Danish Crown is planning to expand its abattoir in Blans near Sønderborg in Denmark by installing a new production line.

The new production line will be dedicated to meeting demand from consumers and restaurants in Japan and also will create 100 new employment opportunities.

"It’s great to be in a situation where we’re taking on new people, especially when we here are talking about permanent jobs."

Danish Crown Pork CEO Søren F Eriksen said: “It’s great to be in a situation where we’re taking on new people, especially when we here are talking about permanent jobs, which are not affected by fluctuations in the supply of pigs.

“Our Japanese customers are crazy about a specific product based on minced pork, which we have sold to them for a few years.

“This means that we now need to hire more people to both de-bone fore-ends and run the actual production.”

Japan and the European Union (EU) have recently signed a free trade agreement, which is to be implemented on a continuous basis over the next decade.

The agreement is expected to simplify the complex customs system currently applied by Japan and could see an increase in exports to the country, while also create more jobs in the future.

Danish Crown’s exports to Japan amounted to more than Dkr3bn ($466m) last year, which is equivalent to nearly 30% of Denmark’s total exports of goods to the East Asian country.

Eriksen further added: “Our Japanese customers are very interested in developing our trade.

“Today, the Japanese almost exclusively buy fresh meat, which they process and pack themselves.

“Several of our customers wish to change this and want us to handle as much of the processing as possible. If this becomes the case, we’ll need even more people.”