We are committed to sustainable pig farming. Our goal is continuous improvement in terms of the environment, animal welfare and the taste of pork. That's why we continue to reinvent ourselves, again and again.
We want to highlight our vision with this new-look online annual report. Scroll through the report with us and discover what’s important to us, what we have achieved and how we are working towards a better world.
Antibiotic-free Life Guarantee
In recent years, Sustainable Pork Value Chain (Keten Duurzaam Varkensvlees, KDV) has devoted much effort to reducing antibiotic use in farming. We have made great progress in this regard. Many of our pig farmers use almost no antibiotics at all. Because our farmers are able to maintain the health of their animals so effectively, we introduced pork with an Antibiotic-free Life Guarantee (Antibioticavrij Leven Garantie) in 2016 (with the KDV+ hallmark). Meat with this hallmark comes from pigs that are guaranteed never to have been treated with any type of antibiotic during their lifetime.
Such a hallmark can only be introduced if you can really guarantee compliance with the Antibiotic-free Life Guarantee. That's why KDV invested a great deal of time and energy in developing an effective monitoring process in 2016. This process is now so well established that we are able to bring meat with the Antibiotic-free Life Guarantee to market in 2017.
* DDD means: Dier Dag Dosering (Animal Daily Dosage). The animal daily dosage is a calculated value that indicates the number of days that an animal is treated with antibiotics annually. The animal daily dosage can be used to compare different companies’ antibiotic use. More information: autoriteitdiergeneesmiddelen.nl.
RFID ear tag
Smart farming is the future of sustainable pig farming. With smart RFID ear tags, pig farmers can follow each pig fully individually. At birth, each piglet receives an ear tag with a chip. Using the chip, the farmer can register data for the individual animal such as date of birth, gender and the pig’s parentage. During the course of its life, the farmer can add extra information. At slaughter, data on final weight, meat quality, health and the ensuing financial results are added. This allows information on origin, genetics and health to be linked to the slaughter results.
Track & Trace
Thanks to the use of RFID ear tags, we are able to accurately follow pigs from birth to slaughter. This helps farmers regulate the health of their pigs more effectively and safeguards the Antibiotic-free Life Guarantee. They can accurately track which pigs do better than others and use this to inform farm management decisions. Smart farming also means we now have a watertight track-and-trace system, as we know exactly where each pig comes from and what it has experienced.
Ready for practice
In early 2016 we began testing which ear tags, readers, chips and software were most appropriate. In December 2016 we were ready to introduce a solution that could be integrated effectively into daily operations on our farms. At the end of 2016, 20 farms were involved in the pilot scheme.
KDV vs NL
For us, sustainability means focusing on animal welfare and the environment. We set ourselves stringent targets for energy consumption, copper and zinc use and ammonia, particulate matter and nitrogen emissions. The standards we impose on our farmers for energy consumption and emissions are significantly stricter than the national standards: they are at least 10% better than the national average.
Research from Wageningen university has demonstrated that our efforts to promote sustainable farming are paying off. In the past 5 years, we have succeeded in reducing energy consumption per 1000 kg/growth by 38%. This means our farmers use 53% less energy than the national average.
KDV vs NLV Breeding farm S Semi closed M Meat pigs
18 - 0
Pulled pork or a good rib roast: delicious cuts of meat are the trend in barbecuing. This connects with our ambition to inspire people to create new and surprising dishes with sustainable pork. We want to help people taste and enjoy a good cut of meat. That’s why we travelled around the country last year with our own BBQ road show.
We had Europe’s largest mobile spit built, the Carnivore, which we took to various festivals and events. At the end of 2016 there were even recordings for a BBQ show on the national commercial channel RTL4, in which the Carnivore had a prominent role (video in Dutch).
In 2016, KDV worked together with the Mobile BBQ. Koert, Eline and Nico travelled across the country to introduce people to the special tastes of sustainable pork.
The biggest spit of Europe. This spit is called 'The Carnivore'. At this 6.5-meter spit, 4 pigs can be prepared at the same time.
In 2016, our innovative Westfort slaughterhouse became fully operational. Here we have invested in animal welfare, better meat quality and sustainable energy solutions. We find it important that our procedures are fully transparent. That’s why we created space for sky boxes, which allow visitors to view each process. There are also cameras running 24/7 that follow the entire slaughtering process.
Hundreds of people from all over the world have already taken part in guided tours of the slaughterhouse.
Around 700 farmers have visited, and also representatives of the press, government, NGOs, neighbours and entrepreneurs from across the world.
We are proud of the many positive responses we have received during the past year about the operation of our slaughterhouse. For example, writer Arnon Grunberg wrote several great columns about his internship at Westfort for the NRC Handelsblad newspaper, and Bert van den Berg from the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals wrote a positive report after visiting our slaughterhouse.
"In the new slaughterhouse of Westfort in Ijsselstein, I see that the animal welfare is taken into account."
- Bert van den Berg - Program manager livestock animal protection -
View article (in Dutch)
"We think it is important that we are fully transparent in our process."
- Jaap de Wit jr. Chairman Keten Duurzaam Varkensvlees -
Do what you promised!
We had major ambitions for 2016 – ambitions in the field of animal welfare, environment and taste. In this digital report you have been able to read about the things we are proud of and what we have achieved. But were there promises we could not deliver? Read more in our complete annual report. You can find it here: