Skip to website navigation Skip to article navigation Skip to content


A page refresh occures when a subject is selected.

Skip article navigation.

Due diligence and risk management

How we carry out risk management

The VanDrie Group continuously strives to produce high-quality, safe and nutritious veal and beef products, calf feed, raw dairy materials and high-quality calf hides. We want to meet the standards that are expected of us and are in keeping with our social position and responsibility. We realise that we must set a good example and act ethically. We ensure that we comply with applicable legislation and regulations. Examples include applicable European regulations for producing foodstuffs, the keeping of animals and transport, collective labour agreements and the Dutch Working Hours Act. In addition, sectoral guidelines apply, such as the Dutch Meat Association (COV) code of conduct for the meat industry, COV code for animal welfare at the slaughterhouse, the Nevedi Convenant aankoop verantwoorde soja (Covenant for the purchase of responsible soya) and Fefac’s Soy Sourcing Guidelines. We believe that an ethical work attitude and good manners, both internally and externally, are of great importance.

As producer in the animal protein chain, however, we are confronted with a wide range of risks, from raw material to end product. When identifying and managing risks, we don’t therefore just look at our own companies. We also explicitly look at the chains in which we are active. For this we apply Due Diligence. This is the process by which we, as chain coordinator, identify, prevent and reduce actual and potential negative consequences of activities in the chain. It enables us to be accountable for dealing with these consequences as an integral part of our decision-making process and risk management systems. We carry out our Due Diligence in line with the Guidance on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is based on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Below you will find a diagrammatic overview of the most important identified risks for our organisation.

Theme: Human rights

Identified risks

Our measures

• Discrimination, violence, intimidation (including sexual harassment).
• Failure to identify and properly involve local communities that may be affected by the company's activities.

• To ensure the integrity of every employee, departmental management in our companies immediately intervenes in cases of aggression, violence and sexual harassment. Employees can submit complaints (anonymously) to their direct supervisor, HRM colleague or confidential adviser. The meat processing companies have implemented the COV Code of Conduct. In 2021, we will implement a ‘SpeakUp’ whistle-blowers' scheme for our employees, customers and suppliers, so that abuses can be reported easily, anonymously and in one’s own language.
• We invest in the local economy of the areas in which we operate, to ensure that we are contributing towards improving the standard of living of the entire community. We believe it is important to collaborate closely with local SMEs.
• In the case of projects, we ensure that we consult with stakeholders (local governments, authorities, local residents). We hold annual stakeholders’ meetings.

Theme: Information security

Identified risks

Our measures

• Failure to ensure information security and privacy regulations.

• The VanDrie Group has an active privacy policy. Stress tests on the company’s ICT systems are carried out on a regular basis.

Theme: Environment

Identified risks

Our measures

• Degradation of the ecosystem through air or soil pollution or loss of biodiversity.
• Biological, chemical or physical risks of activities or services that exceed the values laid down by law.

• We have committed ourselves to the climate targets arising from the Paris Agreement and have implemented SDG goals in policy.
• Our production companies in the Netherlands are certified to the ISO 14001 standard. This standard contains requirements for an effective environmental management system.
• Our companies take energy-saving measures and have drawn up multi-year investment plans to that end.
• The quality departments at our various subsidiaries and our own Labora laboratory carry out research into biological and chemical risks.
• We adhere to sector agreements. When purchasing soy, we adhere to agreements such as the Nevedi Convenant aankoop verantwoorde soja (Covenant for the purchase of responsible soya) and the Soy Sourcing Guidelines of the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC). We also follow the sustainability goals set by the Dutch Veal Industry Association (SBK).

Theme: Corruption, anti-competitive behaviour, bribery requests

Identified risks

Our measures

• Bribery of public officials
in order to obtain favourable treatment.
• Influencing market prices or making prohibited price agreements.
• Financial and economic crime such as tax evasion or fraud.

• We implement compliance policy.
• We follow the 'Code of Conduct' of the Dutch Meat Association (COV).
• We regularly inform our employees about our rules and standards of conduct in terms of competition and corruption policy.
• We carry out active monitoring of compliance themes (legislation and regulations, adverse media).
• We regularly screen for compliance with regard to EU and OFAC sanctions lists.
• We regularly test our invoicing to ensure the correctness of payments in order to prevent money laundering.

