Tönnies has announced the closure of one of its export packaging departments for Asia, which is set to affect around 140 employees.
The department is at a Tönnies plant in Weißenfels, Saxony-Anhalt has been part of Tönnies group since 1990. The site is Tönnies’ second-largest slaughterhouse. The total workforce of this slaughterhouse is around 2,200 employees strong.
Export packaging will now take place at a plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, near Bielefeld.
In previous years, the German company exported pigs’ ears, snouts and tails to countries like China, Japan and South Korea from this export department. However, in September 2020, Asia placed an import ban on German pork after a case of African swine flu was reported in a wild boar in Spree-Neiße. Tönnies attributes this continuing export ban to the closure of its department.
“We had high hopes that exports to Korea and China would become possible again in the short term. However, the developments to-date are disappointing and make this step unavoidable at the moment,” the company said.
Just Food has approached Tönnies to establish the purpose of the Asian export department over the last two years since the export ban in 2020.
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The meat group is working with the council to create a social plan for the 140 employees whose jobs will be affected: “All of them will be offered the opportunity to move to one of the group’s other sites.”
Tönnies is also in contact with the Federal Employment Agency to help find new employers for those workers who do not wish to relocate.
The Weißenfels slaughterhouse suffered a transformer fire in May 2021, in which fortunately there were no injuries reported.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, Tönnies announced the ceasing of slaughtering operations at its smallest cattle site in Legden.
Tönnies reported it produces 850 tonnes of refrigerated, fresh meat per day and held a 33.4% market share for pork in Germany in 2022.