Meat producers are switching from subcontractors to direct employment
Due to a high number of COVID-19 infections in meat processing plants in Germany, major players have decided to end their relations with workforce subcontractors by the end of the year. Danish Crown is the latest to join the group, worrying that the German consumer may lose its trust in the meat industry. At the same time, the German government announced that is working on a bill to ban work contracts with subcontractors in the German meat industry, allowing only direct recruitment and employment.
Danish Crown owns a slaughterhouse in Essen, with 1,500 employees, of which more than half are migrants. This percentage is to be reduced to 25% by the fall, according to Preben Sunke, managing director of the unit.
Last month, Tonnies has taken the worst hit reported so far in the EU, when a large outbreak of coronavirus was reported at the company's largest meat processing plant in Rheda. Almost 1,500 workers from the factory have been quarantined after being tested positive for COVID-19 and the unit suspended its operations until further notice. Almost 80% of the employees found positive were coming from Romania and Bulgaria and the local media linked the outbreak to poor accommodation conditions offered by the subcontractors.
The measure is an important step towards expanding access for Brazilian meat to that market. The ...