Theme: Consumer interests

Identified risks

Our measures

• Products that do not meet all agreed or legally required standards for consumer health and safety, including health warnings and safety information.
• Misrepresentation or the omission of information, or other practices that are deceptive, misleading, fraudulent or dishonest.

• We have implemented the Safety Guard quality system. Safety Guard is our integrated quality system. Safety Guard is based on the ISO 22000 and 14001 standards, the Food Safety Supply Chain System and the BRC, IFS and GMP+ quality schemes.
• Our meat processing companies are under permanent supervision by national authorities.
• We have implemented an internal planning & control cycle. In addition, various audits by authorities and customers take place. We also carry out audits at suppliers ourselves.
• We give Safe Handling Instructions to buyers of our meat.
• We feel a compelling sense of responsibility towards consumers. That is why we work in line with the United Nations Guidelines
for Consumer Protection.

Theme: Employment and industrial relations

Identified risks

Our measures

• Failure to respect employees' rights.
• Failure to adapt machines, equipment, working hours and the organisation of work and work processes to the physical and mental capacities of

• A large proportion of our employees (±90%) work under a collective labour agreement that enshrines the rights and obligations of employees and employers.
• Preventive and protective measures have been implemented within production companies to ensure that the use of machines, equipment, chemical products, tools and processes is safe. For example, we regularly carry out a Risk Inventory & Evaluation (RI&E) to promote health and safety at work. We have carried out a special RI&E to ensure that COVID-19 measures are being applied correctly.
• We provide adequate and appropriate training and comprehensible instructions on safety and health, together with guidance or supervision, if necessary. In doing so, we take into account the educational level of our employees and the different languages they speak.
• OH&S Compliance audits are carried out throughout our entire chain to check whether companies are complying with the applicable legislation and regulations.
• We make quality assurance agreements with employment agencies for the hiring of flexible hired-in workers in order to guarantee good working conditions and terms of employment. The employment agencies that we work with use the Stichting Normering Flexwonen (Foundation for Flexible Housing Standards) quality mark. We carry out an independent audit at the employment agencies annually.
• Via the Dutch Meat Association (COV), we collaborate with the Labour Standards Foundation (SNA). The aim of SNA is to prevent fraud and illegality in the temporary employment sector.

Theme: Animal welfare

Identified risks

Our measures

• Failure to comply with animal health and welfare obligations.

• We require anyone working with our calves to adhere to the 'Five Freedoms' defined by the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes.
• We are affiliated with the Foundation for Quality Guarantee of the Veal Sector (SKV) that carries out independent monitoring of regulations governing animal welfare, transport and the use of antibiotics. All of our veal farmers in the Netherlands are certified under the Vitaal Kalf (Fit Calf) quality scheme.
• We carry out continuous camera surveillance in our meat processing companies. Animal Welfare Officers (AWO) carry out monitoring at all times.
• We train our employees in animal welfare and in recognising and acting on animal behaviour.
• We have a appointed an animal welfare specialist (dierenwelzijnspecialist, DWS). The DWS regularly conducts a peer review of the safeguarding of animal welfare and helps our companies implement points for improvement.

Risk awareness

Managing risks is part of the control and decision-making process of the VanDrie Group. The management board discuss the risks on a regular basis. They assess what effects the risks may have on the external environment, the strategic objectives, the business operations and on our reputation. In order to achieve the company objectives, we must accept risks sometimes to a certain extent. We weigh up the probability that the risk will occur and the size of the effect. Our guiding principles in this regard are:

  • We don’t take any risks when it comes to the safety of our employees, our customers and our products. We rule out all risks, in so far as that is possible and realistic.

  • Our risk appetite with regard to compliance is low. We must comply with legislation and regulations and want to act in accordance with our values and codes of conduct.

  • With regard to strategic risks, we seek the right balance between risks and our objectives in the longer term.

  • With regard to financial risks, we apply a medium risk appetite. We want to have a healthy financial basis and meet the financial ratios that are important to us.