Following a major fire in March, leading German poultry company, PHW Group, has announced plans to return its plant at Lohne to production. While there were no injuries as a result of the fire, there was extensive damage to the facility, operated as Oldenburger Geflügelspezialitäten (Oldenburg Poultry Specialties).

Discussions between interested parties have led to agreement over a plan for the return of the plant to production, which was announced at a recent staff meeting. Of the 750 people employed at the plant at the time of the fire, more than 200 are to receive offers of reemployment, 85 percent full-time and the rest on contracts. The company has set up a social plan for those who have not been offered further work.

“We have done our utmost in recent weeks to secure as many jobs as possible for our permanent employees,” said company chief, Paul-Heinz Wesjohann. “We regret that we are unable to offer opportunities to more employees at Oldenburger Geflügelspezialitäten in the foreseeable future.”

Rebuilding of the plant is estimated to take 18 months. Initially, the facility will resume production with one slaughtering and processing line and a daily capacity of 220,000 birds.


Wesjohann added that it is not possible to take on more of the workforce until order volumes are built up again and the company’s competitiveness has been restored.

“We want to emphasize that it still is our declared long-term goal to return to the original size of the business over time,” added Wesjohann.

PHW Group is Germany’s largest poultry meat producer, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, and ranks third in Europe.