Supplied by Danish Crown, the pork is part of its research project funded by the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark’s Green Development and Demonstration Programme.
Danish Crown had previously only sold antibiotic-free (ABF) pork to customers abroad but decided to make it available domestically due to growing demand from Danish consumers for healthy food products.
The introduction of the ABF range means Netto will be phasing out its conventional own label range of pork products.
“From now on, customers will be able to buy pork chops, Cumberland sausages and pork mince from pigs which have never been treated with antibiotics, and at the price they are used to paying for conventional products,” said Martin Hasgard Olesen, head of assortment and marketing and group vice president of Netto Denmark. “We see a trend where consumers have more views on the products they buy – both from the perspective of health and for the sake of the planet. This also applies to pork. With the launch of meat from pigs reared without the use of antibiotics in all of our almost 500 Danish Netto stores, we are now making it available to all of Denmark.”
Per Bank, group CEO of Salling Group, parent company of Netto, explained the move.
“As Denmark’s largest retail group, we can make a positive contribution to public health,” said Bank. “This is why we’ve decided to sell the new type of meat at the same price as ordinary conventional pork, even though it is more expensive for us to buy. We see it as an investment in public health. Together with Danish Crown and via our chains, we can help to drive the shift towards reducing antibiotics use.”
Jais Valeur, group CEO of Danish Crown, said: “As a food company, we can influence the development of tomorrow’s foods. In 2015 we launched a project which involved rearing pigs without the use of antibiotics, and today, more than 40 Danish farmers supply ABF pigs to Danish Crown. A natural next step is to make ABF pork available to Danish consumers. I’m therefore delighted that Salling Group and Netto are now giving Danes the opportunity to buy ABF meat and contribute to the continued development of this production method.”
Under the ABF scheme, the use of antibiotics is avoided throughout the entire life of the pig.
“The difference is about prevention rather than cure. ABF production requires much more supervision of the individual pigs, and producers are, among other things, extra focused on cleaning the pig buildings to keep their herds healthy and reduce the spread of infection among the pigs,” added Valeur.