Meat industry – Tönnies remains a family business – economy

Germany’s largest meat company, Tönnies, is not expected to be sold, but to remain in family ownership. Shareholders Robert, Clemens and Maximilian Tönnies said on Wednesday that the ownership structure would remain unchanged; a corresponding dispute has been settled. Tönnies now wants to make progress in terms of climate protection and animal welfare. New business sectors are also expected to contribute, for example pet food or plant-based meat substitutes.

The Bloomberg news agency previously reported in March that Tönnies was on the verge of selling. Managing partner Clemens Tönnies had already underlined the family’s claim to leadership at the time. Tönnies had recently achieved an annual turnover of over seven billion euros with a good 16,000 employees. The company, which was founded in 1971 and has grown internationally through acquisitions, slaughter, butchering and processing of pigs and cattle. About half of the production is exported.

The group, based in Rheda-Wiedenbrück in North Rhine-Westphalia, hit the headlines last year after a corona outbreak at the main plant. More than 1,500 employees were infected with the virus and the factory had to close temporarily.

Clemens Tönnies, 65, controls around 45 percent of the shares, Robert Tönnies owns around 50 percent. Clemens’ son Maximilian Tönnies also works in the group and owns around five percent of the shares. Most recently he was responsible for expanding the vegetarian food market.

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