Dutch meat giant Vion sold factory-farmed pork as organic ham

One of Europe’s biggest meat processing firms has deliberately sold ordinary ham labelled as organic meat, an independent investigation into the company has found.

Meat processing company Vion has now admitted some of its workers committed fraud by mislabelling ordinary meat, after two long-serving members of staff went public with the claims.

The case involved 11 tonnes of ham processed at the company’s Encebe Vleesware unit which was sold over a three-month period to a ‘large number’ of suppliers.


A commission under the leadership of former environment minister Hans Alders was set up to investigate the claims. Its report, published on Monday, said there is ‘no doubt’ the action was deliberate and that people in leadership functions must have been aware of it.

These people are ‘no longer in the jobs and no longer active in the company,’ Vion said in a statement. ‘Encebe supports the Alders commission conclusions and is fully implementing all recommendations to prevent something like this happening again.’

Alders earlier investigated other claims which said the company had been selling factory-farmed meat as more expensive product with a ‘better life’ label. Alders said then there was no evidence of wrong-doing.

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.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation