septembre 23, 2021

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For better or for Wurst – VW to stop making sausages

Traditional German Wurst sausage became a canteen staple at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg where Volkswagen had already started making it.

Served to the hungry hordes of those who spend their days assembling Golf, Tiguan and Touran, the sausage is actually made by VW.

In a corner of Wolfsburg, a dedicated team of 30 Volkswagen sausage makers take ham from surrounding farmland, and turn it into Volkswagen Part Number 199398500 A. Yes, the sausage has a factory part number, just like a clutch, wing mirror, or completed engine .

Not for much longer, though. Volkswagen has confirmed that it is cutting sausage production, not so much for the health of its workers (in fact, at 20 percent, VW sausages are lower in fat than traditional German sausages) but because of carbon emissions. According to CarbonBrief.org, global consumption of meat and dairy is responsible for about 14 percent of all carbon emissions, a number that may actually make it more harmful to the environment than vehicle production and use.

Meat-free day

Germany’s Green Party recently introduced a decree that companies with office and factory canteens should start offering one meat-free day a week, to help reduce carbon emissions. Volkswagen has gone further, and won’t make sausages anymore.

By 2025, current Volkswagen boss, Herbert Diess, wants the company to stop using any meat at all, and replace sausages and burgers with vegetarian and vegan alternatives.

The move, unsurprisingly, caused turmoil.

Former German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder (who was also a member of the VW board of directors) took to LinkedIn to say: “If I were still a member of VW’s supervisory board, there would be no such thing. A vegan diet is good, I do it myself on Phases.But basically no Currywurst?No! Currywurst with french fries is one of the energy bars of a skilled production worker.It should stay that way.When I am in Berlin my first route usually leads me to one of the excellent currywurst stalls.Also found in Hannover Excellent curry sausage. I don’t want to do without that, and I think many others don’t want it in their company canteens either.”

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In 2019, Volkswagen made seven million sausages – more than the number of VW cars with badges it produced. Sausages are sold to the public in shops in the Wolfsburg district, and through the Volkswagen Museum, so if you prefer to eat lunch, you better be quick.

The worst news is that they won’t be around for much longer.