Wage cuts urged within Danish pig industry

31-12-2008 | |

Danish pigmeat producers have called for workers employed at their slaughterhouse subsidiary to accept wage cuts, in a similar move to that made by troubled Scandinavian carrier SAS.

The National Union of Danish Pig Farmers estimated that local farmers posted a combined 4.5-billion kroner (850,000 dollar) loss for 2008. In a statement, Torben Poulsen head of the union, said that it was necessary to introduce better terms for meat producers in 2009.

‘If we want to maintain Danish pig production at its current size, all measures have to be taken to strengthen competition,’ he said.

Poulsen specifically noted ‘high salary costs at slaughterhouses and higher costs for veterinary controls,’ and also questioned if consumers were prepared to pay for extra costs linked to increased animal welfare.

Danish farmers produced over 25 million pigs in 2006 of which more than 85 per cent were exported, making Denmark one of the world’s main pigmeat exporters, according to the Danish Bacon & Meat Council. Poulsen said he hoped for a deal with unions, otherwise Danish slaughterhouses could face closure as demand was also slowing over the global downturn.