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Dutch pork consumer awareness trial launched

By Aidan Fortune , 25-Nov-2016

A QR code will be placed on 200,000 pork products to help improve customer knowledge
A QR code will be placed on 200,000 pork products to help improve customer knowledge

Pork producer Vion, agricultural association ZLTO and retailer Albert Heijn have teamed up with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs to increase consumer awareness about where pork comes from. 

In a trial funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and organised by retailer Albert Heijn, pork producer Vion and the Dutch Zuidelijke Land-en Tuinbouworganisatie (ZLTO), 200,000 pork products will have a QR code placed on them, enabling consumers to see production information.

The Better Life label code leads to http://www.ah.nl/over-ah/meer-doen/animal/pig which extensively describes how the pork gets from the stable to the shelf.

Bert Urlings, director of quality at Vion, added: “Consumers want to see where the meat product comes from. Through the cooperation with Economic Affairs, Albert Heijn and ZLTO we are able to take this step now. Product information helps consumers to make informed choices and is crucial for the sustainable development of the Dutch meat production.”

Marit van Egmond, director of merchandising and sourcing at Albert Heijn, said: “We work with 150 Dutch pig farmers who supply us. Because we have direct contact with our farmers, we can give customers insight into the origin of meat from farm to fork.

“Customers find it increasingly important: they want to know where the food comes from which they purchase from us. go in the coming period, we look at how we can share with them the best this information. The first step is a trial of QR codes on the packaging of a portion of the pork products. Next year we want to provide insight customers the origin of other products."

Martijn van Dam State Secretary of Economic Affairs said the test reflects the commitment of the government to strengthen transparency in the food chain. “Too little we realize how our food is made and by whom. It affects how we deal with our food and the appreciation we have for it. I think it is important that we realize the ‘journey’ making our food before it reaches your plate. Greater transparency will ensure that consumers can make informed choices and increases security and sustainability in the food chain. It also strengthens the position of farmers as a face.”

The Secretary of State is to send a report to the House with further proposals to increase transparency in the food chain. Together with the Alliance Sustainability Food, which includes the agricultural and horticultural sector, the food industry and supermarkets, he is examining the possibility of a central database in which all required information on the composition, origin and processing products is collected. The project will also consider how the information can be made available to consumers.

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