First Delivery of Dutch Veal to the USA
On Friday, a container of veal supplied by the VanDrie Group was released for export to the United States of America, in the presence of Euro commissioner Phil Hogan and Dutch Minister Martijn van Dam at the Port of Rotterdam. It was an important shipment; for the first time since the BSE-related ban, and the EU prohibition on American hormone-treated beef that has been effect since the end of the 1990s, it is again possible to export Dutch veal to the US.
The process of reopening the American market to Dutch veal has been long and arduous. While a solution to the hormone dispute between the EU and the US was found in 2009, the US only ended its BSE ban in 2014, making it possible for the Dutch government to come to an agreement with its American counterpart regarding the terms and conditions of exporting Dutch veal. Following a range of inspections and system checks, the final approval was given in mid-2016 and the Netherlands was officially awarded access to the market.
The release of the container was accompanied by speeches by Phil Hogan (European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development), Martijn van Dam (Minister for Agriculture), Annie Schreijer (Euro MP on behalf of the CDA) and Henny Swinkels (Director Corporate Affairs VanDrie Group).
Henny Swinkels spoke of the historic character of this first shipment. "In the 1990s, the American market was an important outlet for our business. Now, 20 years later, we are finally able to sell our quality products there again. We deeply appreciate the efforts of the EU, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the NVWA in this process. We see this moment as a golden opportunity and expect that it will form the foundation for future market sales. Veal is a familiar product. For instance, the 10th of October is Columbus Day in the United States. It is a day on which the discovery of the American continent is celebrated and just as turkey is traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving, veal is eaten on Columbus Day. Now, Dutch veal can be part of the celebration."
Veal has a long history in the United States. The many French and Italian immigrants who left for the US brought their local traditions surrounding veal with them. In Italy and France, veal was – and is – a popular type of meat. European cuisine is also gaining ground in the US. Swinkels: "The demand for Dutch veal exists. With our integrated chain, we can satisfy the strict requirements regarding quality, as well as quantity. We are able to continuously meet consumer demand and we hope to be able to increase the popularity of veal on the American continent."