The Netherlands is the largest exporter of meat in the European Union and in 2020 exported 8.8 billion euros (about $9 billion) worth of pork, beef and poultry, mostly to Germany (beef and veal), Great Britain (poultry meat) and China (mostly pork).
Vion Food Group has 12 pig production locations. Four of them are in the Netherlands and eight in Germany. The company slaughters 15 million pigs and almost 1 million cows a year – that’s more than half of all Dutch pigs and almost 40 percent of Germany’s total pig herd. Boxtel, a town in southern Holland, is home to Vion’s largest pig slaughter facility, which ships 20,000 pigs a day. Vion uses artificial intelligence to detect and flag signs of animal cruelty and minimize animal stress. In many US slaughterhouses, crowding and high noise levels can increase animal fear, and animals are often electrocuted, which many experts say is less humane.
Pigs ready for slaughter are 175 days old and weigh about 265 pounds. Upon arrival by truck from regional farms, 80 pigs are wheeled off the platform and into the facility, and a veterinarian checks for sick or injured animals.
The animals are taken to the stunning area where they are anesthetized with carbon monoxide. After the animals are anesthetized, they are hung by the legs and killed quickly by stabbing.
Blood samples are taken to check the health of the animals before the carcasses are immersed in a hot tub to remove the bristles and the rest is burned at high heat (which also kills bacteria). The pigs are cut in half lengthwise and then cooled from 98.6 degrees to 44 degrees Fahrenheit.
From there, the animals are processed into legs, shoulders and midsections, with much of the butchering done by hand. Organs are sold in China and for pet food, hams are often sold in Italy, and ribs may find their way to major chain restaurants in the United States.
Kipster is an egg company focused on improving animal welfare, tackling food waste and producing certified carbon neutral eggs. The farms include natural light and fresh air, and the chickens are freed from cages to pursue their instincts and animal nature. And in a departure from the global practice of killing male chickens that are irrelevant to the egg-laying business, the males are kept and raised for meat.
Zanders said.” class=”wpds-c-hcZlgz wpds-c-hcZlgz-bkfjoi-font-georgia wpds-c-hcZlgz-jDmrXh-width-mdCenter wpds-c-hcZlgz-iPJLV-css mw-md pb-md font–article-body font-copy ma-auto pl-sm pr-sm”>”We need to close the gap between what we do as farmers and what people want,” which is more ethically and sustainably produced food, Xander said.
birds are not de-beaked). With zero emissions, the farms’ energy is generated by solar panels. Zanders uses Dekalb White chickens — a calm and sociable breed. White birds and white eggs have a 5 percent lower carbon footprint than brown birds and brown eggs (brown birds are a bit bigger and eat more, and white birds and eggs reflect the sun more effectively). Adult male birds and females at the end of their productivity are used primarily for meatballs sold in Europe by the Lidl grocery chain, which also buys all of Dutch Kipster’s eggs.” class=”wpds-c-hcZlgz wpds-c-hcZlgz-bkfjoi-font-georgia wpds-c-hcZlgz-jDmrXh-width-mdCenter wpds-c-hcZlgz-iPJLV-css mw-md pb-md font–article-body font-copy ma-auto pl-sm pr-sm”>The farms have roofed gardens with skylights, trees, tree trunks for climbing and ground for pecking ( birds are not beakless). With zero emissions, the farms energy is generated by solar panels. Zanders uses Dekalb White chickens, a calm and sociable breed. White birds and white eggs have a 5% lower carbon footprint than brown birds and brown eggs (brown birds are slightly larger and eat more, and white birds and eggs reflect the sun more efficiently). Adult male birds and females at the end of their productive life are mainly used for meatballs sold in Europe by the Lidl grocery chain, which also buys all the eggs from Dutch Kipsters.
The concept was developed with input from both the Dutch Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Wageningen University & Research to maximize animal welfare and ensure flexibility and scalability. With an easy-to-assemble modular design, Zanders said, the Kipster model is replicable and suitable for urban farming.