Through a collaboration between Rabobank, MS Schippers and Van Loon Group, pig farmers are offered financial support in their transition to HyCare. The investment fund offers the opportunity to make investments on favourable conditions, and to repay them later.
René Coppens, program director, Vital Pig Farming at Rabobank, said the investment fund will provide pig farmers with the opportunity to start working, according to the HyCare approach.
He said: “This approach offers benefits for both the pig farmers and the pigs. That is why it is a great step forwards that perfectly aligns with our mission of ‘Growing a better world together’.”
Roland van Loon, technical director of the Van Loon Group, added: “Van Loon Group is continuously striving to improve. Our aim is to raise animal health for all our pig farmers to the highest possible level in the coming years. This fund will enable them to achieve this. We therefore believe a substantial part of the pig farmers will be interested in this.”
Mr Coppens said that Rabobank supports vital pig farming in the Netherlands and is convinced that intensive cooperation along the value chain contributes to achieving this goal.
He said: “If the pig farming industry wants to remain vital and healthy, the use of medication needs to be reduced, the meat has to be of top quality, and the distance between farmer and citizen must be reduced. Agricultural companies must fit into their environment. Companies may grow in size in the future but should cause less nuisance for their environment.”
Further roll-out of HyCare approach
The HyCare approach focuses on optimum hygiene and hygiene management in stables in order to structurally improve animal health and animal welfare. Through this collaboration, the HyCare approach is rolled out on a large scale among the Better Life Pig Farmers within the chain of Van Loon Group.
The pig farms that switch to the HyCare approach will be guided by MS Schippers.
Mark Schippers, director and co-owner of MS Schippers, said: “A HyCare pilot carried out in 2016 among four meat pig farmers showed that pigs were much healthier and that antibiotics were not used preventively, only correctively. That is good for their living environment. It also greatly improves the working and living conditions of pig farmers and carers.”
The three parties agree that HyCare stands for sustainability, animal welfare and improved animal health. And this will bring greater returns to pig farmers.
Initially, €1.6 million will be available under the investment fund, that will be used primarily for Better Life Pig Farmers within the value chain of Van Look Group.
Better Life Pig Farmers from outside that value chain that are keen and interested in the concept can contact MS Schippers or Van Loon Group.
Pictured (left to right) are: Marc Intven, business development manager, MS Schippers; Mark Schippers, director and co-owner, MS Schippers; René Coppens, program director, Vital Pig Farming, Rabobank; Roland van Loon, technical director, Van Loon Group; and Mart Smolders, European division manager pigs, MS Schipp