Danish Crown's decision to restructure its European processing operations is testimony to the importance it places on the UK market. And the changes are good news for buyers in this country, says international president Carsten Jakobsen. The new structure has led to the creation of a dedicated division for Britain ­ Tulip UK Holding ­ into which its three subsidiary companies now report. The holding company comprises Danepak, Tulip Cooked Meat and Plumrose which together generate turnover of Kr3.5bn and employ 2,000 people. Jakobsen, who is chairman of Tulip UK Holding, says: "The companies have independently been very successful in the UK and we don't want to risk that in the future. But if we put in one structure for the UK we will be in a situation where we can drive out synergies, become more cost effective and more competitive." He adds: "We can use the resources in every company and go in hard on new product development. So we should be an even better supplier to our customers in the UK because we will have a clear focus on the market." Just days after announcing the restructuring plan, news emerged that Danish Crown had agreed to merge with Steff-Houlberg. The farmer-owners of both Danish co-operatives will decide on the merger within the next two or three weeks. The competition authorities could take up to six months to make a decision. Jakobsen says the deal will create a Danish company with real clout on the global market ­ giving it the ability to continue delivering what consumers want. "If you want to give consumers more value for money then you need to be competitive and need to have resources to put in to technical development and npd," he says. "The merger will give us a better chance of delivering all of that. It will add to what we can do today." {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}