The VanDrie Group Safety Guard

Safety Guard ensures food and employee safety and welfare and environmental management in the veal chain.

Food safety is the priority in food production. The veal production and supply chain is long and complex. Reliable quality control needs the ability to trace products back through every link in the chain to guarantee food safety and customer confidence. This led the Dutch VanDrie Group to develop Safety Guard, an integrated quality system that ensures food safety, environmental management and animal/worker welfare throughout the chain.

At the core of Safety Guard is traceability. The VanDrie Group registers everything relevant. Using individual calf ID or ear number, data collected at different stages of the production process is linked: mother’s ear number, calf birth date, breed characteristics, country of origin, farm location, feed used right down to individual raw materials. Even in the deboning plant, the ID code remains associated with individual cuts of meat, allowing the specific source animal to be identified. The Safety Guard system is, globally, unique.

The Track & Trace system contributes to the quality of VanDrie veal. The many different raw materials in a calf’s feed ultimately influence the quality of veal end products. The historical data shows precisely what influence different raw materials in feed have on taste and shelf life. This makes quality easier to control and maintain and enables the VanDrie Group to respond better to customer needs.

Safety Guard was implemented, c. 15 years ago, as a food safety technology. The company soon realized it had the potential for environmental management and animal welfare. More recently, the company has added employee safety and welfare functionality to the system. They are always looking at how new digital technologies might improve their suite of management tools, ensuring that food safety and social responsibility will always be at the core of the company’s strategy.