Production Chain Surveillance chicken (IKB) Holland translated in English
Wednesday 22 August 2007The route travelled by a slice of meat or a carton of eggs before reaching a shop is long and sometimes quite complex. Cattle farmers are rarely the first link in the chain. Calf farmers, for example, obtain their calves from dairy cattle farms. Piglets are bred at so-called closed farms themselves or are obtained from special breeding farms. Something similar exists for laying hens and broilers, only in this case the production process is a little more complex, as it also involves chick hatcheries. Once the animals have reached the required weight or the eggs have been gathered, they are transported to the slaughterhouse, the egg packing station or foreign destinations. After the slaughterhouse comes the meat cutting plant, where the meat is cut and optionally boned. And after the traders' link, the meat and eggs ultimately arrive at the shops at the end of the chain.
The importance of quality assurance
The Netherlands has a good reputation as a producer of high-quality food. The livestock, meat and egg sector in particular owes this reputation partly to the high level of expertise gained in many years of experience in production and processing. When people in the Netherlands started to care ever more about safe, healthy food, this sector was among the first to introduce quality guarantees. In the meantime, quality assurance has come to rank prominently on the agendas of many European countries. The quality assurance systems currently used throughout Europe are to a large extent based on the Dutch IKB system for production chain control (IKB stands for INTEGRALE KETEN BEHEERSING = total surveillance of animal production).