Lihakunta’s transformation begins

Under the leadership of its new managing director Paavo Jauhiainen, Lihakunta implements a ten-year change and investment programme, during which old capacity is demolished and new capacity is built. The programme is expensive but effective.

A decade of constant change

A major, ten-year investment programme is approved in 1979 under the leadership of Jauhiainen. The programme includes setting up new slaughterhouses and eliminating old production capacity.

The strategy means severe rationalisation measures for the industry, the first of which is the closing down of the slaughterhouse in Varkaus. This is followed by a period of heavy investment and dismantling of outdated capacity. Statutory employer-employee negotiations are under way almost constantly in some part of Lihakunta’s organisation.

In 1981, production volume with just over 1,700 workers is 80 million kilograms. Ten years later, 106 million kilograms is produced with 1,400 people. The company’s equity ratio increases from about 20 per cent to 45 per cent, and its net assets multiply.

In 1981, Lihakunta acquires part of Osuustukkukauppa’s (OTK) meat industry. Lihakunta obtains the slaughterhouses in Ylivieska and Iisalmi and the meat product plants in Oulu and Kuopio. After the period of rationalisation, Lihakunta has production facilities in ten locations.