RANDERS, Denmark – Danish Crown announced plans remove two processing lines at its slaughterhouse in Ringsted, Denmark over the summer. The company attributed the decision to declining supplies of slaughter-ready pig production.

Removing the lines will reduce capacity by 15,000 pigs per week. At least 280 employees will be affected by the shutdown.

“For some time now, we have been transporting slaughter pigs across Denmark to utilize capacity in Ringsted, which is not a sensible solution,” said Søren Eriksen, vice president of production, Danish Crown. “Basically, not enough pigs are being produced on Zealand at the moment to warrant a slaughterhouse of this size.”

The company said Danish slaughter pig production is continuing to fall, leaving Danish Crown with surplus production capacity at the company's slaughterhouses in Denmark. The company's board of directors recommended removing the processing lines at Ringsted.

“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,” Eriksen said. “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.”

Danish Crown said the line adjustment will occur in mid-June and mid-September. The company will establish a job bank and social plans for each employee affected by the closure. However, a rebound in slaughter pig production will make it possible to increase slaughter capacity at the facility by adding an evening shift.