RANDERS, DENMARK – Danish Crown plans to cut 580 jobs within five departments in the company’s pork division to help reduce production costs. The hardest hit will be the Esbjerg department, where eliminating the evening shift will result in the loss of 328 jobs.

“This is a very regrettable development, but production costs simply must be reduced for pork production in Denmark to return to a reasonable level of profitability. The alternative is massive job losses in Denmark in the coming period,” said Kjeld Johannesen, Danish Crown’s chief executive officer. He emphasized this is only the first step in the contingency plan devised to achieve defined targets.

The plan involves cuts as a result of increases in efficiency, flagging-out of activities and a general tailoring of capacity. Danish Crown said it expects to recreate some of the jobs outside Denmark after the summer holidays, but there is also some hope that a small number of those affected by the job cuts may be offered work at other Danish Crown facilities in the coming period. The job cuts are expected to made by this summer.

The plan comprises the proposed closing-down of the evening shift in Esbjerg, proposed closure of the streaky bacon department in Skærbæk, proposed reduction of fore-end deboning in Horsens, a financial update and new assessment of the future for Rødding, closing the freezing facility in Blans, and analyzing the evening shift in Fåborg with a view to reduce the size of the evening shift in the autumn and/or closing it down altogether.