RANDERS, DENMARK – Danish Crown, the largest pork processor in Europe, recently announced that close to 100 jobs were going to be cut in Germany due to an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in September 2020 that stopped exports outside the European Union.
The layoffs will come at a facility in Boizenburg, Germany, about 60 kilometers east of Hamburg. Japan was one of the plant’s primary customers. Since the ASF outbreak began, Japan banned imports of German pork.
“Over the past six months, we have been challenged to achieve acceptable prices in Europe for the goods we can produce in Boizenburg,” said Per Laursen, production director at Danish Crown Pork. “There is no prospect of a quick turnaround, so we must now make the difficult decision to halve production by closing one shift and laying off 100 employees.”
Danish Crown’s Boizenburg facility was started in 2002 and largely exported to Russia. Since 2013, Russia has closed imports of pork from the European Union. Even though the plant processes primarily Danish pork, since the plant is in Germany, products are marked as German on customs documents. The products cannot be exported to the countries outside the EU that have discontinued importing pork from Germany.
“We have turned every stone in the efforts to maintain production, but it does not make sense to continue at the previous level when we can achieve better prices by exporting the goods out of Denmark,” Laursen said.