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RDP project database

High-tech Meat Processing Plant for Product Traceability


The introduction of revolutionary new meat processing technology with EAFRD support (measure 123) has given a Danish company a market advantage with the full traceability of all their meat products (beef and veal) from the producer to consumer.



Based in northern Denmark, Himmerlandkød A/S is a joint venture company between a local butcher and abattoir. Between them they slaughter and butcher around 35 000 beef and veal animals per year for export and domestic markets. Himmerlandkød A/S is committed to promoting the production and sale of Danish quality food with an emphasis upon food safety, consistency and quality. This includes the full traceability of all animals from the producer to the abattoir and through cutting and processing.


The aim of the project was to introduce new technology into the Himmerlandkød meat processing and sales business that would: a) ensure the cutting and processing of the highest quality cuts of beef and veal, and; b) set new standards for traceability in butchering. The specific objective was to achieve 100% traceability from the farm to the consumer for each individual cut of meat that passed through the slaughterhouse and processing plant.

Main activities

EAFRD co-financing has supported the installation of the new processing technology which consists of three key elements: a) a special “flowline” where quartered carcases are received and tagged with an identifier which is linked with the slaughtered animals original ID number; b) a robotic cutting and dicing machine which automatically decides what should be cut up and how, before packing and retagging each piece of meat, and; c) the specialist software to control the above processes.

Results & Benefits

This new computer-controlled butchery facility is unique in Denmark and one of only 20 similar plants worldwide. The Danish retail sector has welcomed the system very warmly since it makes it possible for an individual customer to track the whole production process of the meat, from the date of slaughter to the date of butchering and to the date when the consumer uses the meat. It is also possible for the veterinary authorities to be able to track and recall meat products very quickly.

Lessons learnt

Do not assume that new technology and processes will always work perfectly the first time! The greatest challenges were in commissioning the new equipment in order to ensure 100% traceability. There were problems with: i) ensuring that the workers understood the importance of ”data discipline”, and; ii) modifying the production flow so that it went from cutting forequarters and hindquarters separately to mixing them.

Project location and other information

Himmerland, Region Nordjylland, Northern Denmark



RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

1 836 916

Contact name

Søren Andersen


+45 6139 1472

Languages for contact

English, Danish

At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Non-farm or non-forest entreprises

Budget range

> €500 000

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Competitiveness of Agriculture & Forestry
• Restructuring, developing physical potential, and promoting innovation
• 123. Adding value to agricultural and forestry products


Abattoir, Food quality , Packaging, Quality control, Meat

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