Customer Story

Emsland Frischgeflügel

10 Jan 2014

“We have chosen to make the best possible quality fresh products. Visually, microbiologically and as far as taste and nutritional value are concerned they really are top class. that is why we are continually perfecting our processes. Efficiency and effectiveness, everything must be seen in the light of the quality of our end products”. According to CEO Franz-Josef Rothkötter, keeping a sharp focus and a clear strategy are the basis for the success of Emsland Frischgeflügel.

“I am convinced that you can only achieve the best if you process poultry on a large scale with the right people and do this with the very latest technology. this is the best for product quality and also for being able to produce sustainably”.

Increase production

The Emsland Frischgeflügel plant

Emsland was in at the start with various developments in the poultry processing industry. A good example is processing at the highest possible production capacity. The first 13,500 bph (225 bpm) line was developed together with Marel Stork for the Emsland 2 factory in Haren, Germany. Based on positive experience at Haren, Celler Land, the latest new plant near Wietze, was fully equipped for this high throughput. It is now common knowledge that Emsland 1 will also be revamped for the higher capacity. At this moment the Emsland group produces some 300,000 tons of poultry meat per year or approximately 3.2 million broilers per week.

In our cooperation with Marel we give one another space and we challenge each other to take that extra step.
- Franz-Josef Rothkötter, CEO Landgeflügel

‘Largeness of scale is not an objective’

Franz-Josef Rothkötter notes: “Producing on a large scale as we do means that you can optimize your process at a relatively low cost per kilogram and in such a way that animal welfare is looked after at least as well and in some aspects better than before. This is what the market expects. A big and very important advantage is that per product we use much less water, electricity, energy and raw materials. Largeness of scale is not an objective as such. Combined, however, with our aim for sustainability it becomes added value for us and our customers.

Landgeflugel managementFrom left to right: Christian Borker – Factory Manager of the Cellarland plant, Franz-Josef Rothkötter – CEO, Richard Wenneker – Factory Manager of Emsland 1 & 2

By perfecting the process, installing a completely measurable process and by using the latest process technologies, over the years we have been making ever better use of our input material, the broiler. In my opinion, that is also important for producing in a truly corporately responsible way”.

Focus on staff

For Emsland it is clear that taking the care to produce a good product is also very much in the hands of good staff. “We look after our people well. More than 80% of our employees are on fixed contracts. They are rewarded with considerably better working conditions than in many comparable concerns. It is a question of give and take. We expect a lot, but also give something back to our employees, often in the form of various facilities. We have opened a crèche directly next to the Emsland plants where our employees’ children are well looked after while their parents work. Quality means commitment and dedication on the basis of mutual respect”.

Focus on the customer

“Above all, we as a company must ensure a good relationship with the market, that we can offer the right products at the right price”. Rothkötter explains: “We always keep a sharp focus on our products and, therefore, on the market, on our customer. We equip everything as best we can for a good fresh product. “Better” always takes precedence over “cheap”. We concentrate deliberately on large quantities of a relatively narrow range of end products. We are a good fit with our customers – mostly large retailers – and they with us”.

“You can see how what we offer has grown enormously in recent years and we do of course follow trends in the marketplace. Since cut-up has become ever more important, we are seeing more added value, more and more seasonal products (for the BBQ for example) convenience products, marinated, cut and ready-to-cook products”.

Necessary innovation

New end products demand new technologies. Marel Stork is always aiming to translate the latest developments in the market into integrated solutions for processing at high throughputs. The various portioning solutions are a good example of this. The I-Cut cuts breast fillets into fixed weight strips or fillets at very high speeds with a high degree of accuracy and with minimum give-away.

Rothkötter: “The various Marel Stork solutions we have such as the I-Cuts work perfectly. But with all our various end products we still move them around too much. Our ultimate goal is to have everything in line. We can still increase efficiency here. This is one of the challenges we are working on with Marel Stork”.

Optimizing within the chain

One thing is clear! Emsland stands for perfection, whether we are talking about product quality, the efficiency of the primary process or even the internals of the production chain itself. Some time ago Emsland and Marel Stork commissioned the first complete feet processing system. Richard Wenneker, Factory Manager of Emsland 1 & 2, explains: “The system works well in practice but needs further development. We are now busy looking into the chain to see how we can improve the quality of our end products still further”. Mr. Rothkötter adds: “If for example we change the composition of our feed, this can influence feet quality and with it the yield and ultimately the ROI of the whole feet processing system”.

Stork TrayTrack

TrayTrack: logistical impact with payback

TrayTrack is another example of a project in the framework of optimizing the process. This system is completely automated and uses automatic loading stations, overhead conveyors and release stations to bring different trays filled with product to exactly the right packing machine. For Emsland, the system means an improvement in in-house end product logistics, mainly saving a lot of manual work. Christian Borker, Factory Manager of the Cellarland plant, adds his comments: “The system also has an automatic buffer function. If we have a short stop, changing sticker rolls for example, or if there is a small fault, the trays with product on them continue to circulate without it being necessary to call on staff for help ad hoc. The system works well and here too we are working together with Marel Stork on improving the system”.

1 + 1 = 3

Since the start of Emsland 1 less than ten years ago, Marel Stork has been the main supplier for all three factories. Emsland Frischgeflügel has become the global reference plant and many visits from colleagues from the industry have made the Company world-famous in the meantime. Mutual trust, transparency and belief in the power of continuing innovation and improvement are characteristics of the relationship between Marel Stork and Emsland.

Rothkötter comments: “We can only grow by constantly improving on all fronts. We optimize everything as far as possible. By continually measuring and working through all our figures we know where we have room for improvement, focusing on our overriding objective of supplying a better end product at as low a cost as possible. The relationship with Marel Stork at both a business and a personal level is really good. The bond between the two concerns is a strong one. In our cooperation with Marel we give one another space and we challenge each other to take that extra step. This is good for both parties and keeps us focused. Striving to make a top-quality product and focusing on continuous improvement and innovation is an essential feature which bonds both concerns together. It is a key to success.”

Go to: