Danish Crown, the meat processing co-operative, is to cut around 120 staff at a domestic plant.

The company plans to end the evening shift at its site in the central Danish city of Ringsted.

Twenty permanent employees will be dismissed. In addition, about 100 staff will be stopping work as their fixed-term employment contracts come to an end.

Danish Crown also plans to revise the capacity of a slaughterhouse further west in Horsens.

Per Laursen, vice president for production at Danish Crown’s pork division, described the changes at Ringsted as “a very unfortunate situation”. He said: “We saw a stabilisation in the supply of pigs for slaughter throughout 2015, but since the start of the year, there has been a fall of about 3% compared to last year. Therefore, it’s now necessary to adapt capacity accordingly.”

In March 2015, Danish Crown announced plans to reduce capacity at the plant, a move it then  admitted was likely to affect 280 staff amid falling slaughter pig production in Denmark. By August, Danish Crown said the cuts would not be as severe as it had announced, introducing an evening shift at the site.

“We are now returning to the lower number of slaughterings which was in the plan that was implemented in spring 2015,” Laursen said. “Back then, we closed two of the slaughter lines in Ringsted, but during summer last year, it proved to be too big a contraction, which is why we created an evening shift. This has been running really well for a year, but now there are unfortunately no longer enough pigs to maintain an evening shift for slaughterings in Ringsted.”

Danish Crown said its 100 employees who work in the evening with deboning, packaging and production for the co-op’s customers in Asia will not be affected by the adjustment.

“Fortunately, Danish Crown’s products are enjoying strong demand worldwide. We therefore expect to be able to offer other work to many of the employees who are currently engaged in slaughtering in the evening,” Laursen added.

At the site in Horsens, Danish Crown’s biggest slaughterhouse, the number of slaughterings is being reduced from 102,000 to 98,000 pigs a week.