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Polish meat processor to rebuild plant after fire

By Jaroslaw Adamowski , 14-Mar-2017

The meat processor plans to power the new plant with renewable energy
The meat processor plans to power the new plant with renewable energy

Polish meat processor ZM Olewnik plans to rebuild its plant, which was significantly damaged in a fire last January, generating losses of about PLN100 million (€23m).

We are approaching our goal which is the full recovery of ZM Olewnik’s production activity,” the company said in a statement. “Until production is launched at the new plant, the products of the Olewnik brand will be made at external plants under the surveillance of our employees.

The meat processing facility is located in Świerczynek, slightly more than 100km from the country’s capital Warsaw. It is owned by the group’s subsidiary ZM Olewnik Bis Ltd. Once rebuilt, the plant is to be powered with the use of renewable energy sources, said the company.

Product range, distribution to be strengthened

Our aim is to return, in the shortest possible time, to the record results that we posted in late 2016,” ZM Olewnik said. “We are working on rebuilding the plant, developing our product range and reinforcing its distribution.

Meanwhile, the company has been in contact with the District Labour Office (PUP), which informed local news agency PAP on the planned lay-offs in relation to the production halt. Of the 569 employees at the plant in Świerczynek, it is estimated that about 153 workers will be let go. Furthermore, the group’s subsidiary Olewnik Serwis, which manages the meat processor’s logistics, is to lay off about 38 of its 69 employees.

Workforce overhaul

Meanwhile, ZM Olewnik Bis said: “As the plant’s production capacity will be fully restored and the needs of its production activities will be taken into account, the company will aim to gradually restore its prior workforce structure.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Płock has launched an investigation into the 1 January fire, which broke out in the plant’s package facility and then damaged its storage facility and offices. The incident also destroyed about 300 tonnes of various processed meat products.

Besides its sales in Poland, ZM Olewnik exports a significant share of its output to various foreign markets, mostly other EU member states. Some of the firm’s main export destinations include Germany, the Czech Republic and Lithuania, according to senior company representatives.

The Polish meat processor specialises in making a wide range of products from pork, poultry and beef meat. These include sausages, salami, hams, frankfurters, dry sausages and pâtés, among other items. ZM Olewnik said its facilities are ISO 9001-, 14001- and HACCP-certified.

The company operates a second meat processing plant in Sierpc, in Poland’s central region. In addition to its two facilities, ZM Olewnik also owns a retail chain that consists of some 23 stores located in four Polish regions. The largest share of the company’s retail outlets is concentrated in the central region of Mazowieckie, where ZM Olewnik operates 18 stores, according to data from the firm.

Established in 1989 and based in Sierpc, the meat processor was set up by local businessman Włodzimierz Olewnik.

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