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Business Last Updated: Jun 29, 2020 - 10:42:13 AM


The High Price of Cheap Meat
By Markus Becker, Jürgen Dahlkamp, Markus Dettmer, Jörg Diehl, Lukas Eberle, Michael Fröhlingsdorf, Kristina Gnirke, Florian Gontek, Hubert Gude, Claus Hecking, Julia Amalia Heyer, Nils Klawitter, Gunther Latsch, Catalin Prisacariu, Gerald Traufetter and Markus Verbeet, DER SPIEGEL, 26.06.2020
Jun 27, 2020 - 1:57:33 PM

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German slaughterhouses have been hit recently with horrifying coronavirus outbreaks, with over 1,000 cases in one facility. The industry, and its biggest players, share the blame. Change could be coming.

 

Clemens
                      Tönnies, sometimes called the "Pork Chop
                      Prince"

Clemens Tönnies, sometimes called the "Pork Chop Prince"

His slaughterhouses, led by the one in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, are the key link in a production chain in which animals are transformed into cheap meat, a chain that ends with low-price schnitzel in the freezers of discount grocers Aldi and Lidl. The company's ability to slash costs along the entire production line has revolutionized the industry and ensured Tönnies a dominant position in the market. Even the feet of the pigs, shunned by consumers in Germany, are sold as a delicacy in China. And the entire system seemed immutable for as long as consumers were unprepared to pay more for meat and nobody cared about the price paid by the humans and animals involved - by the farmers, the workers and the pigs themselves. This, though, is yet another seeming certainty that the coronavirus has begun to erode.
Dozens of German troops
                      arrived in Rheda-Wiedenbrück recently as part of
                      the effort to prevent the slaughterhouse
                      coronavirus outbreak from spreading.

Dozens of German troops arrived in Rheda-Wiedenbrück recently as part of the effort to prevent the slaughterhouse coronavirus outbreak from spreading.

Deeke/ Bundeswehr/ Getty Images
For months, the owners of the four-unit building had been resisting the idea of allowing people to live in the attic room, which had been declared a commercial space. But suddenly, things started moving quickly. One of the six Romanians looked sick and feverish. A neighbor wrote a message to Verl’s mayor that same night. "Are these people to be sent home quickly in order to prevent a possible continued payment of wages?” she wrote.
A line of people in Gütersloh
                      waiting to be tested

A line of people in Gütersloh waiting to be tested

SEAN GALLUP / GETTY IMAGES

Source:Ocnus.net 2020

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