer, Tonnies is confronted with a stressful situation after 400 workers in its Rheda-Wiedenbruck slaughter unit have been confirmed as COVID-19 carriers. The management of the company decided to temporarily shut down the processing plant as a reaction to the increased number of positive tests in a part of the production at the Rheda site.
"The health and protection of our employees is paramount. Therefore, together with the district of Gütersloh and district administrator Sven-Georg Adenauer, we decided today to stop our slaughter in Rheda temporarily and quickly. It's not about the company now, it's about the people and the circle. We support the authorities to the fullest extent in all measures," says CEO Clemens Tonnies. The company had managed for many weeks to keep the virus out of operation with an early hygiene concept and numerous protective measures. For now, local authorities and Tonnies pandemic crisis team are working together to find the cluster of the virus and to act against the spread of it. Tests were done since the beginning of the pandemic crisis on all Tonnies units and 128 were found infected with the virus until now. The authorities will decide how long the unit will remain close.
Also, at the beginning of the week, Spain's Noel Alimentaria reported 20 COVID-19 cases among its workers at one of its processing units in Catalonia. Germany, Spain and Italy remain the European countries that reported most of the cases of COVID-19 among workers in the meat industry. So far, there was no significant disruption in the EU meat supply chain. However, Tonnies is the largest German meat producer and processor and the shut down of its largest pork processing unit may have an impact in the Euro[pean market and external markets as well.