Tönnies Holding

The Tönnies Group is a German family business in the meat industry that operates internationally. Its core business is meat processing of pork and beef. For pork, Tönnies is the German market leader.[1] Tönnies is headquartered in Rheda-Wiedenbrück in East Westphalia, Germany. Tönnies is divided in eight business segments: pork, sausages and beef, convenience, ingredients, logistics, as well as international and central services. Tönnies pursues its internationalization strategy with 25 foreign offices, German and international production sites.

Tönnies Holding
IndustryMeat industry
Founded1971; 50 years ago (1971)
Area served
Key people
Clemens Tönnies (CEO)
Revenue7.5 billion (2019)
OwnerClemens Tönnies (45%)
Number of employees
c. 16,500
Clemens Tönnies was the chairman of the supervisory board of FC Schalke 04 from 2001 to 2020


The company was founded in 1971. With approximately 16,500 employees (as of 2018) generated annual sales of EUR 6.65 billion in 2018 (7.5 billion in 2019).[2] The export share is about 50 percent.[3]

Main owner and company's chairman is billionaire Clemens Tönnies with a share of 45% of the food industry giant.[4]

On Wednesday, 17 June 2020, work was ramped-down at the Tönnies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück due to an outbreak of COVID-19 infections originating from there. By that date, 657 employees had tested positive for the virus.[5] That afternoon the district of Gütersloh closed all schools and children's daycare centres until summer holiday. It also closed all post offices and cancelled training for FC Gütersloh 2000 as well as an upcoming Black Lives Matter demonstration.[6] By 20 June, the number of infections had exceeded 1,000.[7]


The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) criticizes Tönnies for "miserable working conditions", with more than 70% of the employees at the main plant employed under temporary work contracts.[8][9]

In 2019, Clemens Tönnies was temporarily suspended from his position as chairman of the supervisory board of the German soccer team FC Schalke 04 because of accusations of racist statements.[10] On 30 June 2020, Clemens Tönnies decided to step down from his role as the chairman of Schalke's supervisory board after 19 years in service.[11]


  1. ^ "Führende Schweineschlachtereien in Deutschland 2019". Statista (in German). Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  2. ^ "Umsatz von Tönnies bis 2019". Statista (in German). Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Tönnies Lebensmittel GmbH & Co. KG". Agrobrain (in German). Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "Clemens Toennies & family". Forbes. August 14, 2019. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  5. ^ "Coronavirus: Over 600 people test positive at German slaughterhouse | DW | 17.06.2020". DW.COM.
  6. ^ "Tönnies stoppt Schlachtbetrieb nach Corona-Ausbruch mit über 600 Infizierten". www.tagesspiegel.de.
  7. ^ "Coronavirus: German slaughterhouse outbreak crosses 1,000 | DW | 20.06.2020". DW.COM.
  8. ^ "The Tönnies Group exposed: miserable working conditions in the German meat sector | IUF UITA IUL". IUF / UITA / IUL.
  9. ^ "European meat affiliates demand action to stop abuses | IUF UITA IUL". IUF / UITA / IUL.
  10. ^ "Clemens Tönnies - WELT". DIE WELT.
  11. ^ "Clemens Tönnies steps down from his role at FC Schalke 04". schalke04.de. 30 June 2020.

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