Polish meat processor relaunches production, eyes new plant in 2018

By Jaroslaw Adamowski

- Last updated on GMT

Polish processor ZM Olewnik is to relaunch production at its Świerczynek site
Polish processor ZM Olewnik is to relaunch production at its Świerczynek site
Polish meat processor ZM Olewnik has relaunched production activities at its facility in Świerczynek, following a fire that partly destroyed the plant last January, generating losses of about PLN 100 million (€23.5m). 

Meat processing activities are now being carried out in a revamped hall, according to senior company representatives.

Anna Olewnik-Mikołajewska, president of the company’s management board, told local news site Portalspozywczy.pl​ that the plant was now being operated by more than 400 employees. ZM Olewnik is planning to install new production lines at the facility, and add new products to the firm’s portfolio, according to its president.

“The company’s managing board wants to spend each day on rebuilding the market position that the company lost as a result of the fire, to ensure that the plans to build a new production facility and launch it at a new location become a fact, and do not remain a dream,” ​said Olewnik-Mikołajewska. “To cope with this difficult situation, and also to prepare itself for the implementation of a lengthy process of managing the results of the [incident], the company was forced to reduce its structure, which was related to the need to implement lay-offs and [introduce] a restructuring plan.”

Prior to the fire, the facility in Świerczynek was operated by 539 employees, 153 of whom were let go. The group’s subsidiary Olewnik Serwis, which is responsible for the meat processor’s logistics, declared plans to lay off 38 of its 69 employees, which were mainly truck drivers.

Last June, the Prosecutor’s Office in Płock decided to discontinue its investigation into the 1 January fire, which broke out at the plant’s package facility and then damaged its storage facility and offices. ZM Olewnik has reached an agreement with its insurers and, as a result, the company obtained compensation, according to its president.

Under the plan, the new facility is due to start operating in mid-2018. The plant in Świerczynek is located more than 100 kilometres from the country’s capital Warsaw, and is operated by the company’s subsidiary ZM Olewnik BIS Ltd.

The Polish meat processor makes its products from pork, poultry and beef. ZM Olewnik’s product portfolio consists of sausages, hams, salami, dry sausages, frankfurters and pâtés, among other items. The firm says its facilities are ISO 9001-, 14001- and HACCP-certified.

In addition to its two meat processing plants in Sierpc and Świerczynek, ZM Olewnik operates a retail chain that comprises 23 stores in four Polish regions, according to figures from the company. While Poland remains the firm’s primary market, it also exports a share of its products, with neighbouring Germany, Lithuania and the Czech Republic identified as its main export destinations.

Set up in 1989 and headquartered in Sierpc, ZM Olewnik was established by local businessman Włodzimierz Olewnik who is the father of the company’s current president.

Related topics: Poland, Industry & Markets, Pork

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