Meat processor Vion cleared of fraud with ‘better life’ meat

One of Europe’s biggest meat processing firms has not been selling factory-farmed meat as more expensive product with a ‘better life’ label, an investigation into the claims has shown.

Employees from Vion told a television show in September the company was committing fraud because it is in financial difficulties and could earn more money by wrongly labelling meat.

However, former environment minister Hans Alders, who was brought in by animal rights group Dierenbescherming to investigate the claims, says there is no evidence of wrong-doing.

Instead, there is such an overproduction of ‘better life’ meat that it is being labelled and sold as ordinary meat, Alders said. This, he said, may have caused the misunderstanding. He also criticised the Zembla programme makers for failing to come up with any other evidence to support the claims.

Vion said at the time it did not accept the accusations and that it is ‘rubbish’ to say workers messed around with the labelling. Vion is one of the biggest meat processors in Europe, supplying the Albert Heijn and Plus supermarket groups among others. The company booked turnover of €9.5bn in 2011.

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