/ News / PHW Group completes construction of Europe’s most modern hatchery in Rechterfeld

PHW Group completes construction of Europe’s most modern hatchery in Rechterfeld

Rechterfeld, 5 September 2007. The PHW Group has now completed construction of the most modern hatchery in Europe, located in Rechterfeld. Having taken a little over one and a half years to build, today the Weser-Ems BWE hatchery is to be inaugurated in the presence of numerous guests of honour including Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister, Christian Wulff. The company invested over 20 million euros in the construction and partial conversion of the hatchery. This represents one of the biggest single investments in Lower Saxony in past years. As such, the PHW Group has helped to secure jobs in a market environment in which a growing percentage of poultry meat is imported from non-EU countries. 


The new Weser-Ems hatchery covers an area of 18,000 square metres, of which 10,000 square metres house new buildings. At this ultra-modern plant, which has been designed to meet the very latest standards in terms of safety and hygiene, up to 150 million chicks will hatch each year. The Weser-Ems hatchery was founded back in 1965 as a joint company by Paul Wesjohann and Heinz Lohmann and completed one year later with an annual capacity of 8.5 million chicks. Following several expansion projects, capacity in 1988 had risen to 65 million chicks. From this new hatchery in Rechterfeld, chicks will be delivered to the contract farms in the WeserEms and Emsland regions as well as the contract farms in Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia. 


The new hatchery comprises 64 so-called pre-incubators and 96 so-called hatching incubators. The egg hatching and live animal areas have completely separate hygiene areas. These two parts of the building are accessed separately. The staff facilities are also segregated for safety and hygiene reasons. A state-of-the-art filter system cleans the air supplied to the hatchery.  


Furthermore, the PHW Group used the most modern and technically perfect hatchery technology for its new investment in Rechterfeld. “We want to continue supplying our stockmen and farms with healthy chicks. This means we have to set new standards in terms of hygiene and safety. The new hatchery also symbolises a milestone for animal health and protection”, stated Peter Wesjohann, member of the PHW Group management team.  


“All the production stages from a single source”, this is the philosophy pursued by the PHW Group for its poultry brand WIESENHOF. In this context, it is the hatcheries in particular, together with the feedmills, which represent the most important link in the chain. In addition to the hatchery in Weser-Ems, the Group also operates hatcheries in Regenstauf (Bavaria), Möckern and Ketzin (Saxony-Anhalt) as well as hatcheries for ducks in Belzig and Wriezen (both in Brandenburg) and for turkeys in Lower Saxony. 


The PHW Group is 75 years old

Inauguration of the hatchery coincides with the PHW Group’s 75th anniversary. Paul Wesjohann, the father of Paul-Heinz Wesjohann – whose initials are used for the company name – laid the foundation stone of today's Group in 1932. In 1987, following the takeover of the Lohmann Group, which was also founded in 1932, the company employed some 3,400 members of staff. Today, the PHW Group has 4,600 employees around the world. The WIESENHOF brand in particular has shaped the company's development and the Group’s public image. With its commitment to offering first-class poultry products, the WIESENHOF product strategy was focused on quality, safety and transparency right from the beginning. This premise has been implemented in the WIESENHOF quality philosophy which boasts a closed-loop production chain (“single source principle”). Furthermore, thanks to its guarantee of origin, WIESENHOF has been setting new industry standards since 1995 – this guarantee ensures that products can be traced right back to the animal.

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