Skip to main content

Case 1: VION

Presentation of different components in Dutch pork meat supply chain structure

Dutch retailers were under extreme pressure in 2009 to satisfy consumer wishes to manage their household budget. Therefore, their focus was on promotional activities that resulted in a quarter of meat sales coming from special offers, meaning that meat was sold for dump prices. This puts pressure on meat producers, especially fattening farms to obtain realistic prices for their meat (see annual report 2009, VION), because low retail prices are recovered from up-stream supply chain actors.

Cost efficiency next to consistent quality is the main driver of VION. VION took major steps towards operational excellence in 2009 (annual report, 2009). In addition, performance of suppliers is analyzed twice a year together with them and their professional networks in so-called 'Profit meetings'.

The on-line FarmingNet tool plays a large role in the collaboration between VION and farmers. FarmingNet gives pig farmers feedback on slaughter and management data. This feedback enables them to take measures to improve their economic performance. FarmingNet is continuously improved to increasingly better service to farmers.

VION also aims to achieve improved sustainability in the pork supply chain. Together with Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket in The Netherlands, a start was made early 2010 to supply meat from farms with a higher level of animal welfare. In addition, product development is aimed at developing healthy food together with research institutes (annual report 2009).

VION is owned by the farmers cooperative ZLTO (Southern Agricultural and Horticulture Organisation). ZLTO is represented in the supervisory board of VION Food Group (Annual Report 2009).

Other organizations that are important to mention for the pork supply chain are:

  • PVE (Product Boards for Livestock, Meat and Eggs). PVE is the board for the whole supply chain. It is an interest group is which other interests groups for different stages of the supply chain are represented, like ZLTO. PVE has authority to issue regulations for the livestock and meat industry. It also aims to improve businesses along the chain. PVE is funded through levies on slaughter and (live) exports of livestock.
  • PDV (Industry Board for Animal Feed) is the (trade) board which is representing the interests of employers and employees in the livestock and pet feed sector.
  • COV (Central Organization for the Meat sector) is the trade board, which is representing the interests of employers in the meat industry.
  • CBL (Central Organization of the Foodstuff Industry) is representing the interests of the food(stuff) sector. All large retailers are member of this organization.
  • Consumentenbond (Consumer Support Organization) is a consumer organization, which regularly tests consumer products and acts in the interest of consumers.