VION Food Group -The IKB

The IKB (Integral chain management – ‘Integrale KetenBeheersing’) regulation has specifically been created for the Dutch situation. The first regulation dates back to 1993. The regulation has been adapted several times since then. Participation in the IKB programme is not compulsory, but currently, the majority of pig farms has implemented IKB, which means that about 90% of all pigs are IKB pigs.

At some points, IKB is stricter than EU legislation, but differences are not very large. The IKB regulation has been formulated in a collaborative effort of farmers, feed suppliers, veterinarians, and the processing industry. Goal of IKB is to regulate the processing conditions for all food chain elements from primary production to retail to support and guarantee herd and meat quality. IKB norms concern product safety, traceability, animal health, animal welfare and hygiene. Regulations for manure treatment and environment are not part of IKB. IKB puts requirements for several chain elements. Farmers producing according to IKB have to make use of GMP+ feed. They also need to have an arrangement with a registered veterinarian. These veterinarians do not have to adhere to the GVP code legally, but voluntarily still. Since 1995, butchers can request IKB certification by the Product Boards of Cattle, Meat and Eggs (PV). Certification allows them to use the IKB label (IKB keurmerk).

In the Netherlands, IKB has been acknowledged as a practical and sufficient system to fulfill requirements of hygiene regulations in primary production. HACCP for pig farmer is specifically focused on prevention of salmonella infection. For slaughterhouses, PVE has defined a hygiene code and HACCP workbook focused on personal hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, tools and equipment, support and maintenance, slaughter actions, carcass control, bacteriological blood control, control of by-products of slaughtering, bug fighting, water usage, and environmental impact. For retail, CBL has defined a hygiene code.