Three of Germany’s leading companies in the pork sector are investing in their operations to increase production and focus on initiatives like animal welfare, more regionalized production and sustainability.

Thomsen’s slaughterhouse at Kellinghusen in Schleswig Holstein in the north of Germany, recently acquired by Tönnies, is set to increase its capacity and staffing, according to ISN, citing a report in the magazine, Fleischwirtschaft. It is one of the few slaughterhouses in the region, processing 300,000 pigs and 28,000 cattle per year.

The plan has been welcomed by local authorities and politicians, and Tönnies recently invited local people, who expressed particular concerns about additional noise and smells, to hear about its plans and explain how the investment of EUR19 million (US$21.3 million) will improve the conditions at the slaughterhouse.

Advertisement

Also in the south of Germany, family-owned Müller Fleisch is also in expansion mode, reports Fleischwirtschaft. The company has set up its own raw material program, increased its production and strengthened its regional position with the acquisition of the Ingolstadt FZI meat cutting plant in Bavaria. Started less than one and a half years ago, the program, “Süddeutsches Schweinefleisch” (South German pork), has already signed up its 1,000th pig finisher and is helping to offer some protection to local weaner producers. To optimize animal welfare and minimise transport times, the business uses the slaughterhouse at Ingoldstadt.

Like Müller, Vion Food Group,has also reorganized its business in Bavaria to put the focus on regional production and a reduction in transport distances to an average of 85 kilometers, ISN reports. VION has two plants in the region, Landshut and Vilshofen, where the company will invest EUR15 million (US$16.8 million) to increase pig slaughtering capacity, a spokesperson told the magazine, Lebensmittelzeitung. Currently, the Landshut plant kills 15,000 to 21,000 pigs per week; this is set to increase. At the two locations, about 2 million pigs are slaughtered annually. Two of VION’s other locations in Bavaria - Straubing and Waldkraiburg – have recently stopped taking pigs to focus exclusively on cattle.