Animals also eat on Christmas Eve
"Animals are not aware of Christmas," explains Heiko Almann. "Animals eat through it," says Klaus Feils. The Managing Director of AGRAVIS Kraftfutterwerke Münsterland GmbH in Westphalian Münster and the Managing Director of DoFu Donaufutter GmbH in Bavarian Straubing have fixed their work rota for Christmas. Production is ramped up already in the run-up to the Christmas week.
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- Heiko Almann, Managing Director of the AGRAVIS compound feed factory in Münster, is scrutinising the rota for Christmas Eve.
24 December is initially a completely normal working day for the employees of the compound feed factory in Münster. Ship unloading, truck unloading, bagging up – everything runs its course, like every Saturday. Christmas Eve also begins then at noon in the compound feed factory.
"This year, the Christmas holidays are rather pet friendly falling on a weekend," states Heiko Almann. As early as the middle of December, they began to build up the stock in the compound feed factory in order to create reserves. In addition to the Dorsten location of AGRAVIS Kraftfutterwerke Münsterland GmbH, Münster annually produces about 700,000 tonnes of feedstuff for cows, pigs, fowl, horses and small animals.
Stock-take on 31 December
In the rota, eight colleagues are signed up for Christmas Eve; the working week after Christmas begins on 27 December for 44 of the total 56 employees. The five days of work are then done in four days – as is always the case in a three-shift operation. On 31 December – again a Saturday – counting and measuring is done. "Then we have a stock-take," says Almann. However, this does not only mean counting the individual sacks in the compound feed factory. The contents of the silos also need to be captured. "To do this, we measure the empty space in the cells. We know the maximum volume they can contain. We can then take the difference to calculate how many tonnes are in the silo." Twelve people are busy with this task until midday on New Year's Eve. Then the working year of 2016 is over for them, too. The compound feed factory starts operating again on the evening of 1 January. Every year it is the same – there is ample experience in Münster with these holidays.
New experience in Straubing
In the port of Straubing-Sand, almost 650 kilometres further south, it is different. The compound feed factory of DoFu Donaufutter GmbH, a subsidiary of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, was opened only six months ago. The production of high quality feed for pigs, cows and horses has been going well since July 2016; to date five employees have been producing 1,000 tonnes each month. "We aren't working a three-shift operation yet, just one shift," explains Klaus Feils. It begins at 7 a.m. on Mondays and finishes at 5 p.m. on Fridays. This enables the Managing Director to step up a gear before Christmas Eve: "We can add on a second shift and this way achieve the required amounts before 24 December. We are very flexible; that's a great advantage." Then all five colleagues can be off work on Christmas Eve. Feils wants to have a similar procedure on New Year's Eve: The stock-take should, if possible, be frontloaded to 30 December. This is all decided at short notice as the needs of the animal customers take priority.