Danish Crown, Europe’s largest pork producer, will increase its investment budget by 25%, investing 2 billion DKK in automation as it looks to future-proof production over the coming year.
In 2021, the palletising area at Danish Crown’s abattoir in Horsens will be expanded and upgraded with an investment in a new multi-million kroner robot setup.
“It is crucial for us to keep investing decisively in our production facilities through continued automation. This is the way to enhance both the working environment and our competitiveness – which in turn is the way to secure jobs. So even though we invest a huge amount, it makes sense in every possible way,” said Jais Valeur, Group CEO of Danish Crown.
Another major investment is planned in Germany, where the capacity for producing ham for pizzas at the factory in Dinklage is to be increased.
In recent years, Danish Crown has captured market share in the European pizza toppings market, most notably in the pepperoni category, and now the capacity and range will be expanded.
CEO Kasper Lenbroch said: “Toppings is one of the markets in growth in Danish Crown Foods, where Danish Crown Toppings in Thorning produces large volumes of pepperoni for the pizza industry every year.
“Now we are expanding our repertoire with new lines in Dinklage, where we can make ready-cooked ham products in several formats, and in turn, align us more closely with our customers.
“With the new production facilities, we will increase our market share in the ham segment of the toppings market through Danish Crown Toppings’ sales channels with an almost fully automated and very modern setup.”
Danish Crown’s total investment budget will increase from DKK 1.6 billion last year to around DKK 2 billion in the coming year.
Investments are planned across the Group’s business areas. Danish Crown Pork accounts for the largest share of revenue and, not surprisingly, the largest investment plans.
In addition to the investment in the expansion of the palletizing operation in Horsens, there will also be major investments in the abattoirs in Blans and Ringsted in the coming year.
In Blans, changing and office facilities are to be expanded and modernized, and the abattoir will see new equipment in the cutting department, while in Ringsted, investment will establish a facility to produce a special minced product for the Japanese market.
Moreover, plans include multi-million kroner investments in projects to further improve working conditions and to drive reductions in the Group’s climate footprint and environmental impact.