Trends

Dutch Meat Processor Converts Beef Facility to Plant-Based Production

Company Seeking to Broaden the Definition of Meat

“Eat ME-AT every day!”

That is ME-AT’s motto, the new plant-based brand established by the giant international meat producer, Vion NV. As part of this process, the Dutch giant has just announced that it is to convert its slaughterhouse and beef processing plant in Leeuwarden into a dedicated plant-based food facility, as reported yesterday by the Dutch news site Veldpost.

Vion is one of the world’s top 100 food and beverage companies with locations in the Netherlands and Germany. It is now moving full steam ahead to help consumers eat plant-based meat. 

The site was built to modern standards in 2017. It has freezing facilities and large storage capacity and so is very suitable for the new production. All of the plant’s employees are being kept on. With a few modifications, the processing plant will become dedicated to producing plant-based food. 

Plant-based start-up

Vion saw the way consumer trends are shifting and earlier in the year established its plant-based start-up ME-AT

Acknowledging that the market for meat alternatives has been steadily growing over the past few years and is likely to continue to do so, ME-AT is designed to capitalise on this vegan trend that in the company’s mind is driven by so-called flexitarians.

The company’s CEO, Ronald Lotgerink stated on its website:

The capacity for livestock processing in the Netherlands has grown significantly in the past two years and has proven to be more than sufficient to meet the demand. Given the knowledge we gained from our investment a few years ago, we are now making the strategic choice to invest in a dedicated plant-based site in Leeuwarden. We look forward to continuing our relationships with our livestock suppliers at other Vion sites and welcome arable farmers as new suppliers in our plant-based chain.”

ME-AT acts as a food designer and focuses on developing high-quality meat alternatives. The company states that “the products will offer the taste, texture and eating experience of traditional meat. ME-AT is, therefore, broadening the definition of meat”.

With this move, Vion is further committed to building “a sustainable supply that [is] transparent and traceable from the farm to the plate”.

At the Anuga trade fair in Cologne (5 to 9 October 2019), ME-AT presenting a range of five high-quality, meat-like, 100% “delicious vegan” products at the Anuga trade fair in Cologne in early October 2019. They will be available to European consumers in the first quarter of 2020.

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Jacobus Lavooij

Jacobus is an experienced editor and writer whose interest vegan issues began with understanding the environmental consequences of the food industry. He loves vegan food and is a passionate communicator of its benefits. He is a Dutch national and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. Contact: jacobus@vegansbethechange.com
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