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on March 18, 2015

Danish Crown reducing pig slaughter at Ringsted facility

Transporting pigs across Denmark to utilize plant’s capacity has not been financially sensible, company says

After several years of slow slaughter pig production in Denmark, Danish Crown is adjusting the slaughtering capacity at its facility in Ringsted, on the Danish island of Zealand. The Board of Directors of DC Pork on March 13 recommended that much of the slaughtering capacity at the slaughterhouse in Ringsted be closed down over the summer of 2015. 
The plan is that capacity at the slaughterhouse be reduced by approximately 15,000 slaughter pigs a week, an adjustment that will affect about 280 employees. 
“For some time now, we have been transporting slaughter pigs across Denmark to utilize capacity in Ringsted, which is not a sensible solution. Basically, not enough pigs are being produced on Zealand at the moment to warrant a slaughterhouse of this size,” explained Søren F. Eriksen, Danish Crown vice president, production. 
Danish slaughter pig production is continuing to fall, which translates into surplus capacity at Danish Crown’s slaughterhouses in Denmark. 
“The only sensible way of cutting capacity is by closing down whole units, and in fact this is the first time that we are closing down half a slaughterhouse. However, the Ringsted facility is designed in such a way that it now runs more slaughter lines than other slaughterhouses. Therefore it is possible to physically remove two of the slaughter lines and thereby also realize savings related to maintenance and other overheads. At the end of the day, it is all about ensuring that the owners are paid the best possible price for their pigs so that we can continue to slaughter pigs in Denmark,” said Eriksen. 
Closing the two slaughter lines will be a two-step process – the first step being taken in mid-June, and the second in mid-September. Should slaughter pig production start growing again on Zealand, this solution will make it possible to increase capacity at the slaughterhouse – possibly by introducing an evening shift. 
In accordance with the agreements in connection with job cuts, a job bank will be established and social plans drawn up for each employee affected by the closure.
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