Antibiotics-free trial to be extended by Danish Crown

Danish Crown has decided to extend its antibiotics-free production trial, currently based on two producers, but now set to include other units.

The company said today that, following a number of trial deliveries, demand is now “so large” that there are good reasons for extending the trial, potentially adding further units to the programme.

The trial has been running since the beginning of 2015, based on two producers who have participated in a programme funded by Danish Crown. At the same time, the company’s export department has been investigating the market for pork from the two producers.

The company said it is now going to talk to other producers who are interested in participating in the trial.

“The challenge is that we are still talking about such small volumes, relatively speaking, that all the pigs need to be delivered to the same slaughterhouse,” said Danish Crown’s assistant vice president, exports, Søren Tinggaard, explaining why the extended trial will be restricted to units based in northern Jutland.

The extension will make it possible to slaughter approx. 1,000 pigs a week which have not been treated with antibiotics. This is compared to about 150 pigs a week at present.

“At the moment, however, there is so much uncertainty associated with producing meat this way that we will continue to run it as a trial,” said Mr Tinggaard, adding that Danish Crown will continue to support the producers involved and provide necessary specific advice.

“We have not yet come so far that we can start a dialogue with the retail trade on filling up supermarket displays.”

Headline image shows trials farmer Karsten Westh, who produces about 22,000 slaughter pigs a year on his farm at Østermarie in Denmark’s Bornholm area.

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