Middles from over Dutch half kill needed for rashers Dutch volumes match 1998's Dutch bacon shipments are set to match last year's 110,000 tonne record, according to Dutch Meat Board (UK) md Robert Smith. Shipping an estimated 45% of back bacon volumes to the UK, the Dutch industry's share of the business is worth an estimated £400m. Thanks to the IKB integrated control chain, Smith added, bacon made for the British market has additional traceability features built into the system. One example of this is the reference numbers which are starting to appear on middles delivered to curers from the slaughterhouses. These identify the line and date on which the animal was killed. Some 85% of all Dutch pig production now operates within the IKB scheme and the country's three major pigmeat groups, Dumeco, Hendrix and Sturko, are all heavily committed to developing the system. Middles from over half the Dutch kill are needed to meet the demand for bacon rashers in the UK, making the benefits of the IKB system available to UK customers. "If British retailers want bacon from group housed stock, then we deliver bacon from group housed stock," says Hans Schouwenburg, head of the Product Board's production and development section. Two major UK retailers currently pay the premium for this product. {{MEAT }}