GERMANY, Rheda-Wiedenbrück. Under the direction of the Tönnies Group, 250 open stables were realized within a year. The Group now reveals how conversion and new construction succeed in a handbook.
The food retail trade in Germany is increasingly gearing its range of fresh meat to animal welfare. In the beef and pork sectors as well as in poultry, products are to be gradually converted to higher animal welfare levels. A changeover to husbandry type 3 requires the rebuilding or construction of new barns. And it is precisely for this purpose that the Tönnies Group has now published a conversion manual together with the expert Rudi Wiedmann.
The first partners in the food retail trade have announced that they will significantly expand the scope in housing levels 3 and 4, which have so far only been marketed in the niche. The Rheda-Wiedenbrück-based food company Tönnies has brought many farmers together during this time to exchange experiences and further develop joint housing solutions. Rudi Wiedmann has also been an expert in the construction of outdoor climate-controlled barns for many years. The pooled experience has resulted in a joint manual, which is now available online. "It is intended as a reference work and provides good and concrete suggestions," explains Dr. Wilhelm Jaeger, responsible for the agricultural department at Tönnies. "So far, the barn construction solutions already implemented on farms are diverse, with each farmer contributing his own ideas."
The manual "Pig barn of the future - concepts for sustainable pig farming" shows various conversion or new construction solutions. The challenges and solutions are explained using practical examples and numerous pictures and graphics. The focus is on animal welfare requirements as well as requirements in the areas of the environment, emission control, sustainability, economics and marketing. "We share our experience with this elaboration and are sure that we can thus offer valuable assistance to almost every interested farmer for the possible conversion or new construction of the barns," adds Franziska Budde from the Dr. Jaeger team.
The company sees the LEH announcement on the expansion of housing types 3 and 4 as a clear commitment to farm animal husbandry in Germany, but at the same time also as a signal to politicians to create the necessary framework conditions now "The implementation of the Borchert Commission's plans is a mandatory prerequisite for the realization of more animal welfare on farms," emphasizes Jaeger.
The conditions must now be created for the conversion of the stables: Criteria and financing must be in place, and the structural changes must also be possible without bureaucracy. The building and environmental laws must be adapted in such a way that the "barn construction brake" is solved. "For farms that cannot open their barns for various reasons, there must also be possibilities for recognizing further development of animal welfare measures," Jaeger adds. Higher animal welfare through greater expenditure in the stables would also have to be reflected in income on the farms.
The Tönnies Group has been driving programs in all types of husbandry for many years together with customers in the food retail trade "We guarantee all farmers of all types of husbandry a future perspective," says owner Clemens Tönnies.