Linz am Rhein, Rhineland-Palatinate / Pasewalk, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, March 8, 2023 – After BIRKENSTOCK laid the foundation of its 110-million-euro lighthouse project in Pasewalk only last August, the next milestone was celebrated with the topping-out ceremony. Around 250 guests, including craftspeople, partners and the BIRKENSTOCK teams, gathered at the large construction site to celebrate this memorable moment together. The day before, BIRKENSTOCK had invited representatives of the state government and the city of Pasewalk, including Reinhard Meyer, Minister for Economy, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labor, to a tour of the plant.
There has been a lot going on at the Berlin-Szczecin Industrial Park since BIRKENSTOCK laid the foundation for the new plant last August. The BIRKENSTOCK site in Pasewalk, where more than 1,000 jobs will be created in the medium term, is taking shape: the shell construction of the 36,000-square-meter building complex has almost been completed, the floors have been laid, and construction of the roof structure is also finished.
As tradition demands, BIRKENSTOCK took this as an opportunity to hold a topping-out ceremony together with the craftspeople and workers, the partners and the BIRKENSTOCK teams: more than 250 guests watched as project manager Klaus-Michael Muus mounted the topping-out wreath, decorated in the BIRKENSTOCK colors, to the roof of the plant's entrance hall, thereby kicking off the next exciting construction phase of the lighthouse project.
Mark Jensen, Chief Technical Operations Officer (CTOO) of the BIRKENSTOCK Group, said at the topping-out ceremony: “Today, I would like to expressly thank all those who have worked on the construction site in all weathers over the past many months and helped to keep the project fully on track despite challenges such as inflation and supply bottlenecks. We are currently finishing the last groundworks and in the next few days we will start the interior fittings of the plant. In April we plan to get the installation of the first production machines underway. I am confident that we will be able to hold the first “Made in Pasewalk” BIRKENSTOCK products in our hands in October at the latest, just as planned.
Reinhard Meyer, Minister for Economy, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labor of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, said during the ceremony: “The project, which is of great importance for our region, is making significant progress. The excellent cooperation between the city, the district, the state and the company has been an essential factor for the rapid implementation of the entire project. The plant will be a real asset for Western Pomerania and beyond, strengthening the job market in the region. There will be new job opportunities for many people.” In addition to Minister of Economic Affairs Reinhard Meyer, Bettina Martin (Minister of Science, Culture, Federal and European Affairs MV), State Secretary Heiko Miraß, Economic Transfer Officer Dr. Jens-Uwe Heiden, Markus Biercher (Chairman of the Management Board of the Regional Directorate North of the Federal Employment Agency) as well as Pasewalk Mayor Danny Rodewald and his deputy Marko Schmidt were part of a delegation of officials who were shown around the construction site by BIRKENSTOCK CTOO Mark Jensen on March 6, 2023.
In the home stretch: production will start in the third quarter of 2023
The topping-out ceremony kicks off the second half of the completion process of the new BIRKENSTOCK plant: BIRKENSTOCK continues to work towards a start of production in the third quarter of 2023. To this end, the company has made recruiting a top priority. Around 30 positions have already been filled, most of them with applicants from the region. Before the end of March, BIRKENSTOCK will open an information office in the city center of Pasewalk, which will serve as meeting place with the citizens of Pasewalk, but also as a contact point for all people from the region who are interested in a job at the plant: ultimately, more than 1,000 positions will have to be filled in Pasewalk to ensure that the urgently needed production capacity BIRKENSTOCK needs to meet the global demand for its products is available from the third quarter. In the next weeks and months, the teams around project manager Klaus-Michael Muus will work on the next milestones in the construction process so that production can start as planned: in addition to the completion of several functional buildings, such as the employee office and the plant's state-of-the-art cafeteria, this also includes the installation and calibration of the production machines. It seems that there is not too much standing in the way of the first “Made in Pasewalk” BIRKENSTOCK products.
BIRKENSTOCK is a global brand which embraces all consumers regardless of geography, gender, age and income and which is committed to a clear purpose - maintaining foot health. Deeply rooted in studies of the biomechanics of the human foot and footed on a family tradition of shoemaking that can be traced back to 1774, BIRKENSTOCK is a timeless «super brand» with a brand universe that transcends product categories and ranges from entry-level to luxury price points while addressing the growing need for a conscious and active lifestyle. Function, quality and tradition are the core values of the lifestyle brand which features products in the footwear, sleep systems and natural cosmetics segments. BIRKENSTOCK is the inventor of the footbed and has shaped the principle of walking as intended by nature (“Naturgewolltes Gehen”).
With around 6,200 employees worldwide, we believe how things are made matters as much as the product itself. To ensure these quality standards, we operate a vertically integrated manufacturing base and produce all our footbeds in Germany. In addition, we assemble over 95% of our products in Germany and we source over 90% of our materials and components from Europe. We process our inputs to the highest environmental and social standards in the industry by operating state-of-the-art scientific laboratories for materials testing.
BIRKENSTOCK runs operational sites in Germany, in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria, Saxony, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Headquartered in Linz am Rhein, the BIRKENSTOCK Group also operates its own sales offices in the United States and Canada as well as in Brazil, Japan, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Dubai, Singapore and India.
Birkenstock Group B.V. & Co. KG Burg Ockenfels,
Linz am Rhein, Germany
You can find our online shop at www.birkenstock.com