Wageningen UR and four companies have committed themselves to reinforcing the position of the Netherlands as an innovative livestock breeding country through the Breed4Food initiative. To this end, they signed a declaration of intent on 3 September 2012 in Wageningen.
The four Netherlands-based international companies – CRV (beef cattle), Hendrix Genetics (poultry and pigs), TOPIGS (pigs) and Cobb Europe (poultry) – are all among the world leaders in their areas of breeding. Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) is a globally-renowned research and education institution. The initiative will be supported financially through the Dutch governmental ‘Topsector Policy’.
The ambition is to form a top-ranking institute: Breed4Food. This institute must ensure the reinforcement of the knowledge and growth ambitions in the fields of:
- Using DNA information
- Incorporating new characteristics
- Adding value to the production chain
Innovations in these fields are crucial in order to be able to satisfy the globally increasing demand for high-quality animal proteins. Sophisticated breeding programs need to be implemented in order to increase the efficiency of the food chain, to reduce the ecological footprint, to respond to changing consumer wishes and to contribute to the improved welfare of humans and animals.
‘The combination of companies and their knowledge is essential to be able to achieve the ambitions of the Dutch agrifood sector,’ explains Ate Lindeboom, CRVs director Organisation & Development and chairman of Breed4Food. ‘This way, we can make a joint contribution to the creation of added value in the production of milk, meat, and eggs.’