The VanDrie Group renews its CSR policy
Since 2006, the VanDrie Group has actively published the results of its Corporate Social Responsibility policy. A decade later, that policy is as solid as a rock. But this global market leader in the field of veal, (calf) feed and calfskins is not one to rest on its laurels and the VanDrie Group is dedicated to renewing its CSR policy.
Henny Swinkels, Director of Corporate Affairs at the VanDrie Group, explains: “In everything we do, we consider employees, food safety, animal welfare and the surroundings & the environment. We look beyond tomorrow. We want to be a company that operates sustainably, which means, for example, that for us, economic growth goes hand in hand with our concern for employees and calves, in addition to dedicating ourselves to the efficient use of raw materials. This attitude is characteristic of our family business and it is the basis for our future-proof course.”
He continues: “The VanDrie Group is an organisation that’s on the move. It is essential that we keep learning and developing to enable us to adapt to the changes around us. Western-European consumers are eating less meat and are critical of production methods. On the other hand, the demand for meat is on the rise on other continents. How will we maintain a balance? How will we retain our ‘license to produce’ in the Netherlands? These are the questions that concern us.”
The VanDrie Group wants to provide answers to these questions by actively involving stakeholders (i.e. those who have an interest in the operations of the organisation) in the policy. The kick-off took place in June of this year: the company organised a VanDrie Dialogue. A very diverse group of stakeholders, from inspection authorities to veal farmers, attended, including the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Animals (Dierenbescherming), Utrecht University, Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Autority (NVWA), Dutch Feed Industry Association (Nevedi) and Dutch Meat Organisation (COV), in addition to employees of the organisation itself. The objective of the VanDrie Dialogue was to provide insight into the key challenges the VanDrie Group simply must tackle, i.e. reducing the use of antibiotics, refining manure and putting hybrid products on the market.
Henny Swinkels: “We can go forward with the input we received during the VanDrie Dialogue. Our stakeholders are critical, but they also understand the importance of our organisation. For our company, cooperating and creating support for changes are valuable pursuits, which is why active stakeholder participation will be made a part of our CSR strategy.”