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Slaughterhouse Workers to Invest in Pig Production

04 September 2013

DENMARK - Workers at Danish Crown have put forward a proposal to invest up to DKK 600 million of the slaughterhouse workers’ pay in Danish pig production over the next four years.

The proposal is designed to reverse the downward trend in the number of jobs at Danish Crown’s pig slaughterhouses by reestablishing the production of pigs for slaughter by the company’s members.

"It is a ground-breaking proposal which must, of course, be submitted to all our colleagues for a vote. However, the trend which we have now been witnessing for several years has also been quite drastic in terms of the number of colleagues we have at the pig slaughterhouses in Denmark. We want to reverse this trend. This is all about our jobs," said Lars Mose, chairman of the committee of union representatives in Danish Crown.

The initiative was taken by the committee of union representatives, and the proposal has been negotiated with the management of the group’s pork division, DC Pork.

"This is an admirable and very responsible step by the committee of union representatives. It also means that, for the first time in many years, we are looking towards a four-year period during which we will not be closing down pig slaughterhouses, and this is very positive. For this to happen, the proposal must, of course, generate the intended results, and secure a sufficient number of pigs for slaughter for us to utilise our capacity," said CEO of DC Pork Jesper Friis.

The aim of the proposal is to increase the production of pigs for slaughter by up to three million animals over the next four years.

If it is put into operation, this will not only secure Danish workplaces, but lead to the creation of new jobs.

"We have just presented a comprehensive strategy on how to improve the financial performance of DC Pork, and now the union representatives are showing the way by making a significant contribution. It means that everybody in DC Pork will be working towards changing the current situation. Consequently, we are also looking forward to seeing the very positive political announcements made by both the Danish Minister for Business and Growth Henrik Sass Larsen and the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark Karen Hækkerup being translated into concrete measures," said Jesper Friis.

"We face the prospect of having to say goodbye to yet another big group of colleagues if the current decline in the production of pigs for slaughter continues. Therefore, what we are proposing is not another cost-cutting exercise for the slaughterhouse – rather, the agreement is conditional upon all the money being spent on co-financing an increase in the production of pigs for slaughter by Danish Crown’s owners," said Lars Mose.

Investing the money will also be conditional upon individual farmers actually being able to increase their production.

"It is a unique initiative which can create stability in the agricultural sector. With an investment fund like this, we are paving the way for some very necessary investments in pig production – investments which must be backed up by the farmers and the financial institutions. In fact, we are talking about investments in pig production to the tune of DKK 3 billion," said Chairman of Danish Crown’s Board of Directors Erik Bredholt.

In connection with the agreement, the factory managers at the Danish factories have committed themselves to also making a contribution. As has the top management of DC Pork.

Over the next few weeks, the employees will be able to study the proposal in detail, followed by a vote before the end of the month.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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