Vion admits selling factory-farmed pork as organic ham

Meat processing company Vion has admitted selling 11,000 kilos of factory-farmed pork last year as organic ham, Nos television reported on Friday.

The meat was sold via supermarkets, Nos quoted the company as saying, adding that it apologised for the situation and had taken steps to prevent it happening again.

The switch happened at the company’s Boxtel unit Encebe Vleeswaren and was down to human error, Vion said.

The company denied there was a financial motive behind the wrongful labelling. ‘We have sufficient organic meat,’ the company is quoted as saying.

Better life

Vion was cleared of selling factory-farmed meat as more expensive product with a ‘better life’ label in October.

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.

Friday’s Vion statement follows further claims of fraud by two whistleblowers, Nos television said.

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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