GERMANY, Altenburg. It took ten months of conversion and installation work: now Vion Food Group has started up its new cattle slaughter line in Altenburg, Thuringia. Previously, pigs were slaughtered at the site.
Production will now start successively with the officially approved capacity of 2,500 cattle per week, the company announced. At the end of 2019, the Dutch-German group had decided to stop slaughtering pigs in Altenburg and focus the site on processing cattle. Whether Schwarzbunt or Rotbunt, Gelbvieh, Braunvieh or Fleckvieh - the border triangle of Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt is a growth region for cattle farming.
As David De Camp, COO Beef of Vion points out, the company will push the production of sustainable meat concepts including organic beef with the start-up of the new slaughter line from Altenburg. "We are striving for further improvement with shorter production chains for the market, focusing on animal welfare, transparency and food safety in the best quality. With our investment in Thuringia, we are not only strengthening our market leadership in beef in Germany, but also further expanding our position as one of the leading beef producers in Europe," De Camp said.
The new slaughter plant is part of Vion's corporate strategy for sustainable and regional beef production. Linking the plant to agriculture as well as food retailers and butchers ensures regional supply of local products, the group said in a statement. The short distance from producer farms to the Vion slaughterhouse ensures short transport times. The Altenburg beef slaughterhouse is managed by the group's Beef business unit, which is based in Buchloe (Ostallgäu district). Vion's investment in the plant, which has now been upgraded to meet current animal welfare, hygiene and work ergonomics criteria, underlines the role that the Altenburg plant will continue to play as a "location of the future," according to Vion.
Vion operates production sites in the Netherlands and Germany. The group has sales support offices in 13 countries and in 2020 generated sales of € 4.9 billion with 12,000 employees.