NETHERLANDS – Vion Food Group, an international producer of meat, meat products, and plant-based alternatives based in the Netherlands, has announced its plans to close its beef plant in Bad Bramstedt, Germany.
According to Vion, the plant closure is due to the declining cattle population in northern Germany, the overcapacity of the slaughterhouse market, and the general pressure that the German protein market is under, partly because of the social trend towards less meat consumption.
Ronald Lotgerink, Vion Food Group CEO said that the planned closure is part of the group’s adjustment to the German sites to rebalance supply and demand in the market which is under pressure.
“In the face of inflation and price increases, societal developments and regulations that the farming and meat industry is currently facing, we are taking measures to keep meat production in Germany healthy and to offer farmers future perspectives,” he added.
The group has however planned to look at the possible transfer of about 250 employees who are at risk of losing their jobs to other Vion locations in the country.
Since 2012, Vion has adjusted capacities at the Bad Bramstedt site to consider the progressive decline in cattle numbers in northern Germany.
“In the interest of our farmers to keep the transport routes for the slaughter cattle short in the future and, in the interest of animal welfare, we will explore the offer of the still sufficiently available slaughter capacities in the north,” it said in a statement.
Previously, Vion announced the closure of its slaughterhouse in Zeven, in the Lower Saxony region of Germany.
According to the group, the slaughterhouse was in a loss-making situation and had no possibility to operate profitably in the future.
Instead, Vion said its future activities in Lower Saxony would focus and invest in its Emstek facility, around 100km west of Zeven because this site was best suited to provide the necessary access to the global markets.
“The market for pork meat has changed in past years; while they were primarily regional (and national) in the past, it is now necessary to also capture global market opportunities,” Vion said.
The company is an international meat producer with 25 production sites across the Netherlands and Germany.