German pig farmers enjoying boom in Chinese exports


Ira Spitzer in Berlin, CGTN (China)



German pig farmers are thriving thanks to a surge in demand from China after exporting half a million tonnes of pork to the country last year.


China has suffered a 10 percent reduction in domestic production of pork in the aftermath of the African swine fever epidemic in 2018 and has turned to Europe to satisfy demand.


Germany is the second biggest supplier of pork to China, topped only by Spain, and has continued to export in high volume during the pandemic.


Pig farmer Wilken Langreder says the increase in demand has been great for business: "We raise a lot of pigs in Germany, and of course the exports are positive for German pork prices and pork sales," he told CGTN.


African swine fever is fatal to pigs but the disease hasn't reached Germany, despite an outbreak amongst wild boars in neighbouring Poland.


Germany's success in shielding its pigs from infection has been the result of a thorough protective process, which mirrors the country's vigilance in tackling COVID-19.


Langreder added: "Everyone who comes into this area where the animals are kept has to first shower and then put on protective gear in order to keep out any viruses, bacteria or diseases that might come in from the outside, especially these days."


The Chinese market eats roughly half of the world's pork every year and it has become a competitive battleground for European nations seeking to boost their exports of pork.


"Of course we have competition within Europe... between our Spanish colleagues, our French or Dutch colleagues," German Farmers Association director Bernhard Kruesken told CGTN.


COVID-19 remains an ongoing threat to farmers, with China suspending imports from one meat supplier in Germany...


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German Meat Plant Ordered Shut After Coronavirus Outbreak


·         About 400 of 500 tested were infected in Toennies facility

·         Poor safety record cited for spate of cases at meat plants


By Brian Parkin and Megan Durisin, Bloomberg

June 17, 2020


A meatpacking plant in Germany was ordered to shut after hundreds of workers became infected by the coronavirus, adding to a string of outbreaks at slaughterhouses across Europe.


After testing 500 workers at a factory in near the western German city of Guetersloh, results showed that about 400 had the disease, prompting the shutdown of the facility that employs 6,000 people, city officials said on Wednesday. Schools and child-care facilities were ordered shut starting Friday until the start of summer break on June 26, but there’s no plans for a broader lockdown.


Factory owner Toennies GmbH sampled a total of 1,000 employees and has yet to receive the second batch of results, according to a company spokesman. Testing will be expanded to remaining employees.


“It’s not about the company now, it’s about the people and the community,” Clemens Toennies, the company’s chief, said in a statement. “We fully support the authorities in all measures.”


The tests were authorized by the local municipality, which as of yesterday had reported a total of 124 new Covid-19 cases in the past week.


Meat plants have become hotspots for the virus worldwide, with infections from the Americas to Europe and Australia. The U.S. has been arguably the worst hit, with thousands of workers testing positive and plant shutdowns spurring temporary meat shortages at retailers and fast-food chains.


More than 1,000 workers at European abattoirs have also contracted Covid-19 as slaughterhouses in Germany, Ireland and the U.K. reported outbreaks in recent months. The latest Toennies outbreak is among the largest in Germany and a blow to the country’s efforts to contain the pandemic…


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