German meat giant Tönnies to cut 140 jobs

Tönnies has announced the closure of one of its export packaging departments for Asia, which will affect some 140 employees.

The department is in a Tönnies plant in Weißenfels, Saxony-Anhalt and has been part of the Tönnies group since 1990. The site is Tönnies’ second largest slaughterhouse. The total staff of this slaughterhouse is around 2,200 employees.

Export packaging will now take place at a plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück near Bielefeld.

In previous years, the German company exported pig ears, snouts and tails to countries such as China, Japan and South Korea from this export department. However, in September 2020, Asia banned the import of German pork after a case of African swine flu in a wild boar was reported in the Spree-Neiße. Tönnies attributes this continued export ban to the closure of his department.

“We had high hopes that exports to Korea and China would be possible again in the short term. However, developments to date are disappointing and make this step unavoidable at this time,” the company said.

just food has approached Tönnies to establish the purpose of the Asian export department for the last two years since the export ban in 2020.

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 other group 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 no injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Tönnies announced the cessation of slaughter operations at its smaller cattle site in Legden.

Tönnies reported that it produces 850 tons of chilled fresh meat per day and had a 33.4% market share for pork in Germany in 2022.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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