The billionaire boss of the giant German slaughterhouse now locked down due to coronavirus is nicknamed „the meat baron“ – and controversies are nothing novel for Clemens Tönnies.
Tönnies is Germany’s market leader in meat manufacturing: the plant shut to Gütersloh in western Germany employs about 7,000 folk, who are all now in quarantine. Higher than 1,500 non-public examined sure.
Clemens Tönnies, 64, apologised for the outbreak – the worst coronavirus flare-up in Germany for the reason that authorities started easing restrictions final month. There non-public been smaller virus outbreaks in some various meat processing crops.
On Saturday Clemens known because it „an existential disaster for the company“.
There might well be enrage in the direction of the agency in Gütersloh, the place colleges and kindergartens non-public now been shut.
Family success memoir
Tönnies changed into basically based as a family commercial in 1971, by Clemens’s elder brother Bernd, with Clemens within the junior feature, as he changed into easiest 15 then.
It grew to change into one among Europe’s greatest meat producers. This day it employs about 16,500 folk in Germany and Denmark, and 50% of the meat is exported.
The plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück shut to Gütersloh slaughters and processes about 20,000 pigs day-to-day. But now manufacturing has been suspended because the authorities speed to non-public the virus outbreak.
Quite loads of the crew on the plant are from jap Europe: Romanians, Bulgarians, Poles and North Macedonians, Deutsche Welle data experiences.
A local activist, Inge Bultschnieder, has previously organised demonstrations tense better residing stipulations for the migrant workers. Deutsche Welle found some of them residing in historical, overcrowded housing shut to the plant.
The overcrowding is suspected to be a reveal within the virus outbreak. But as in various abattoirs, on the Tönnies plant workers most frequently stand shut collectively and the frigid air potentially facilitated the unfold of the virus.
Dispute with nephew
Tönnies had a turnover of €7.3bn final year ($8.2bn; £6.6bn). Forbes commercial data says Clemens has a procure price of about $2.3bn.
His nephew Robert, 42, owns 50% of the commercial, whereas Clemens has a 45% stake and his son Max 5%. Clemens’s brother Bernd died in 1994, and Robert and his brother inherited their father’s stake.
For years Robert and Clemens fought a comely strive in opposition to over possession, resolved in 2017.
However the bitterness remains. When the outbreak made headlines final week Robert known as for Clemens to quit, accusing the management of being irresponsible and jeopardising the agency and local folk, German WDR data experiences. Robert stated Max Tönnies ought to tranquil replace his father on the helm.
Margit Tönnies is Clemens’s 2nd wife. He has two childhood.
Clemens will be head of the supervisory board of Schalke 04, one among Germany’s top Bundesliga golf equipment.
Closing year on the opposite hand he needed to step other than his soccer duties for three months after making a tell which drew a volley of criticism.
In a speech he known as for German vitality crops to be built in Africa, pronouncing „then they’ll stop reducing down trees and when it be darkish, when now we non-public given them electrical energy, they are going to furthermore unbiased no longer be making infants to any extent extra“.
He later apologised for his „mistake“ and offered abet for childhood in Africa.
WDR experiences that Clemens has been a a hit networker in politics, negotiating profitable commercial offers, comparable to one with Russian vitality giant Gazprom.
He has befriended Russian President Vladimir Putin, and introduced him with some meaty treats from Tönnies.