Biovar.be, Delavi and Colruyt Group are launching a 100% Belgian organic pork chain

Biovar.be, Delavi and Colruyt Group are launching a 100% Belgian organic pork chain. With this innovative collaboration, the partners want to provide a solution to the ever growing demand for organic pork and to deploy local workmanship, showing respect for animal welfare and the environment. BioVar.be will take care of rearing organically-farmed pigs and Delavi will be responsible for coordinating transport, slaughter and slicing. Colruyt Group undertakes to buy pigs in exclusivity, the meat of which will be sold initially in Colruyt Laagste Prijzen and Bio-Planet stores from the summer of 2019. The three partners want to play a pioneering role in offering tasty, top-quality and sustainable agri-food products by bringing the producer closer to the end consumer. Last wednesday the first sows were reared in a brand new sty and the project can officially begin.

Expertise for the customers’ benefit

The aim of this collaboration is to launch a chain for organic pork of Belgian origin through a transparent model of cooperation in which each partner contributes their own expertise. BioVar.be, with considerable experience in supporting pig farmers and in pig rearing itself through its sister company Hapro, converted one of the existing pig holdings into a specialist stall dedicated to organic production. The pigs that come from this chain are brought to Delavi via the slaughterhouse authorised locally to that effect. Delavi, whose slicing hall meets the requirements for organic certification, will process and transport the meat. Colruyt Group then undertakes to buy the pigs. This meat will initially be sold in Colruyt Laagste Prijzen and Bio-Planet stores.

Transparent collaboration

Colruyt Group has already set up similar forms of collaboration in the past, including those with apple and potato producers. "We want to take our responsibility seriously by giving our customers the opportunity to make well-informed consumer choices. The fact that we collaborate directly with the farmer ensures that we can respond in a responsible manner with an emphasis on quality. Stimulating the supply of local products with real added value is what we want to achieve here. In terms of transparency: this innovative approach allows us ultimately to link the consumer to the producer", explains Stefan Goethaert, Managing Director of Fine Food, Colruyt Group’s production department.

Born, reared and slaughtered in Belgium

In Belgium, the demand for organic pork exceeds the local supply. To meet this demand, distributors have to import this meat from abroad. This new chain will help overcome the shortage, but will also further develop organic farming in Flanders. "It’s a project that is close to our hearts", confirms Wim Haeck, BioVar.be business manager. "It matches the vision of sister company Hapro perfectly, contributing in the well-established pig sector to the sustainability of production by setting up transparent forms of collaboration between the various links in the primary chains. By focussing on organic pig farming through BioVar.be, we want to open the way for farmers who see the potential in the switchover. Together with them, we are constructing a demand-based chain narrative, which creates added value for all parties in the chain. It is important here that we share the same values, just as we have with our partners such as Delavi and Colruyt Group."

Demand-based narrative

Closed-circuit production, strictly controlled and adapted to meet demand, will help the various partners obtain a correct price without losing the link with the market. And all this while conventional production has continued to suffer under structural overproduction and therefore a pork price that is very dependent on international fluctuations. "The recent pork crisis and past events that have dealt a blow to the meat sector as a whole have exposed a particular vulnerability among the parties in the chain. This collaboration guarantees us a correct price, since this will be calculated with an open book, in total transparency", reveals Kris De Laere, Delavi’s director. "It is the practice of Delavi, Biovar.be and Colruyt Group to give priority to long-term relationships. There is therefore complete confidence." The BioVar.be establishment, located in Ruiselede (West Flanders), currently has a hundred sows. The first piglets are expected in early 2019.

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