By Nicole Sherwood
The Dutch Meat Industry Association’s Trusted Veal Campaign promotes the European Veal Sector and raises awareness about the region’s safe, high-quality veal products. As the Dutch Meat Industry Association looks to enter the Canadian market they have launched the Trusted Veal campaign directed towards Canada to will help build trust with Canadian clients and consumers.
European veal is considered the safest in the world and follows the European concept of “full traceability”. They are committed to complying with the highest international standards in food safety, quality and sustainability.
In order for their products to be totally traceable the European identification and registration system was implemented and is unique in the world. These strict measures let them follow each animal’s movements throughout the food chain and eradicate diseases. The individual labelling of the cattle allows them to keep detailed production records that permit them to identify the link between their outgoing products and their animals.
Welfare plays an important role in the quality and sustainability of the product. Close attention is paid to the way the calves are fed and handled. The European Union Animal Health and Welfare policy guarantees that calves are not subjected to undue pain or suffering.
Veal produced in Europe is milk-based, feeding the calves whey and skimmed milk allows the meat to be light-coloured and tender.
Currently 93 per cent of the veal products are exported with the largest percentages going to Italy, Germany and France. A small percentage is being exported to Canada (1%).
The Trusted Veal campaign is an excellent way to build up market trust and involve clients and customers. Its goal is to raise awareness about veal as a traditional, safe, and reliable meat option. Furthermore, it is very tasty and is very easy to make delicious meals with.
The Canadian and Dutch veal sector can both be of value on the Canadian market. They offer a complementary product to the locally produced Canadian veal. Because of their volume they are able to supply Canadian consumers with the most beloved cuts of veal in quantity and in quality.
Other than shipping and customs costs there are no duties in place for importing veal to Canada because of the CETA agreement put in place between Canada and Europe in 2017.
With CETA making it easier to export the veal potential is seen for the Canadian market.
Retailers can note that veal is a specialty product which focuses on the tenderness and quality of the product which delivers values for money.
VanDrie Group in the Netherlands has been providing quality controlled veal since 1963. The company processes 1.5 million calves/year. Their calves are brought to the farms at a minimum of 14 days old and are raised to an average of 27 weeks.
VanDrie Group is a producer which controls every part of the chain. They have a food safety, animal welfare and quality system in place throughout their whole chain. This quality system is called Safety Guard. It enables them to guarantee a high quality product with the highest level of traceability, animal welfare and food safety.
VanDrie Group decades of experience becomes visible in the dedication of their employers and farmers. The effort put in their product from the farmers, feed production and processing facilities delivers high quality veal products which suffice to the highest food safety and animal welfare standards worldwide. Their hand and calf logo shows the respect that they have for both human and calf.
Twenty-nine Peter’s Farms can be found in Holland, which provide a premium brand of veal for the VanDrie Group. These farms provide individual control and monitoring per calf. The calves have the benefit of a large functional living space and improved lying and walking facilities. Skippyballs are provided for the calves to play with. These calves are fed through automated drinking machines. A portion is served as soon as the calf comes up to the machine. They are able to drink several times a day and their multi-grain muesli is always in fresh supply.
A difference is noticed in these calves as they are relaxed as they wait their turn for their milk. This can also make their meat more tender.
It is hoped that this campaign will help provide Canadians with a complementary Dutch veal product that meets the high requirements of the Canadian consumer with a consistent high quality and safe product.