De Groene Weg launches EKO code for pork supply chain
Groenlo, 28 November 2017 – De Groene Weg, subsidiary of Vion Food Group that focuses exclusively on organic meat, launches an EKO code for its pork supply chain on 1 January 2018. Today, a meeting about this took place with the suppliers association of De Groene Weg and supply chain partners. By introducing the EKO code, De Groene Weg commits to an even more sustainable food production.
The turnover of organic meat in The Netherlands is steadily increasing by on average 6 to 7 percent per year. Last year, De Groene Weg celebrated its 35th jubilee, and is now, in 2017, the undisputed market leader in the Dutch organic meat sector. “The market demand is the starting point for De Groene Weg,” says manager Allard Bakker of De Groene Weg. “Society is rapidly changing; the consumer wishes to buy responsible food from sustainable, transparent supply chains.” De Groene Weg wants to take on the role of pioneer in making organic food production even more sustainable. Bakker: “The EKO code gives us a guideline achieving this.”
Renewal EKO Label
With the introduction of the EKO code, De Groene Weg fills in the new requirements of the EKO Label proactively. Starting from 1 January 2018, the Foundation EKO Label implements reforms within this label in order to further strengthen it and to make it distinctive. The foundation wants to load the EKO Label in accordance with the 4 principles of the international organic umbrella movement IFOAM: the principles of Honesty, Care, Health and Ecology. For this, the foundation has formulated twelve themes, which shape the EKO Label. The participants in the EKO Label must take steps regarding these themes.
De Groene Weg: annual further improvement of sustainability with the help of the EKO code score card
Allard Bakker: “With the EKO code, De Groene Weg, together with its suppliers, gives profound meaning to the twelve themes within the EKO Label. Within the EKO code, the suppliers of De Groene Weg can score themselves – with the use of an EKO code score card – in these areas. The starting point is that the suppliers must determine at least two targets every year, which they must achieve in order to obtain a higher score on the score card the year after. This ensures that the organic pork supply chain of De Groene Weg becomes more sustainable year after year.” De Groene Weg will put the EKO code score card into practice within the suppliers association from 1 January 2018. From January, all suppliers can fill in their score card digitally on the website www.eko-code.nl.
Power of innovation within the supply chain and social commitment
Allard Bakker explains that the EKO code fits very well with the working method of the suppliers of De Groene Weg. “it will help providing a better insight into what De Groene Weg stands for. Organic pig farmers have a certain natural drive to contribute to their environment, not only by producing organic pork. They have been involved in issues such as nature conservation, protection of birds, or by – for instance – having a care function for many years. Our suppliers engage in all sorts of activities; their contribution reaches further than what the organic EU legislation prescribes. Furthermore, the EKO code energises the power of innovation within the supply chain. We want to make the public much more aware of this innovation and commitment to a better environment.”
Allard Bakker expects that there will be a high demand for the newly certified pork from the market. “Our retail partners are searching for stories. They literally told us: ‘We are looking for as many different stories from the farmyard as possible. The consumer wants to know the origin of the product and how it was produced.’ We have beautiful examples of sustainable actions which are anchored in the DNA of our supply chain. It is time to make this more visible.” The EKO code of De Groene Weg starts on 1 January 2018. From that moment, communication to the consumer about this will also take place from – among others – the De Groene Weg butcheries.