Seite 2 - infobrief_ff_GB_10-2013.indd

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Meat and meat products
Issue: 03/2013
Quality Assurance.
From farm to shop.
The protection and wellbeing of animals is
an important topic in politics and society in
general. Improvements in these areas are
the subject of many discussions. Economic
operators are actively addressing this is-
sue and taking action. With the animal wel-
fare initiative, they have for the first time
launched an industry-wide solution which
allows animal welfare to be improved with-
out competitive disadvantages.
Farmers, meat producers and food retailers laid
the cornerstone for the initiative for animal wel-
fare with a corresponding declaration back in
August 2012. However, certain structural and
content-related issues need to be resolved be-
fore the first animal welfare audits can be car-
ried out in the second half of 2014. For exam-
ple, the German Federal Cartel Office needs to
assess the initiative with respect to competition
laws. The result of this review is expected in win-
ter 2013/2014.
Regardless of this, the involved parties are con-
tinuing the planning processes. The basic model
is similar for both pig farming and poultry farm-
ing. Farmers who decide to participate in the ini-
tiative for animal welfare have to meet minimum
requirements. These requirements are tailored
to the specific farming and industry conditions
for pigs and poultry. In addition, there are crite-
ria of choice which are also production-specific.
In the case of poultry, the initiative for animal
welfare is to be implemented on the basis of
supplementary agreements in the QS scheme,
whereas in the case of pig farming, there will be
a holding company outside of the QS scheme.
This could be founded in the spring of 2014.
Farmers will be able to enter into corresponding
animal welfare agreements with the company.
An explicit reference on products to participa-
tion in the initiative is not planned. The impor-
tant thing is that the industry is jointly taking
steps on its own initiative in order to achieve
improved animal welfare.
NEW IN 2014
ingly understand the
finer points of quality
and quality assur-
ance. For some time,
criteria other than just
freshness and appear-
ance have been im-
portant for shoppers.
In an interview with
the Lebensmittelzeitung magazine (edition
37/2013), Hans-Jürgen Matern, Head of Sus-
tainability and Regulations at Metro AG,
talks about the expectations of consumers
and the aims of the initiative for animal wel-
Mr. Matern, Metro has signed the decla-
ration of intent on the initiative for animal
welfare. What are your expectations?
Consumers have been interested in the issue
of animal welfare for some time. With the initi-
ative, we accommodate the wishes of consum-
ers for improved animal protection by striving
to achieve extensive improvements in pig and
poultry farming.
How can consumers know about the initia-
tive if there is no advertising on the prod-
We have deliberately developed the initiative for
animal welfare as a background system. We at
Metro welcome the fact that participation is not
explicitly advertised, meaning that the whole
thing remains competitively neutral. Our expe-
rience shows that individual initiatives were not
successful in the past primarily because there
was no critical mass. We want this initiative to
be different. Also, consumers expect the meat
that they buy to have been produced properly
in any case. The QS certification mark will be a
sufficient indication of this in the future.
How does the initiative fit in with Metro’s
sustainability strategy?
The issue of animal welfare has already been
part of our sustainability strategy for some time.
We have noticed that consumers increasingly
understand the finer points of quality and qual-
ity assurance. Products no longer just need to
be fresh and look a certain way, but also need
to have been produced in the most socially re-
sponsible and animal-friendly manner possible.
With the animal welfare initiative, we have now
taken an additional step in the right direction.
Whenwill the first meat produced according to
the initiative be available in Metro and Real?
The launch date of the system depends on a
number of factors and we cannot accurately pre-
dict it at this point.
Source: Lebensmittelzeitung 37/2013,
13 September 2013 (abridged version).
To ensure that the continuous improvement
in animal welfare in the poultry industry in-
cludes all animals, parent flocks and hatch-
eries will also be added to the QS inspection
system. The two new guidelines were ap-
proved by the Poultry Advisory Board at its
September meeting.
The poultry industry in the QS scheme has
agreed to make the QS inspection network even
tighter – also with regard to animal welfare.
From 1 July 2014, after an introductory phase,
poultry farmers will only be permitted to rear
or fatten chicks that originate from QS-certified
hatcheries or parent flocks.
There is a separate new guideline for hatcher-
ies that will be valid from 1 January 2014. It in-
cludes all requirements for the production of
both chicken and turkey chicks. Parallel to this,
all QS requirements for the farming of breeding
chickens and hens that are used for hatching
egg production have been compiled in a sepa-
rate guideline.
There are no
new require-
ments for the
procurement of
ducklings for pe-
king duck produc-
tion; consequently,
there is no guideline.
The guidelines have already been published on
the QS homepage in the download centre under
Agriculture Poultry Production.
H.-J. Matern, Metro AG