Dutch meat producer Vion Food Group is planning to close its Großostheim-based production site in Bavaria, Germany.

The closure will impact 220 jobs, the company told Just Food.

In an interview with media outlet Top Agrar, Vion‘s COO of foodservice, Simon Morris, said the convenience products facility has not seeing enough growth and consequently would shut by the end of the year.

These latest structural changes come following the company’s announcement last week that it plans to reduce capacity for the farming of pigs under the voluntary Initiative Tierwohl (ITW) quality assurance scheme, which finacially supports farmers that implement higher animal welfare standards.

The firm added it would not be renewing some of its existing ITW contracts with farmers at the end of the year, which will affect suppliers working at the Vilshofen and Landshut sites.

Vion’s management team said these decisions have been made as a result of the challenging meat market situation in Germany and a lower demand for animals farmed under the ITW scheme.

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It added that there is still interest for additional pigs farmed under its QS quality scheme for food which ensures the safety of fresh food in Germany.

Germany has seen a general decline in demand for meat, with meat consumption falling to its lowest level in over 30 years in 2022.

Philippe Thomas, who became Vion’s new CEO for Germany earlier this month, told Top Agrar the company is experiencing a major transformation that is impacting the entire meat manufacturing and processing sector.

He suggested that those working in the industry who cannot adapt to change will likely face negative outcomes.

While Vion‘s convenience and self-service goods business has struggled this year, Morris said the foodservice site in Großostheim  – which produces burgers, finger food and vegetarian and vegan products ­- has seen profits.

Earlier this year, the company also announced it would close its German beef plant in Bad Bramstedt in July, which was expected to impact 250 employees.

Thomas added that no further closures are on the cards for the moment but that the company must remain adaptable to change.