The Netherlands is considered worldwide as a frontrunner in improving and refining animal welfare. This also applies to the poultry sector, where all links in the chain do their utmost to contribute towards this goal. This collaboration is essential for achieving success. A good reason for 2 Sisters Storteboom to emphasise and encourage this notion amongst partners, buyers and suppliers alike. After all, working together we certainly make the most progress!
We would like to shine the spotlight on the following three aspects.
- Animal health care
2 Sisters Storteboom has an exacting antibiotics policy in place. We firmly believe it is vital to use animal medication, including antibiotics, in a responsible manner to safeguard animal welfare and protect human health, now and for the future.
With antibiotics, our aim is to achieve a chain in which antibiotics are restricted to absolute minimum use. If antibiotics are required, these will only be supplied by veterinarian prescription. Specifically, 2 Sisters Storteboom never uses anywhere in its chain antibiotics, which the WHO has identified as important for human application. This includes cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones.
A great deal of our chickens are now raised without using any antibiotics. We have put an internal programme in place, setting out further steps, which will eventually lead to a complete chain in which antibiotics will only be prescribed in exceptional and rare situations.
The significance we attach to this key issue is also clearly demonstrated by our participation in the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Innovation Network project. This projects researches what an optimum antibiotics-free chain should look like. Reports on this subject can be found at:www.innovatienetwerk.org.
- 'Higher welfare' concepts
In Western Europe in general and in the Netherlands in particular, there is an increasing demand for 'higher welfare' concepts. 2 Sisters Storteboom has responded to this market demand and is prepared to develop concepts in this respect based on structural or long-term collaboration.
One good example is our cooperation with Jumbo supermarkets, for which we produce the New Standard Chicken (NSC). This is chicken production, which involves additional demands regarding environment and welfare. We conform to the recent buyers' demands this NSC chicken is required to meet. And at the same time we monitor that all requirements throughout the chain are observed.
Within our own chain, we process poultry in accordance with the 1-star Better Life Mark from the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals. This method of raising livestock is distinguished by lower stall populations, with a covered rear extension, daylight provision and a longer maturation process.
- Animal welfare in the chain
2 Sisters Storteboom gives ample consideration to animal welfare throughout the chain. Along with additional training and courses for employees who handle live poultry and drivers who transport live poultry, there is also regular contact with the catching and loading teams as well as the poultry farmers. The aim of this is optimum safeguarding of animal welfare.
We also work with the latest stunning systems in both slaughterhouses. The animals are stunned on arrival at the slaughterhouse while still inside the containers they were loaded into at the poultry farm. This causes the animals far less stress because there is no need to unload them all first.