The VanDrie Group fully adopts the COV's future ambitions

The COV (Dutch Central Organisation for the Meat Sector) has published a report detailing in broad strokes the future ambitions of the Dutch meat sector from now until 2025. Henny Swinkels, Director Corporate Affairs VanDrie Group, gave a keynote speech during the event.

The COV's future ambitions set ambitious objectives. By 2025, Dutch society is to once again be proud of its meat sector, which will be a world leader in the area of sustainable and honest meat production. The public's trust in the sector must be re-established. The meat sector must develop knowledge and innovation in order to deliver a crucial contribution to the global challenge of sustainably feeding the growing world population. The sector must also become the driving force behind innovation in the meat department and manure must become a source of additional income. 

Henny Swinkels: "The ambitions outlined for the Dutch meat sector are hard to swallow, but we support them fully. We can be proud of the sector. We must show that, in the majority of cases, we act with integrity and we must take the risks required to make the sector future-proof." 

He continued: "While the horse meat affair took place four years ago, the meat sector is still suffering the consequences thereof and the public's trust in the meat sector has not been fully restored. We make high-quality, delicious and safe food products, we create job opportunities, contribute to the export value and have devoted ourselves to innovation. We must do everything in our power to allow the meat sector to flourish, both now and in the future." 

Swinkels acknowledged that there still exists a certain distance between meat-producing companies and critical members of society. In his keynote speech, he indicated that increasing transparency and openness will not always be enough to increase understanding for the meat sector. Henny Swinkels explained further: "The VanDrie Group publishes a great deal of information and data on the entire production chain. But it is not enough to simply explain what it is that we do. We have to continue to keep the dialogue open with citizens, consumers and NGOs, and we must include the feedback that we receive in our policies. This is the only way in which we can create social support and pride for the meat sector between now and 2025."

In his keynote speech, Henny Swinkels took the opportunity to address the issues surrounding manure, which, according to him, is not waste, but a valuable product. Together with the veal sector and Wageningen University, the VanDrie Group is working on a project, which is currently in the research phase, on breaking down manure. Henny Swinkels: "We are using an entirely new technique to break down manure in order to reuse essential minerals that threaten to become globally scarce. This is a project that demands courage and innovative strength, the same courage and innovation that the COV's future ambitions radiate. And for this reason, I am very pleased with it."

The COV's Position Paper is available for download from: assets.cov.nl/p/4227073/Rapport%202025%20De%20Nederlandse%20vleessector%20in%20balans.pdf