Dutch food companies opt for welfare friendly pork only

28-04-2014 | | |
Dutch food companies opt for welfare friendly pork only
Dutch food companies opt for welfare friendly pork only

The large majority of the Dutch pork market will soon consist of pork with a minimum guarantee of animal welfare. Food companies using processed pork follow the same route as earlier the fresh pork market has taken.

By the end of April, five companies using processed pork announced the move to animal welfare friendly pork as from various moments in 2015. These include salad producer Johma, the sandwich takeaway shops of Subway, Bakker Bart and Qizini as well as NH Hotels. The processed meat brand Kips announced to do so as from the end of 2016.

In an earlier stage, supermarkets had already committed to selling welfare friendly pork.


The animal welfare is guaranteed under the ‘Beter Leven’ scheme, launched in 2007, in which guidelines have been laid down for certain animal welfare standards. One star guarantees a minimum of animal welfare standards; three stars equals organic production. The scheme also exists for layers, broilers, cows, calves and rabbits.

The companies chose the approach with one star, which includes:

·         Surface of 0.4 m2 per piglet; 1 m2 per finisher; 2.25 m2 per sow

·         Mandatory group housing of gestating sows.

·         Farrowing crate of minimum of 3.8 m2 of surface.

·         Various distraction materials, e.g. wood, rope, straw.

·         60% slatted floor; 40% solid floor.

·         Castration is not allowed; tail biting is allowed only to a certain extent; teeth docking is allowed provided there is a phasing out plan.

·         Maximum transport time is six hours; eight hours to slaugterhouse.

The companies said consumers are not likely to pay more for their products with pork, even when the pork costs them more.


The companies promised to move to more animal welfare friendly pork after campaigns of the animal welfare organisation ‘Wakker Dier’. By broadcasting radio advertising it publicly named and ‘shamed’ these companies for not using animal welfare friendly pork. It usually continues to do so until companies give in.

At an earlier stage, Burger King, Stegeman and Mora had already announced to move away from conventionally produced pork.

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Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world