Europe's largest pork producer says to open plant in China

COPENHAGEN, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Danish food processing company, Danish Crown, plans to invest about 300 million Danish kroner (44 million U.S. dollars) in building a processing and retail product plant in China, the company announced on Wednesday.

The Europe's largest pork producer, dealing primarily in meat processing of pork and beef, said in a statement that the new plant will be located in Shanghai and the production will be based on Danish raw material.

The plan is part of the strategy of the company towards 2021, and chief executive officer Jais Valeur admits that it is a bit of a "gamble" to try the Chinese market.

"But this is one of the chances we should take as a big company and try to see if we can get closer to the market, closer to consumers and further up in the value chain in China, rather than just being a raw material supplier," Valeur said.

Danish Crown already has a large export of fresh pork to China, and its by-products like toes, ears and tail are delicacies popular among Chinese consumers.

Valeur said the consumption pattern in China is changing rapidly, and the Chinese eating habits begin more and more to resemble the food culture in Europe and the United States.

Meanwhile, the e-commerce is developing fast in China, enabling groceries being bought and delivered at home, he added.

"It is therefore evident that we should try to capitalize on this by our own production," Valeur said.

Danish Crown is a co-operative slaughterhouse, created through numerous mergers, and the oldest slaughterhouse which is part of Danish Crown today was founded in Horsens in 1887.

Approximately 22 million pigs and sows and about 700,000 cattle are slaughtered each year in the Danish Crown slaughterhouses, and the products are sold in more than 130 countries worldwide.

With 26,000 employees, Danish Crown has an annual turnover of about 60 billion kroner. (1 U.S. dollar=6.82 Danish kroner)

[ Editor:yfs001]

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