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De Groene Weg reaches milestone of 100k organic pigs in one year

12 December 2018, at 12:00am

De Groene Weg, Vion’s subsidiary which focuses exclusively on the purchase, production and valorisation of organic meat, has grown strongly over the past years.

De Groene Weg has reached a milestone: the 100,000th organic pig will be processed in Groenlo. This is the first time that De Groene Weg has achieved this number in a single year.

De Groene Weg is market leader in organic meat in the Netherlands.

During the celebration of its 35th anniversary in 2016, De Groene Weg expressed the expectation to slaughter 100,000 pigs per year at Vion’s specialised abattoir in Groenlo before 2020. This ambition was realised well before 2020.

Growing demand for organic products

Over the past 15 years, the organic sector has grown tremendously worldwide. It is expected that the sector will continue to grow in the future.

In the Netherlands, the sale of organic food has increased by an average of seven percent per year in the past five years.

"Organic fits in very well with current trends such as healthy food, animal welfare and the environment," said Allard Bakker, general manager of De Groene Weg.

"This certainly offers opportunities for the organic pork supply chain. The growth within the pork market is sometimes fast and sometimes slow in the Netherlands, as is inherent to smaller markets.

"It takes time to match supply and demand. We definitely see opportunities to expand the position of organic meat in this fluctuating market."

Creating a distinction

To realise this, De Groene Weg focuses on bringing the meat to optimal value; which is produced with utmost care by almost 100 pig suppliers.

Mr Bakker said, "In the coming period, we will invest in the development of our range and we would like to distinguish ourselves more in the market.

"We will create this distinction based on our unique interpretation of the EKO label and the EKO code. Good cooperation in the supply chain is essential to this."

EKO label and EKO code

Since 1 January 2018, De Groene Weg, together with its suppliers, gives meaning to the twelve themes within the EKO label.

The suppliers do this by setting themselves at least two targets each year. This ensures that the organic pork supply chain of De Groene Weg becomes even more sustainable.

From the start of the new year, this EKO label will be actively communicated in the twelve De Groene Weg butcheries in the Netherlands.

This will be done by, among other things, specifying the label on the packaging and other types of communication in the butcheries.