The Dutch pork sector pays a great deal of attention to sustainable production. The starting point for Dutch meat industry is that by 2050, the world’s population will have reached 12 billion. The question is then how to meet the rising global demand for meat at the least cost to the environment.

Meat is a healthy and nutritious food. People all around the world want to eat meat, and will do so wherever welfare and purchasing power allow. Naturally, pig raising and pork production has an impact on the environment — pigs eat feed, produce waste and the slaughter and processing of animals requires energy and water.

The Dutch pork industry is actively working to cut back on the use of energy, water and packaging and funds and promotes research in this area. Pork processing companies are reducing their energy and water consumption all the time. In addition, businesses have taken steps to change or replace materials in favour of more sustainable solutions.

One of the great advantages of pigs is that practically no part of the animal need go to waste. Hair is used to make brushes and the bones are used in the manufacture of products such as gelatine and porcelain. Sausage skins can be made from pigs’ intestines and medicines can be made from pigs’ blood. Pigs ensure that much otherwise discarded (human) food does not go to waste. Pigs turn stale bread, old biscuits and leftovers from the beer industry into valuable protein for human consumption.