Vion closes German pork site

Vion closes German pork site

Dutch meat group Vion plans to close its loss-making pig slaughter and cutting plant in Lingen, Germany.

Vion could not maintain profitability at the site after the loss of its "most important" food retail customer in 2008. The company attempted to generate additional export opportunities but the "gaps could not be closed".

As a result, the number of pigs slaughtered at the site fell by 30% to "just" 12,000 pigs a week. Annual losses "exceeded" EUR1m (US$1.37m), Vion revealed.

The closure comes amid Vion's drive to improve profitability. Last year, the company divided its food and ingredients businesses and refocused its struggling food unit on the pork and beef markets in Germany and the Netherlands as well as "select" international markets.

The company, which also withdrew from the UK in 2013, has focused on lowering its cost base through manufacturing efficiencies.

Vion stressed it will maintain a production presence in Lower Saxony with the operation of its facility in Emstek.