The Netherlands: Significantly fewer organic ...
The Netherlands

Significantly fewer organic pigs

Imago / Rene Traut
Around 102,100 organic pigs were kept throughout the country last year.
Around 102,100 organic pigs were kept throughout the country last year.

THE NETHERLANDS, The Hague. In the Netherlands, too, apparently only a few farmers can warm to the idea of keeping pigs organically, which is why it only ekes out a niche existence in the neighbouring country.

In 2020, the number of organic pigs there was even significantly reduced compared to the previous year. According to current data from the Dutch Statistics Office, around 102,100 organic pigs were kept nationwide last year; that was 4,300 head or 4 per cent less than in 2019. This was the first decline since 2015. The production of organic pork decreased by 616 t or 6.3 per cent to 9,092 t.

Share of organic pigs at less than 1 per cent last year

However, the upward trend in the number of organic pig farms continued. The statisticians counted a total of 178 organic pig farmers at last count; compared to 2019, this meant an increase of ten farms. On balance, however, the average number of organic pig farms decreased by 60 animals to 574. According to the statisticians, nine pig farms with a total of around 870 animals were in conversion to organic farming in 2020. The CBS estimated the share of organic pigs in the total Dutch pig population at less than 1 per cent last year.

The chairman of the Association of Organic Pig Farmers (VBV), Hans Donkers, explained the reduction in the number of pigs to the trade journal "Nieuwe Oogst" primarily with the restructuring programme for the pig sector, with which the Hague government subsidises farm closures for environmental reasons. Regardless of this, Donkers rates the prospects for marketing organic pork as "favourable". The number of consumers opting for organic quality at the meat counter has increased in the wake of the Coraona pandemic, says the VBV chairman.

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