Some 300 workers are reportedly affected at facilities in Vejen and Århus.
Skare Meat Packers has reportedly applied for bankruptcy in a court in Denmark after a number of retailers halted orders due to a lack of meat traceability.
A representative for the NNF food workers’ union in Denmark told Just Food that employees of Skare Meat Packers were ordered to stay at home yesterday (1 February), a day that coincided with a deadline for the Vejen-headquartered company to provide documentation confirming the traceability of its meat.
That requirement was set down last month by The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA), or Fødevarerejseholdet, following an unannounced inspection of the Vejen processing facility in December.
Two inspections took place in December and the DVFA found Italian meat was labelled as being sourced from Germany, one of three offences for which Skare Meat Packers was reported to the police for investigation. The food-safety authority also discovered various cuts of meat dating as far back as 2010.
While some 250 tonnes of meat were seized, DVFA chief Michael Rosenmark informed Just Food last month it was not an offence for 12-year-old animal protein to be sold in Denmark. However, the traceability issues raised concerns.
The NNF representative said Skare Meat Packers has filed its bankruptcy request in a court in the town of Esberg located on the Jutland peninsula. The company’s Vejen processing plant is also situated in Jutland.
However, the NNF spokesperson confirmed 300 workers are affected, including around 200 packers and administrative staff at the Vejen site and more at a slaughterhouse in Århus, also on the Jutland peninsula.
Just Food has reached out to Skare Meat Packers for comment.
Meanwhile, Jim Jensen, the deputy chairman of the NNF, said via a separate statement that the union is “trying to sort out the situation so that we can advise our members as best as possible.”
He added: “As we understand it, there are efforts underway to try to save all or parts of Skare Meat. Our members were sent home yesterday, and they are therefore currently in a bit of a grey area. As long as the members are formally employed by the company, they must have some form of security for payment – even if they are on standby.”
Citing court documents, Denmark’s online finance publication – finans.dk – reported a total of seven companies under the Skare Group have filed for bankruptcy: Skare Meat Packers, Skare Beef, Skare Øst, Skare Beef Products, Skare Import-Export, Skare Export and Skare Holding.
Skare Holding is the group entity overseeing the sale of fresh and frozen meat to retail and wholesalers, according to the publication.
Salling Group, Denmark’s largest retailer, confirmed to Just Food last month that it had suspended deliveries from Skare Meat Packers. It is also understood the discount chain Rema 1000 has withdrawn orders as well. Just Food is seeking clarification.
Source: Just Food