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Minister for Integration Visits DC Slaughterhouses

by 5m Editor
20 September 2010, at 9:03am

DENMARK - The Danish Minister for Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs, Birthe Rønn Hornbech, spoke with workers from different ethnic groups when she visited Danish Crown’s slaughterhouse in Blans last week. She travelled to the company’s slaughterhouse in Herning on Friday, 17 September.

"It has been an interesting visit which has once again confirmed my belief that diversity adds a certain dynamism to a workplace, both in production and in the canteen. And that the less a workplace sees religion as a problem, the less of a problem it is, said the Minister for Integration after her visit to DC’s facilities in Blans."

And the two slaughterhouse workers, Muhammed Ahmed Farag from Egypt and Anandakumar Paramanandar, from Sri Lanka, couldn't agree more.

"We just talk to everybody, no matter where they come from. In fact, we do not see each other as being either one nationality or the other, we just take each other at face value, and everyone talks to everybody else – and then the Danish language and integration just fall into place," said Mr Paramanadar, who came to Denmark 23 years ago and has been working at the slaughterhouse for 19 years.

The two slaughterhouse workers accompanied the Minister during her visit in Blans, taking the opportunity to tell her about their lives in Denmark in general, and not least their life at the slaughterhouse.

Guided tour

The Minister for Integration visited the slaughterhouse – where 36.5 per cent of the 941 employees are non-ethnic Danes – as part of a nationwide tour of eleven Danish companies which have made the most of diversity in the workplace.

In addition to her chat with Muhammed and Babo, the Minister also had a guided tour of the facilities in Blans and talked to representatives of both ISS (in charge of cleaning the slaughterhouse) and DC about their experiences with recruiting non-ethnic Danes.

Resourceful non-ethnic Danes

The purpose of the Minister’s tour is to hear from the companies themselves how an international mix of employees can lead to innovation, better products and new markets. At the same time, she wants to inspire other companies to make use of the resourcefulness of the non-ethnic Danes to develop their business.

"Many companies know that there are advantages in having employees from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Several companies are realising that diversity can be translated into value which pays off on the company’s as well as society’s bottom line. This is a message which we need to communicate widely so that more people begin to see diversity as an innovative, value-creating and growth-promoting factor," said Ms Hornbech, who continued her tour with a visit to DC’s slaughterhouse in Herning.