Belgian Pork Group is a network of 6 Belgian companies specialising in the slaughter, cutting and further processing of quality pork. Belgian Pork Group annually processes 420,000 tons of pork, a large part of which is exported to more than 50 countries worldwide.
With over 1,800 employees and a turnover of approximately 750 million euros, Belgian Pork Group is the largest pork processing group in Belgium. Control of the entire chain of processing pork and the specialisation and automation of the various processing units offer unique possibilities to the customers of Belgian Pork Group.
Launch of a new quality label
"We are very proud of the launch of the “Taste & Welfare Guaranteed" label," says Jos Claeys, CEO of Belgian Pork Group. "The Belgian Pork Group network has been working for years to optimize all parts of the production chain. With this quality mark, we guarantee top quality and promise to continuously improve the well-being of humans, animals and planet, and the quality of the delivered product."
"Taste & Welfare Guaranteed" is an initiative of the Belgian Pork Group network, which unites the companies Westvlees, Lovenfosse, Lavameat, d'Hulster, Covameat and Comeco.
The quality label is the result of future-oriented innovation and efforts for animal welfare that began more than two decades ago. In the 1980s, the family business Westvlees already carried out pioneering work by demanding safe meat from its suppliers. Ten years later, the company worked out a first charter to improve the well-being of humans, animals and the environment. This charter served as a basis for a standard for the whole sector.
The new quality mark guarantees the best meat quality. In order to meet the strict requirements of the new label structural efforts need to be made to optimize all parts of the chain: people, product, pig and planet.
"Taste & Welfare Guaranteed" stands for the permanent commitment of Belgian Pork Group to improve relations with its main ambassadors: employees and pig farmers. The safety and well-being of the employees are priorities and they are guaranteed by training, close involvement and a stable work environment.
The key elements in the value chain are the quality and taste of the products. Belgian Pork Group is constantly striving to deliver the best pork. The taste is optimised through scientific research in genetics and nutrition. Belgian Pork Group provides pure products, with respect for craftsmanship and tradition: all meat is completely free from antibiotics and guaranteed fresh.
In 2017, Westvlees launched its own brand 'Butcher's Choice', offering the best pieces of meat from the pig. These were carefully chosen for the consumer and are known one by one for their excellent meat quality.
The label "Taste & Welfare Guaranteed" is a guarantee for the constant quality of the product. Therefore, independent taste tests are performed regularly. In addition, all the meat is traceable from the farmer to the consumer.
Belgian Pork Group is constantly looking for new and better ways to improve animal welfare. And that’s not just a matter of respect for the animal. They are convinced that better animal welfare also translates into a better taste.
The label "Taste & Welfare Guaranteed" reflects the group’s efforts for animal welfare. Staff members are trained in collaboration with experts from Belgian universities to transport and slaughter animals in optimal conditions. Webcams are everywhere in the slaughterhouses. Stress levels of the animals are reduced through soft lighting in the stables, noise attenuation and drinking nipples. The animals remain within a small familiar group in a natural and clean environment, and have ample space for movement.
The quality label "Taste & Welfare Guaranteed" also represents concrete actions to reduce the ecological footprint, and to save costly energy and raw materials. Over the years, Belgian Pork Group has invested in infrastructure to reduce heat, energy and water consumption. For example, fast-closing doors were installed to prevent heat from escaping. Other initiatives include the installment of solar panels, cogeneration, economical LED lamps and heat recovery.
The label also guarantees the efforts to reduce waste, to focus on local raw materials and suppliers. Transport between the various locations is optimised as well.
In comparison with other meat types, pork has a relatively low ecological footprint. In addition, a pig can be processed almost completely, resulting in no unnecessary waste.