French public slaughterhouse faces crisis due to leather price

Il macello francese di Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët non riesce più a sostenere i costi, anche perchè i prezzi di vendita della pelle sono troppo bassi

Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët public slaughterhouse is about to collapse. The French plant, located in a small municipality in the province of the Channel (Normandy), cannot manage to make even its own financial balance. Consequently, on June 4 the Commercial Court of Coutances started a safeguard proceeding to protect public investments and 30 jobs.

Reasons for collapse (leather is involved too)

Several reasons have brought to such heavy crisis. While speaking to 3 Normandie, Manuel Pringault, manager of the plant, listed them: “In 2015 we lost one of our top clients; furthermore, consumption of meat has been decreasing, leather price has been dropping and costs have increased”. Allegedly, the slaughterhouse is in the red (we are talking about 120,000 to 140,000 euros) owing to a downturn in the demand and in the selling price of by-products coming from slaughtered animals, including leather among others.

What is going to happen now?

The safeguard proceeding, which is somehow a bankruptcy issue, will go on for 6 months: during such period, the company will be under investigation, in order to assess their financial statements trend. At the end of the six-month-period, they might renew the proceedings two more times at most: within 18 months, they must find a solution though. One of the possible options, put forth by Pringault himself, could be a downscaling of the plant, therefore reducing its manufacturing capacity, which currently amounts to 5,000 tons, down to 3,000 tons. If things did not work, at least 1,000 clients would lose their main supplier – remarked the factory manager.

In the picture (taken from a video), the inside spaces of Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët slaughterhouse.


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