HomeDomestic NewsDanish Crown slaughterhouse closure sparks concerns for industry future

Danish Crown slaughterhouse closure sparks concerns for industry future

In the aftermath of the closure of the Danish Crown slaughterhouse in Ringsted and the dismissal of nearly 1200 employees, union representative Jan Bruno Christensen expresses deep frustration and concern for the future of the slaughterhouse industry in Denmark. This development follows a previous closure in Sæby, where 800 positions were eliminated in June 2023. According to Christensen, the main reason for these closures is the increasing export of live piglets, which has been a growing trend over the past 20 years. “It’s a scandal,” he says, pointing out how this not only affects the employees financially but also personally, as many of them have close relationships in the workplace.

Christensen is particularly frustrated that Denmark continues to export thousands of pigs every hour, reducing the number of pigs available to slaughterhouses in Denmark. “It may be that I am seeing ghosts, but it doesn’t take much math to figure out that the more piglets they throw out, the fewer slaughter pigs there are,” he states. This situation also has broader social consequences, as the majority of the fired employees are foreigners, including Poles, Romanians, Ukrainians, and Eritreans. The EU has previously announced a support package of 23 million kroner from the European Globalization Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help employees laid off from the slaughterhouse in Sæby. Christensen hopes that similar support will be available for those laid off in Ringsted.

This crisis in the slaughterhouse industry reflects a larger trend, where Denmark exports more pigs than are slaughtered domestically, resulting in a 20 percent decrease in the number of slaughters since 2005, according to Statistics Denmark and the EU Parliament. The Ringsted slaughterhouse is expected to close in mid-September, leaving many employees with an uncertain future and questioning the sustainability of current practices in the slaughterhouse industry in Denmark.

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