A healthy living environment, farrow-to-finish systems, healthy animals, animal-friendly husbandry, an attractive revenue model and contributions towards a better climate. These are the goals of Dutch pig farming.
To achieve these goals, pig farmers, supplying and processing companies, customers and authorities have joined forces in ‘Vital Pig Farming’, the Dutch coalition for the vitalization of the pig industry. One of the coalition partners, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, took a step forward today by submitting the ‘Subsidy arrangements for the restructuring of pig husbandry (SVR)’ for its consultation.
The Vital Pig Farming Coalition is a chain-wide collaborative venture of parties across the pig supply chain: the Dutch Association of Pig Farmers (POV), Rabobank, Vion, Agrifirm, ForFarmers, Topigs Norsvin and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The former Minister, Mr Uri Rosenthal, is its independent chairman.
In the case of the pig farms located in places where they cause trouble to the people who live nearby, the Ministry of Agriculture, with the aim of reaching a more sustainable pig production and to reduce the risks for health and the environment in high-density areas, will offer subsidies to those farmers that are willing to cease farming.
According to the Minister, Ms Carola Schouten, making the decision to quit pig production has a great impact on a farmer's life, because they face doubts regarding, for instance, what happens with the buildings when the farm business closes. The Ministry has written the draft of the plan that offers guidance to the pig farmers that are considering quitting farming so they can, being well-informed, consider their decision.
The Coalition’s main objective is vital pig husbandry. This means developing new revenue models, accelerated manure valorisation, innovations regarding the buildings, and investments in the supply chain information systems.
The Coalition’s approach has been encapsulated in five objectives with which to achieve vital pig husbandry. These goals are:
- Proper care for the living environment: Pig husbandry that causes no detrimental effects (e.g. odour nuisance) to people living near pig farms, pig farmers and their employees. Pig farms are fireproof and strengthen the structure of a vital countryside.
- Central position in the circular economy: the pig's place as the ultimate circular animal that transforms products that are not fit for human consumption (e.g. by-products from the food industry) into high-quality food is further strengthened. Pig manure is a valuable raw material for green energy, a soil improver and a substitute for fossil fertilisers.
- Acknowledged contribution to climate and energy transition: the pig industry is developing a climate-neutral pork production. The industry is committed to the production of power from non-fossil sources (e.g. solar panels on the buildings) and energy saving. That way, the pig supply chain contributes to the realisation of the objectives established in the National Climate and Energy Plan.
- Robust and healthy pigs on animal-friendly farms: The industry is a global frontrunner in terms of animal health, animal welfare and animal-friendly transport. Pig farms with healthy and resilient pigs, without a systematic use of medication.
- Global leader in market-centricity and cooperation within the supply chain: the pig supply chain excels in the development of demand-driven supply chains and new market concepts. The industry holds a strong global export position. The basis for future-proof pig husbandry with the financial leeway for investments in sustainability and circular agriculture.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019.
Rijksoverheid/ The Netherlands. https://www.rijksoverheid.nl
Vion/ The Netherlands. https://www.vionfoodgroup.com