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Brandenburg’s Minister of Agriculture Axel Vogel visits Vion-Perleberg – state government supports regional meat supply approach

During his visit to Vion in Perleberg, Brandenburg’s Minister of Agriculture, Axel Vogel, took a look at the largest regional slaughterhouse in Brandenburg. The visit focused on regionality in the domestic meat supply, sustainability and animal welfare, as well as Vion’s commitment to the state of Brandenburg and its pig farmers.

Perleberg/Potsdam, 3 March 2023: Accompanied by the state government’s animal welfare officer, Dr Anne Zinke, the Minister found out about Vion’s involvement in a federal government research project, among other things. As part of a joint project, scientists from the Friedrich Loeffler Institute and the University of Göttingen are investigating the use of alternative gas mixtures for carbon dioxide stunning in slaughter pigs and the use of artificial intelligence in monitoring to ensure animal welfare.

The Minister expressed his appreciation for Vion’s recent investments of more than 6 million euros in the Perleberg plant with regard to the energy savings that are possible. The site now uses CO2 as a secondary refrigerant in its ultra-modern cooling systems and can thus avoid about 90 per cent of the ammonia pollution of conventional cooling systems and reduce the energy required for this by 40 per cent.

At the same time, the new cooling and sorting facilities also play a decisive role in Vion’s development of demand-oriented regional programmes for the retail trade. For example, the only remaining larger slaughterhouse in the state of Brandenburg is already a guarantor for local farmers of short transport distances for their slaughter animals, both for conventional agriculture and for organic farms. With the additional cooling and sorting capacities, the plant in Perleberg can now fully meet the special customer requirements such as regionality, programme pigs, organic pork, etc.

The participation of Perleberg in “pro agro”, the network initiative for marketing regional products from Brandenburg and the capital region of Berlin, should also be seen against this background, emphasised Ringo Beinroth, Vion Plant Manager in Perleberg. “Regional products are more than just the best quality and taste, they secure jobs, the prosperity of the region and contribute significantly to climate protection through direct, short distances to customers and consumers,” said Axel Vogel, Minister of Agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture is currently working on a guideline to promote projects for the establishment and expansion of regional value chains. It is to come into force this year and cover almost 16 million euros until 2027.