““This Limburg source of protein is packed with nutrients, has a high-quality amino acid profile and causes lower CO2 emissions”

Superior pork with the utmost attention to animal welfare – this sums up Livar perfectly. This Limburg company recently joined forces with Grassa and FeedValid to put together a high-quality protein-rich feed. “We seize every opportunity that presents itself to innovate or make something more sustainable,” explains Livar’s Chain Quality & Innovation Manager, Merel Postma. “From the moment we heard about a local, sustainable source of protein for piglets and sows, our interest was piqued.”

Unique culinary product

Livar has been a trusted name in the market for more than two decades. “We are coming up to 25 years next year. An anniversary! We have a very diverse clientele; from fresh produce artisans to exclusive catering businesses, both in the Netherlands and abroad,” says Merel. “Our pigs live a little longer and get a bit more mature, and this translates into a unique culinary product. The marbling makes our meat deliciously juicy and tender. You really taste the flavour of the past. You should try it!”

Joyful curly tail

Livar pays a lot of attention to quality, food safety and animal welfare. Merel: “As the chain coordinator, we control the chain from farm to fork. We ensure optimal genetics and create our own recipe, which is produced by our feed partner, Vitelia. Our entire operation is transparent. Anyone can come and have a look around our farms. With a joyful curly tail, our animals wallow in Limburg mud to their heart’s content and enjoy only regionally grown grains. Where else would you find that?”

Circular and local feed concepts

David Rotmans, Sales Account Manager at FeedValid, nods in agreement. “Livar is a wonderful company. There is no finer business card than a 3-star Better Life label. All the animals can go out whenever they want. Every pig has as much freedom of choice as possible. And now, with us and Grassa, they are also investing heavily in circular and local feed concepts – how great is that?”

Everything sourced locally

“The collaboration between our three companies represents an important step towards a more sustainable and circular food chain,” continues David. “The protein we supply comes from the local area. Everything is grown and produced in Limburg. This was also a strict prerequisite for Livar. To minimise the carbon footprint, everything is sourced locally.”

Taking no chances

“Local is a strict requirement, yes. This is why we don’t sell organic meat. We have no access to regional organically grown grains. If we have to source anything from far away, that’s a no-go for us. But even with this local source of protein, we didn’t take any chances,” maintains Merel. “We wanted to do extensive research first, to see how our animals would react to this protein. We are keen to protect the flavour of our meat at all times; that is really important. But right from the outset it was clear that our pigs found the grass protein very tasty. Their growth was optimal, and all the test results were good. We are now using the Grassa protein widely.”

High-quality amino acid profile

Food safety is also fully assured. Merel: “It is my responsibility to monitor the entire chain, especially in terms of food safety. We have an FSSC 22000 certificate, and Livar is a recognised regional product. If we switch to a different recipe, it has to be a high-quality alternative. David: “That top quality is exactly what we offer. This Limburg source of protein is packed with nutrients, has a high-quality amino acid profile and causes lower CO2 emissions than many alternative sources of protein. It’s a fine addition to our joint product range.”

Sustainable management measures

Where things can be greener, the three companies will continue to join forces. “In the future too, we will look at where we can do business more sustainably. Are there ways to calculate the carbon footprint even more accurately? Then we’ll do that. We have already implemented numerous sustainable management measures at our pig farms, such as solar panels and a sedum roof. With grass protein from Grassa and FeedValid, even our manure is now green. How sustainable do you want it?” concludes Merel with a laugh.