Meat

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Dutch supermarkets criticised for lack of quality label chicken

Up to 1,600 Dutch farmers are now rearing chickens and pigs under the welfare-friendly Better Life trademark. However, it has been stated that supermarkets were not doing enough to encourage the sale of chicken with a quality label.

Launched ten years ago by animal protection group Dierenbescherming, six poultry farmers were among the first to join the scheme as they wanted to provide their hens with more room and a covered outdoor space to forage.

Photo: Wikimedia / Gran
Photo: Wikimedia / Gran

Five years ago, the number of farmers participating had grown to 800 and now 31 million animals are being reared under the scheme, which has a three star system, based on the number and scale of welfare measures on farm.

But there are still 2,500 pig and poultry farmers in Holland that have yet to join the scheme and Dierenbescherming spokesman Niels Dorland said more needed to be done to encourage farmers who exported their meat to third countries.

“We are leading the way in the Netherlands but we are not yet done. We have to keep on going because 2,500 is still far too many,” he told Dutch News.

Earlier this month, animal rights lobby group Wakker Dier said supermarkets were not doing enough to encourage the sale of chicken with a quality label and some were selling more of the cheapest meat to produce.

Random tests of 12 supermarket chains found that two thirds of chicken products did not have any form of quality label.

“That means supermarkets are promoting the sale of chickens raised in the poorest circumstances,” said a spokesman.

3 comments

  • Bert Brink

    This is big nonsense. People of Wakker Dier are antropomorfists. Only people in the bigger city's are interested. But they don't know how farming works. They only see the lies of organisations such as Wakker Dier en Dierenbescherming on Facebook. They are not interested, they want that no one eats meat at all.

  • Eric Koper

    That two thirds of chicken products did not have any form of quality label does not automatically mean as implied in the article that these supermarkets are promoting the sale of chickens raised in the poorest circumstances. Even if quoted by a spokesman of wakkerdier ethical journalism would require some sort of verification to avoid such bias. For example one could also argue that the dramatic increase of farmers rearing animals under these systems directly results in the higher incidences of diseases such as Avian flu in Zeeland that hampers export and viability of the sector, killing the industry.

  • Fabio Nunes

    This movement that started in Holland, is 100% non-sense. Given Holland is a country with limited natural resources - land, water and grain supply - and all these birds need a lot more resources to be produced, the final impact on the environment is stronger and wider. In spite of it, this dark side of this business isn't ever informed to consumers, right? First, supermarkets must keep working on their own interest - selling products and making money out of them. Therefore, they must continue to offer and promote what really sells. If regular chicken is what sells, they must keep them available on the shelves and make money out of them! Second, insane dogmas and social media campaigns from animal activists groups lack of sincerity and are truth-distorted and so misguides the consumers' perception of the reality. Third, Dutch consumers are FREE AND SMART and, as so, they have the RIGHT AND FREEDOM to elect and select, BY THEMSELVES, what kind of products they want to purchase with their money - "fashion & insane chicken" or regular, healthy, nourishing chicken. That simple!

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