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146. Bringing home the bacon

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Coop Name: Danish Crown N° of Employees: 25000
City: Randers S N° of Members: 9500
Country: Denmark Year of formation: 1887
Website: http://www.danishcrown.com
About this coop:

The Danish Crown group is an international food producer with production and sales across the world. Danish Crown, the parent company, produces and markets pork and beef. Danish Crown´s subsidiaries produce and market processed food products and other products for food production. It is the world's largest exporter of pork.

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Viewing an interactive map of the 125-year history of pig slaughtering in Denmark is reminiscent of watching wildfire spread in a raging wind. Pig slaughtering has become big business in Denmark.

At the centre of this big business which began in the cooperative slaughterhouses of Horsens in Denmark’s centre is the 125-year-old Danish Crown. Today it is a limited company but is owned by the cooperative society Leverandørselskabet Danish Crown Amba.

Danish Crown products began setting standards early on in its history. A third of the way into its evolution, Danish Crown was awash with orders for its bacon from the United Kingdom. Back in the 1930s the British taste for Danish bacon was so great that it could not be sated.

Now, 80 years on, Danish Crown is witnessing the same kind of insatiable desire for its pork products from China. It is one of the few businesses outside China which is allowed to directly import its products into the country. Danish Crown slaughterhouses, even with the state-of-the-art slaughterhouse, the most modern in the world in Horsens, cannot meet Chinese demand.

In a beautiful, if coincidental, act of cooperation, the Chinese tend to eat different parts of the pig to Europeans.

All of which has helped to make Danish Crown the world’’s biggest pork exporter.

IYC Yearbook feature: http://ica.coop/en/iycbook

Author of this story
Kate Askew
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