Tracking & Tracing

Dutch pork producers offer guarantees concerning the production of the product, partly on the basis of tracking and tracing information. This makes it possible to track and look-up a product. In this way, information can always be collected about the location, quality or the quantity of a certain product (the meat or the animal).

Tracking goes upstream from the purchase, the further processing and the sale of the product: the tracking of the product to the supermarket and consumer. From the start (animal feed) to the end (supermarket). This means that Dutch pork companies have the relevant information about the destination of the product at their disposal. 

Tracing involves tracking down a product to find where it comes from and what it is used for. In other words, the downstream tracing of a product back to its producer or producers. In this way, Dutch pork companies can trace the entire production back to its source.

(UBN) From the time they are born, Dutch pigs bear an earmark with the number of the company. With this Unique Business Number (Uniek Bedrijfs Nummer) or UBN, pork processers can find out which company a pig (or herd) comes from. This number remains linked to the group up to and in the abattoir and is entered into the databases of the abattoir or meat processing company.

(VKI) When pigs are offered for slaughter, the farmer is required to supply specific food chain information (VKI) to the abattoir, which can then assess the animals individually on a veterinary basis before they are processed. Abattoirs must report discrepancies and, often, feedback to the pig farmer.

(IKB) The Dutch pork food chain set up the IKB system to assure the quality of production throughout the entire supply chain. This information transfer shows which animal the meat comes from, the medicines registration is shown and information is available about the source and composition of the animal feed.

(GFL) The European General Food Law requires that the origin and destinations of foodstuffs, animal feeds, food producing animals and other substances for foodstuffs are traceable and that the relation between raw materials and end products is known. Companies should have all information available to them within four hours regarding the suppliers and buyers (one link forward and one link back) in order to be able to trace the trade in products.

(HACCP) Produces of pork are responsible for product safety. Dutch law requires that meat-processing companies have a system that ensures product safety. This system should be based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point method (HACCP).

(Supervision of monitoring). The Dutch government has made possible ‘toezicht op de controle’ (supervision of monitoring) so that checks can be carried out by private organisations provided that the government ensures that this functions well.

The Netherlands often goes beyond European legislation and regulation and leads the way — for example, by tracking and tracing using automatic data exchange.

Dutch companies aim to improve both food safety and the assurance of food safety. By using quality systems such as IKB, Dutch businesses are already often doing more than the government requires. Consequently, Dutch pork companies can offer extra guarantees so that buyers can have and maintain trust in Dutch pork.