The transfer of pork from the Belgian Certus quality assurance system into the German system operated by Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH (QS) is currently being negotiated.
Stricter criteria on the German side mean that the Certus product specifications will need to be adapted.
QS confirmed that it has terminated the contract concluded in 2004 with the Belpork standards body which will now expire on 31 December 2012. QS system requirements will continue to be developed in the coming year; these will include animal welfare during slaughtering, the certification of transport, salmonella and antibiotics monitoring, and cutting requirements.
Several months of negotiations conducted with Belpork on the necessary adjustments to the Certus system have broken down. Nevertheless QS is still working to continue its partnership with the Belgian pork sector.
QS is keen to reach an agreement under which QS-certified pork can still be marketed via the Certus system in Belgium. In addition, Belgian sow meat is also to be included in the system.
Meanwhile, Belpork and Belpork member FEBEV have announced their desire to engage in constructive dialogue with QS with the aim of concluding a lasting agreement which guarantees that Belgian Certus pork will retain QS compatibility even after 31 December.
The manager of the Belgian Meat Office (BMO), René Maillard, welcomed the decision. "I am confident that everyone will have done their homework in time and that we'll be able to continue our successful collaboration with QS in 2013," he said.
In the last ten years Certus has become firmly established as a quality seal for fresh pork. More than a third of the Belgian pig husbandry businesses conform to the standards laid down in the Certus product requirements. The test seal plays a crucial role in Belgium itself, but also in pork exports to Germany.
According to figures released by the BMO, roughly 87,000 tonnes of Certus pork were marketed via the QS system in 2011. This represents roughly a third of Belgian pork exports to Germany.
Source: afz – allgemeine fleischer zeitung 29/2012