Geneva, Switzerland, July 18, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- The KDK is a private, independent body representing an important addition to governmental controls.
Towards the end of the 90’s, the veal market came close to a collapse as a result of multiple ‘Veal scandals,’ triggered by the use of hormones and other prohibited growth promoters in calf fattening.
Veal producers, slaughterhouses and farmers’ associations joined forces with SGS Germany (http://www.de.sgs.com), as the neutral certification body, to set up a field monitoring program on residues of undesired or prohibited substances in veal. The aims of the program were to improve governmental controls, to regain market shares and to rebuild customers’ trust in veal production.
How it works
Each calf that is kept for veal production is registered, receives an ear tag number and it is assigned to a fattening group by a central database. Every group is tested at least one time by an SGS employee once it reaches the average age of 150 days.
During inspections (http://www.sgs.com/food__process_assessments?serviceId=31730&lobId=5547), samples of urine, hair and in accordance with a sampling schedule, blood samples are collected and taken to an accredited lab for analysis on ß-agonists, hormones and other substances. Ten percent of the fattening groups are tested twice throughout the entire fattening period. Also, to keep farmers alert, unannounced inspections take place and one percent of the groups are tested thrice.
Certificates with the individual numbers of each calf are obtained if they tested negative for undesired substances. Slaughterhouses that are members of the program will not be allowed to slaughter calves without a valid SGS certificate. If the results are positive, they are sent to a second lab for validation and if the samples are positive for a second time, the farmer may be sanctioned and further measures implemented.
Outcomes of the program
The KDK program was established in 1998 and today over 6,800 samples are tested every year. The number of positive samples has decreased considerably even though the range of tested substances is updated regularly and the sampling is performed unannounced to discourage farmers from illegal practices. Today approximately 65% of the calves slaughtered in Germany are produced by KDK participants.
The KDK, privately organized monitoring program for veal production, has become a useful addition to governmental control and an effective tool for restricting malpractice. Veal products have become safer, consumer confidence has been restored and market share regained, all thanks to this program.
The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With 59,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.