Tönnies has its roots in the old town of Rheda. Here the butcher Klemens Tönnies slaughtered seven to ten pigs per week. His sons Bernd and Clemens Tönnies follow in the footsteps of their father and train to become butchers.
Bernd Tönnies establishes the family business as it is today, as a wholesaler of meat and sausages. A short while later, Clemens joins the business which employs around 20 staff at this time.
1971 – Beginnings of the family company
The young company is successful in adapting the division of labour used in other industries to the needs of the meat industry. As a result, the company grows steadily. For this reason, the company relocates to Herzebrock. The number of employees grows to 60.
1974 – Rapid growth in the ‘Golden ’70s’
The Tönnies Group takes over the pig abattoir in Weißenfels, Saxony-Anhalt. Since the takeover, more than EUR 200 million has been invested in this site. Today the company employs approx. 2,200 staff at this site and produces approx. 2,300 tonnes of quality meat each day.
1990 – Weißenfels opens its doors
The Tönnies brothers start to construct a new, state-of-the-art butchering plant in their home town. Under the umbrella term of ‘Biological Unit’, Tönnies plans and establishes the concept of the continuous, uninterrupted production chain in quality meat preparation.
1992 – Modern slaughter practices introduced with the ‘Biological Unit’
The state-of-the-art butchering plant is finished. Slaughter and butchering become one biological unit for the first time. In addition, inline production (the concept of a continuous and uninterrupted production chain) becomes reality. At the same time, around 400 jobs are created.
1997 – Inline production starts
A pig slaughterhouse and butchering plant is opened in Sögel. The products manufactured there are sold under the brand Weidemark Fleischwaren. Around 600 employees work at this site at this time.
1999 – Weidemark starts production
In Rheda, the company now employs 1,950 employees and has a covered production area of 50,000 m².
2000 – Many employees for great success
The newly built Meat Exchange opens in Rheda. All sales areas (beef, pork, sow meat, convenience meat, export) come together in the sales department enabling short channels and dialogue. Information exchange is the basis for successful customer support and marketing.
2001 – Meat Exchange
With the start of fully automatic butchering, the Tönnies group is not just the most modern slaughterhouse in Europe – but in an even more advanced development, computer-controlled butchering units carry out the necessary steps and prepare the required pieces for further fine cutting. The company has thus made a quantum leap into quality preparation.
2003 – The most modern slaughterhouse in Europe
In January, the ‘TAZB System’ is put into operation. This is the first ‘Humane Automatic Herding and Anaesthesia System’. This reconciles animal protection with the highest level of meat quality.
2004 – Animal protection and best meat quality in harmony
The slaughter of pigs begins at the Brørup site in Denmark. Expansion abroad begins.
2005 – Internationalisation starts
With the completion of Europe’s most modern refrigeration terminal at the Rheda site, a further step is made towards the quality assurance of meat.
2005 – Europe's most modern refrigeration terminal
The company celebrates its 35-year anniversary and at this point employs approx. 4,900 staff. The slaughter throughput of the group is 8 million pigs per year. The group is present in Europe with sales offices and subsidiaries. The export share is approximately 33 per cent.
2006 – 35 years of company success
The company opens its doors with the construction of the factory outlet and connected restaurant on the production site in Rheda. Every day, the restaurant and factory outlet are visited by several hundred people from across the region.
2009 – Tasty expansion
The new social and administration buildings in Rheda with an area of approx. 17,000 m², our own childcare facility and a fitness studio are completed and opened.
2011 – The main site at Rheda continues to grow
With the integration of the Danish pig slaughter and butchering operation Tican, the Tönnies Group continues to grow. The takeover represents a further step in the internationalisation of the Tönnies company. The Tönnies Group now employs 12,000 staff. The export share is over 50 per cent.
2016 – International growth
The shareholders Clemens and Robert Tönnies agree on a new company structure. Maximilian Tönnies, the son of Clemens Tönnies, also becomes a shareholder. There are now five divisions: Meat, Convenience, Sausages, Ingredients and Logistics.