Animal welfare in cattle

We guarantee and improve the welfare of cattle via the Belbeef standard, the organic label and specific requirements for the producer organisations we work with directly.

This initiative contributes to our objectives regarding

Published on 24/02/2022

Belbeef standard

For all fresh beef cuts at Colruyt, OKay and Spar we adhere to the Belbeef standard, which aims to promote animal welfare. Belbeef's specifications include the following:

  • Either cattle are fed without restriction and can eat all day long. Or the feed is rationed and each animal has its own feeding place.
  • Fresh air supply in the barn is always optimal because the air volume is sufficient and the supply and discharge of air is evenly distributed.
  • The animals have clean barns where they have sufficient freedom of movement. The floor is provided with lying mats and is covered with litter: the cattle farmer himself spreads out straw in the barn.
  • Transport can be very stressful for animals. The distance of any journey must be kept to a minimum and transport time cannot exceed 8 hours. Drivers and companions hold a certificate of professional competence and the space provided for each animal is closely monitored during transport.

Unique partnership with producer organisations

About a third of the beef at Colruyt Lowest Prices comes from a unique partnership. Since 2019 we have been working directly with three officially recognised producer organisations, specialising in the Belgian white-blue breed: 'Vlaams Hoeverund', 'En Direct De Mon Elevage' and 'Les Saveurs d'Ardenne'.

Together with the breeders we focus on the well-being of the cows and require that they can graze in the field at least six months of the year. Moreover, the animals should spend their entire lives on the farm where they were born.

Welfare of organic cattle

The Belbeef standard does not apply to organic meat. However, organic legislation is already strict when it comes to animal welfare:

  • Animals must be given enough space, both inside the barn and outside.
  • Organic cattle must have access to pasture whenever weather conditions and the state of the ground permit.
  • The animals are fed with organic feed of which at least 60% of the ingredients come from the company itself.
  • The diet is adapted to the needs of the animal at different development stages and calves are given mother’s milk for at least 90 days.
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