Swedish or EU organic meat?

Field trip to Sara and Joe Delong's Organic Hog Farm near St. John WA.The demand for organic pig meat in Sweden is growing dramatically. A recent study shows that the sale of organic pig meat has increased with up to 78 % compared to last year. In Sweden today there are about 20 farmers who deliver organic pig meat, but that is far from enough to satisfy the consumers.

Margareta Thorgren, information director at Scan (one of the biggest meat producers in Sweden) says that “all organic meat produced in Sweden is being consumed” and states that “we could sell much more”. That is why Scan has requested that other farmers who deliver non-organic pig meat should adjust and start delivering EU-organic pigs.

And here lies the catch.

The requirements for EU-organic pigs are much lower than they are for Swedish organic pigs. It takes about 2 years for a farmer to convert to Kravmärkt, the Swedish organic system. Converting a farm to EU-organic standards only takes one year. The biggest difference between these two systems is that EU accepts that pigs only need to stay outside on a cement floor while the Swedish Krav system demands that pigs should be able to stay outside and poke around in real soil.

Field trip to Sara and Joe Delong's Organic Hog Farm near St. John WA.

Swedish Farmers that uses the Swedish Krav system doesn’t want to see EU-organic meat in the Swedish food stores as they believe the buyers would get confused. Tomas Schörling explain that “EU-organic meat tricks the consumer” because in Sweden “people buy organic meat because they want the pigs to be able to live as natural as possible”. Tomas adds that “in England and Germany they want meat without any poisons and that the animal protection often is toned down”.

The Swedish government has no problem with food stores in Sweden selling EU-organic meat as long as they are properly marked as such. Scan and the major food stores in Sweden believe that the majority of the EU-organic meat will be, to a start, exported to other countries.

Image credits: David Blaine. Images licensed under a

Creative-Commons Attribution license.

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Simon Leufstedt
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