SMEs in crisis: the concerns of a sausage producer

Sausages on offer: the meat counter of a court butcher’s shop

Sausage producer Peter Cornelius talks his heart off about the worries that medium-sized companies like him go to bed with. If the situation doesn’t improve, he predicts, half of the companies in his sector will disappear.

“The crises used to be different,” says Peter Cornelius. The young, down-to-earth medium-sized company is the third generation to run the family business “Cornelius Wurstwaren”, which specializes in the production of Palatinate specialties such as liver sausage, farmer’s blood sausage and Saumagen. If, in the case of BSE or dioxin, you had a topic in front of you that you could work on in a concentrated manner, the crises would come at the same time today. “The whole day I just ask myself: Where is the fire burning the most, where do I put the hose first?”

Cornelius hasn’t had an orderly working day for a long time. Since Corona, the processes have become too complicated and the problems have accumulated – from the lack of personnel and skilled workers to rising energy prices and the shortage of paper. It is not only noticeable in newspapers and publishers, but also in the sausage manufacturer from Hockenheim, who sells his products nationwide through specialist retailers and discounters: “When there is a strike in paper factories in Finland, I have difficulties getting labels and packaging. But I can’t call the supermarket buyers and say: There’s no paper, but you can have the sausages.”

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