Balticovo to improve hen’s wellfare conditions in Madona and Daugavpils farms

Balticovo to improve hen’s wellfare conditions in Madona and Daugavpils farms

Balticovo to improve hen’s wellfare conditions in Madona and Daugavpils farms

Balticovo is aware of the fact that, few years ago acquired farms in Madona and Daugavpils, while being in conformity with the EU requirements, have space for further improvement and modernization. The Company’s strategic goal is to introduce cage-free production in Madona in the near future.

The video published by animal defence society shows the old farms in Madona and Daugavpils, in which the birds at that moment were in the final stage of their productive life and are shedding feathers. It is a natural process, yet hens held in cages recover their feathers slower, as the picking in between hens interferes the natural process.

Notwithstanding on a small sales volumes, of around 2%, Balticovo already now is offering on the market cage-free eggs. The most popular eggs are still remain those produced under number 3, i.e. from caged hens due to their affordability. The Company is ready to follow along to market trends and have discussion with the public about egg production business. Madona farm accounts for about 5% of company birds and there are plans both for modernization and development of cage-free egg's production at this location in the near future. The Food and Veterinary Department inspects Madona's farm regularly and the latest inspection in July 2016 concluded that it operates in conformity with EU directives and Cabinet of ministers regulations. As already mentioned before, the company also plans build a barn for free range hen at this farm.

Daugavpils farm accounts for 3 % of the total amount of Balticovo birds, and there are plans to modernize this farm too. The work is being done at both Madona and Daugavpils to improve hen welfare conditions and control of safety measures, to ensure faster identification, removal and disposal of dead birds. The regulations require removal of dead birds once a day, yet given the big volumes human factor plays a role and some of deceased birds may remain unnoticed. Although welfare conditions are in compliance, there is still ground for improvements of quality and qualification of labour. Every day the health of hens is monitored on regular basis, which include several stages: daily and clinical checks, as well as making different tests to control the health of birds, as well as emergency control measures.

The control of eggs before reaching consumers also consists of several stages, eggs are irradiated with ultraviolet light, which eliminate bacteria on egg-shells, then each egg is weighed to be precisely dividend in weight categories, then eggs are scanned with Ultra HD cameras to check whether shell is clean and has no cracks, and at last eggs are checked for blood inclusions. Only after these controls an egg is marked and sold as A class product. Thus Balticovo guarantees that its production is safe for human consumption, which is also certified by supervisory institutions.

Balticovo has already invested more than EUR 30 M to improve welfare conditions for hens. As reported earlier, the company continues its industrial development – more than EUR 800,000 will be invested in building barns for pullets. In the result of successful investments Balticovo has been recognized as one of the most modern and largest egg producer in Northern Europe. The company is operating according to international quality system for years, which is proven by the prestigious BRC food safety and ISO quality certificates.

The company cooperates with the Food and Veterinary Service as well as is open for discussions with the Animal Defence Society and the public, showing its production plant and explaining the whole production process to consumers. Today Balticovo has 2.4 million birds, which provide shell eggs and egg products to consumers in the Baltics, USA, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Hungary, Germany, and Sweden. Pharmaceutical companies are interested in particularly for eggs from cages, because they are cleaner, exclude infections, pollution and presence of toxic substances. Caged hens are not subject to intestine infections and coccidiosis, as they have no contact with faeces in comparison with hens from cage free farming systems. Therefore caged laying hens are not treated with medicines and coccidiostats, which is very important in many cases when we speak about the quality of eggs. As well it is impossible to get infected with salmonellosis from caged hen as they are vaccinated against this disease.



About AS „Balticovo”

AS „Balticovo” is the company with an experience of more than 40 years in egg and egg product production. The company is oriented towards doing business on Latvian and International markets exporting up to 70% of its products. Constant control of product quality is exerted in the site under a strong veterinary surveillance. The owner of the company with 95% of company shares is the company “BCO” belonging to Latvian citizens. At the moment AS Balticovo is a leading producer of eggs and egg products among the countries of the Northern Europe with a Latvian market share being 40 %. The number of employees is 246 in 2016. The turnover of the company in 2015 – 45.9 mill. euros. In 2016 AS Balticovo was recognized as the best employer in Zemgale by Employers’ Confederation of Latvia. The company has also been recognized as one of the most valued Latvian companies in the decade (2006-2015). AS „Balticovo” has been awarded certificates of ISO 9001, ISO 22 000, BRC quality standards. In 2016 the company received the prestigious “Ruban d’Honneur” award in Europe’s biggest business competition “European Business Awards”. ISO 31 000 standard has been introduced in the company management. AS „Balticovo” is situated in Latvia, Iecava area.

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