Monday, March 18, 2019
Pork from Zonnebeke
Increasing numbers of conscious consumers want to eat organic meat that has also been reared locally. To meet this need, Bio-Planet has entered into an innovative partnership with its partner Davy Bovyn in Zonnebeke. His farm is a circular farm, this means that he keeps the sows and raises the piglets on the farm. The food that the animals eat is made by the farmer himself. It is a mixture of his own organic grains supplemented by organic food waste from the production processes of Bio-Planet suppliers, who supply, for example, bread, cheese and vegetable juices. "I am constantly looking for ways to keep my ecological footprint as small as possible," says farmer Bovyn. "I also produce as many raw materials as possible myself."
Actual food waste is prevented by repurposing food waste. In this way, Bio-Planet wishes to continue innovating and contributing towards further sustainability of the organic market.
Animal health and welfare: first and foremost
The pigs have a lot of space on the farm and are fed several times a day. As a result, they are very lively and active. "The pigs have three times more space available than on an ordinary farm," explains Davy Bovyn. "They are also reared for six weeks longer." Even during transport, the animals are made as comfortable as possible. A maximum of 30 pigs are transported at a time. That is less than on a traditional farm. They also travel a short distance of no more than 26 km and there are no stopovers, meaning less stress for the animals. All this has a positive influence on the quality of the meat.
"We consider conscious consumerism to be more than just being organic", says Jeroen Van Belleghem, head of the Bio-Planet service counter department. "By keeping the chain local and as short as possible and including food waste in the cycle, we end up with a sustainable process that respects all parties involved in our chain. We want to do more in our role as a pioneer in organic agricultural projects and where possible, improve circular innovation by all parties jointly contributing towards reducing food waste. With this small-scale project we especially want to expand our knowledge, inspire others and grow step by step towards further initiatives."
Cross-fertilisation between organic farming projects
Bio-Planet also supports the initiative of the collaboration entered into by Bio-Planet’s umbrella organisation - Colruyt Group, BioVar.be and Delavi; the partners launched a 100% Belgian organic pork chain earlier this year and this meat will be on Bio-Planet's shelves in August. This initiative is committed to using local craftsmanship, with respect for animal welfare and the environment.
"We want to respond to the ever-increasing demand for local organic products, with demand for organic pork increasing by as much as 4% each year. We also want to create added value in terms of conscious consumerism," says Jeroen Van Belleghem. "In order to guarantee a Belgian supply chain, we are collaborating with various partners, such as BioVar.be and now a partnership with Davy Bovyn in Zonnebeke."