Dutch meat more often recognizable on the shelf

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18 October 2021

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In store shelves there is increasingly more meat that is recognizable as Dutch. This is the case with beef, pork and chicken.

Jumbo recently announced that it would start selling beef from pasture-raised cattle. This is meat from dairy cows of Royal FrieslandCampina farmers. They meet the requirements of Stichting Weidegang. For example, they must spend at least 120 days a year in the meadow, walking for at least six hours a day.

This initiative comes from Jumbo. The supermarket sees this as an opportunity to do more with Dutch products and at the same time to promote and draw attention to animal welfare.

Jumbo is working with Verhey Vlees in Nuth, Limburg, to implement the new concept. Both parties pay participating farmers a surcharge of 5 cents per kilo of slaughtered weight, to which is added an annual continuity surcharge of 2 cents per kilo. This year the surcharge is temporarily 10 cents per kilo. According to Jumbo, the surcharge is not passed on to the customer. Why is not clear.

The supermarket processes the meat from the ex-milk cows in lean minced meat, beef tartare, burgers and stew meat, among other things. Jumbo also wants to sell more luxurious beef products next year.

Milked cows

In fact, Jumbo is not the first supermarket to present meat from Dutch dairy cows recognizably on its store shelves. Albert Heijn started selling beef from drained cows last year. This meat comes from cows from companies that already supply milk to Albert Heijn through the climate-neutral program 'Better for Cow, Nature and Farmer' of dairy company A-ware.

The supermarket works together with Heijdra Vleesvee in Utrecht's IJsselsteijn. 'A great development. We have been working since 2001 to make it clear that beef from our own country deserves more attention and appreciation,' says Anita Heijdra. There is currently a worldwide shortage of beef. This will probably contribute to supermarkets paying more attention to meat from their own country.

The approach of Albert Heijn and Heijdra is different from that of Jumbo and Verhey. Heijdra goes a step further by fattening suitable dairy cows for four months on a fattening farm after they leave the dairy farm.

'Most dairy cows end up at the slaughterhouse after a few lactations, after which the meat is ground up into hamburgers and sausages. A shame,' argues Heijdra. Most dairy cows can be fattened up to produce quality meat.

In addition to dairy farming, there is a relatively small-scale red meat sector in the Netherlands. This luxury meat mainly ends up in the catering industry and at butchers. Some supermarkets also focus on beef from Dutch beef cattle. These are particularly Plus, Boni and Coop.

Exact figures on the share of Dutch meat in domestic beef consumption are not available. It is estimated that about 40 percent of the beef consumed in the Netherlands comes from countries such as Ireland and Brazil.

High self-sufficiency

This is different for pork and chicken. Here there is a high degree of self-sufficiency. Dutch consumers therefore mainly eat Dutch chicken and Dutch pork, although there is also import of cheaper meat parts from abroad.

A recent trend is that chicken and pork are also increasingly found on store shelves as recognizable domestic products, especially through market concepts. Plus, for example, has its own pork chain in cooperation with fifteen Dutch pig farmers.

Source: new-harvest