Moreover, consumers are increasingly interested in animal welfare and want to ensure that all livestock are treated humanely. This is why we pay close attention to the way our calves are fed and handled, in accordance with the European Union Animal Health and Welfare policy, which guarantees that our calves are not subjected to undue pain or suffering. As such, our animals are raised in well-lit, well-ventilated barns that provide them enough room to groom themselves properly, stand up, lie down normally and stretch. Unlike regulations in many other countries, our calves are also raised in group housing, which allows them to interact with other calves. They are only isolated if they are sick and present a health risk for the rest of the herd, in which case they receive immediate veterinary treatment. Blood samples are also taken on a regular basis to make sure all calves are receiving the nutrients they need (particularly iron) and to prevent any diseases from spreading.
This ensures that each link in our production chain is monitored—from start to finish—in accordance with our commitment to food safety. Our quality control program draws on the expertise of independent organizations such as the Foundation for Quality Guarantee of the Veal Sector (SKV), which conducts unannounced inspections of producers, calf feeders, veal farmers and meat processing companies to test for the absence of banned growth-stimulating substances. These inspections also include the monitoring of veterinary medication and the calves’ diet, welfare, hygiene and transportation as well as regular bio-chemical tests for bacteria such as salmonella, listeria and E.coli. Once the calves are tested for all quality requirements, the SKV issues a “Controlled Quality Veal” (CQV) certificate, which guarantees to consumers that the veal they’re buying meets all of the prerequisites for safe consumption.