HKScan has started negotiations related to the launch of the new poultry plant in Rauma, Finland.

The European meat and poultry company in 2015 announced plans to construct the plant, which would replace HKScan’s current production unit in Eura.

As part of plans to launch a specialized poultry production facility in Rauma, HKScan is initiating statutory negotiations at its Eura plant. According to initial estimates, the negotiations will not concern headcount reductions among permanent employees, but would address the planned transfer of selected operations from Eura to Rauma and the possible reorganization of operations and related substantial impacts these plans may have on personnel in terms of their location, role and responsibilities.

For the greater part, the statutory employee negotiations concerning these planned changes were already completed in the course of 2015, according to a press release from the company. A second round of negotiations is now being initiated since the agenda, target group and anticipated impacts on personnel have been redefined in greater detail.

The updated agenda and planned changes currently concern the entire personnel at the Eura plant. Deviating from earlier estimates, the changes will not necessarily result in a headcount reduction of permanent employees. The negotiations were set to begin on December 7, and they are scheduled to run for roughly six weeks.

 “I am pleased to announce that according to current forecasts, our permanent employees will not be subject to any headcount reductions. We and the personnel have together come up with good possible solutions for attaining our desired efficiency targets. Our preliminary plan is to initiate a comprehensive training scheme for the plant’s entire personnel at the beginning of next year. This training would be related to the introduction of new technology at Rauma and is a key priority in the start-up of the new plant. We are committed to upgrading the expertise of our personnel and updating their skill set and professional competency to enable the usage of state-of-the-art technology and planned new working methods,” said HKScan Chief Operating Officer Aki Laiho. “According to current estimates, there will also be demand for temporary personnel until the end of next year.”

Plant construction expected to be completed in 2017

Construction of the new plant began at the start of 2016. The project, which is valued at over EUR 80 million (US$85.9 million) and is expected to employ about 300 people, has progressed on schedule and it is due for completion at the end of 2017. The new technology will enable the development of innovative Kariniemen poultry novelties for HKScan’s domestic and export markets. All acquisitions at the new plant will comply with the principles of HKScan’s Responsibility Program and its targets for material, energy and environmental efficiency. For personnel, the sophisticated new processes will bring significant improvements in areas such as health and safety, the company stated.

The new Rauma plant will specialize in the growing poultry segment and chicken products. It is hoped that the new facility will safeguard the long-term survival of food industry jobs in western Finland for many years to come.