Royal Honour for Danish Crown in US

DENMARK - The CEO of Danish Crown in the US, Stig Kjærø, was presented with His Royal Highness Prince Henrik's Medal of Honour for his outstanding contribution to Danish exports. In his response, Stig Kjærø, clearly moved, offered a spare-rib prepared the American way to HRH The Prince Consort.
calendar icon 16 June 2011
clock icon 4 minute read

Vacuum-packed Danish spare-ribs adorned the bar, there was Danish pork on the menu, and the sound of Danish voices filled the air in front of a huge wall decoration with photos from the world's most modern slaughterhouse in Horsens, Jutland. On Friday 10 June, the elegant restaurant Grand Café in Morristown, New Jersey, close to Danish Crown's American headquarters, was for a brief period transformed into a little piece of Denmark when HRH The Prince Consort dropped by for a festive lunch event.

Americans might well find it difficult to pronounce Stig Kjærø’s name, so the CEO of Danish Crown USA, Inc. has learned to pronounce his surname as 'Kejero'. However, after having headed Danish pork exports for more than 25 years, Stig Kjærø can take much of the credit for the fact that Denmark's total exports to the USA are growing, even though Americans produce large volumes of pork themselves and despite the financial crisis. Americans consume 75,000 Danish spare-ribs daily, and every year 1,500 containers packed with Danish pork are shipped to the US.

HRH The Prince Consort recognised this achievement in conjunction with the royal visit to America by bestowing his Medal of Honour on Mr Kjærø and personally presenting him and Danish Crown with the Diploma of the Danish Export Association. In his speech, the Prince Consort praised both Danish Crown and Mr Kjærø for strongly representing 'the finest Danish export traditions' and for their 'ability to make Danish Crown’s products a sellable brand on the American market'.

Emotional recipient

Of special relevance for Mr Kjærø, the Prince Consort drew attention to the fact that he and his family have for many years lived in the USA and are thus 'an outstanding example of the proud Danish practice of solid integration in the global business community'.

Clearly moved, Mr Kjærø thanked the Prince Consort for the honour, which he said he would share with his family and with Danish farmers, the entire apparatus of slaughterhouses, logistics, export registration and business partners as well as the rest of the executive team headed by Chairman of the Board of Directors, Niels Mikkelsen, who was also among the 34 employees, business associates, diplomats, friends, family and royal representatives who attended lunch at the Grand Café.

Mr Kjærø said: "I am only a tiny link in a big chain."

Proud traditions

HRH Prince Henrik's Medal of Honour has been awarded since 1982, and has previously been conferred on, for example, LEGO, B&O, Novo Nordisk, Maersk and Grundfos in countries as diverse as Sweden, Papua New Guinea, China and the United Arab Emirates. The award includes a medal, a diploma and the right to use the royal logo and name.

Mr Kjærø said: "I will use it as much as possible in marketing contexts. Being a Purveyor to the Royal Danish Court is definitely something that people notice."

After the luncheon, Danish Crown can, according to Mr Kjærø, also count on supplying more pork to the royal court. Initially, the Prince Consort was slightly sceptical about his plate with four baby back ribs smothered in American barbecue sauce. But once he had tasted them, he soon finished the lot – but he continued to refill his plate with spare-ribs, which were primarily on display to show how Danish ribs are usually presented when sold at American restaurants.

"He really enjoyed it, and I've promised him that we'll certainly send a recipe for American baby back ribs to the palace. He specifically requested one," said a proud Mr Kjærø.

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