Through our close cooperation we can guarantee that our animals are not given antibiotics, walk in the wild and have had a fantastic life. This can only be done by giving farmers a good price for their animals.
André lives in Balkbrug (municipality of Hardenberg) and has a special bond with his cattle. He is the second generation livestock farmer, but above all an animal lover. Together with his father they manage almost 200 hectares of landscape in the centuries-old Reestdal. André is the first cattle breeder in the Netherlands with a registered herdbook of Maine Anjou cattle and he is crazy about his cows: When he stands between his cows his eyes start to shine. You can see him enjoying himself. Not only the cattle, but also the beautiful surroundings in which his cattle graze. He also buys Scottish Highlander and Hereford cattle from friendly nature farmers and nature organisations in the north of the Netherlands.
After a quality life (4-8 years) in small flocks, the cattle are taken by André himself to the affiliated and certified slaughterhouse. As a result, the travel distance is kept to a minimum. Our nature farmer stays with the animals until they are hooked and their life number is linked to the meat again. This allows us to guarantee the origin of our meat 100%.
All cattle are born as landscape managers and graze in the nature reserves. The animals enjoy this great freedom of movement. The bulls stay in the herds and walk between the heifers and calves. Our cows give birth in a natural way in nature and the calf of course stays with its mother. This is animal welfare at its best!
Scottish Highlanders: Mantinger forest and meadow
Herenford: Dwingelderveld National Park and in the dunes of Ameland
Maine Anjou: in areas belonging to nature organisations, such as Landschap Overijssel and Natuurmonumenten.
To top it all off, by buying this natural meat you support the preservation of the Dutch nature parks.
Neils Tiktak (40) studied forest and nature management and industrial design, but did not want to work in an "indoor function". He followed his heart and opted for an outdoor job as a shepherd. Neils is an experienced shepherd, she has well trained dogs, besides that he has a lot of knowledge of nature management.
The herd of Neils consists only of Schoonebeekers. The area where the sheep graze is mainly managed by Staatsbosbeheer. Other, mostly small parcels in or adjacent to the village of Orvelte, are regularly honoured by the flock with a "grazing visit".
An important task of the flock is to reduce the size of the fields. By extracting nutrients from the soil, old plant species are given new opportunities. Grazing by sheep is therefore an excellent form of management. In order to prevent overgrazing, Orvelte's flock must not be too large. On average the flock counts about 250 sheep. During the lambing period the flock temporarily grows to about 550 sheep. Throughout the year selections take place and sheep and lambs are used elsewhere or sold to De Woeste Grond.
The Schoonebeeker Heideschap is with its multicolour, typical Roman (curved) nose, hairy coat and high legs a striking appearance. It is a rare breed that needs to be maintained as a cultural asset. Compared to other heather sheep, the Schoonebeeker is a large breed. It assumes a stately, almost graceful posture with an upright head. They occur in almost all colour shades, but variegated varieties are most common. The ewe becomes pregnant easily, lambs almost always without any problems and is a good mother to her usually one to two lambs. Schoonebeekers are lively, attentive and curious by nature. The character is pleasant and they react familiarly to their familiar caretaker. By eating mutton you support a Dutch cultural heritage and Neils gets the chance to keep his flock in optimal condition and thus save it from extinction.
Peter Wijnen and Teresa Rahder run the Sengersbroek farm together and besides keeping pigs, you can also stay with this friendly couple. Peter prefers to work in the back of the barn, Teresa prefers to decorate; inside and outside. Peter was born on the farm and has lived among the pigs all his life. Besides the fact that the farm is organic, they also have the hallmark of a five-star pig farmer. The foundation 'Varkens in Nood' (Pigs in Need) gives this quality mark to farmers where the pigs can live until slaughter of course. On the farm there are only Bonte Bentheimer pigs, where they have an adventurous good life. They spend the day strolling through the meadows, looking for food with their snouts in the ground and with their asses in a pool of mud to cool off. These pigs all still have their beautiful curly tails, because pigs with a good life are not bored. Bored pigs will bite each other's tails, which makes regular pig farmers docking their tails as a precaution. You don't see a vet on the farm; the pigs live in the open air, where they build up a natural resistance and run much less risk of contagious diseases and lung problems. Because of this it is not necessary to use antibiotics. Because Sengersbroek is a small farm, Peter and Teresa have a lot of time and attention for all the animals.
The Pied Bentheimer is an old breed that was almost extinct. Teresa and Peter help with a good breeding program to preserve this beautiful breed. The Bentheimer is a robust country pig and grows much slower than normal pigs (which are already slaughtered at the age of six months), these fattening pigs live about 1.5 years. The Bentheimers are slaughtered at a small-scale abattoir nearby. They are delivered there personally by Peter. We buy the pigs directly from Peter and Teresa and so everyone benefits: the customer pays a fair price, the farmer gets a fair income and the pig gets a fair life.
The chicks of the Polderhoen are raised with special organic feed: rich in herbs and grains. The animals have the space to scratch around and grow up at their own pace. The chicks grow up in their natural habitat. As a result, these polder fowl have firm meat and an old-fashioned fine taste.
The Polderfowl is a special breed: the Hubbard. This chicken was chosen 14 years ago, because it is a slow growing and strong breed. Therefore this breed is very suitable to be kept organic. The chicken gets time to grow and that is good for the chicken and for the meat. The meat of the Polderhoen has a lot of flavour and a firmer structure than usual chicken meat.
The Polderhoen is kept in an organic way. The chickens have a warm stable, perches, the opportunity to take dust baths and of course the freedom to scratch around outside. Outside, the animals can seek shade and there is food to pick up.
Because of this excessive use, bacteria and viruses can become resistant to medicines. This means that these diseases can hardly, if at all, be combated with the available antibiotics. This is a bad thing. That is why we think it is important that antibiotics are not used on farms.
In addition to shrimp and Norway lobster, the Wieringer fishermen also get other types of fish in their nets. With the new legislation, the obligation to land, you can no longer throw fish back and have to take everything with you to land. Many Dutch people hardly know some of the fish species caught and hardly buy them, even though they are delicious fish. In addition to well-known fish, there are also lesser-known fish species in our webshop and the supply changes regularly.
Every week the Wierdinger fishermen do their utmost to supply fish of the highest possible quality. That starts at sea. Nets are pulled over the seabed. Fishermen have the choice of making these 'hauls' long or short. These fishermen choose short hauls. Because although the catch is less at a time, the quality of the fish remains optimal. The fish at the back of the net is not crushed or bruised, but remains beautifully intact.
As soon as the fish is on board, the crew members clean it thoroughly. They are then vacuumed and frozen. They do this very carefully: one by one and with the right side up. That way the quality is guaranteed!
Some of our game comes from Hollands Wild, but we are also a collection point for hunters in the north of the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, 11 million kilos of game are eaten, of which only 10% come from our country. The remaining 90% is imported or reared, while our own natural resources remain unexploited. The Dutch market, for example, imports kangaroo meat from Australia, while hunters have to destroy geese from our Dutch polders. We consider this to be a waste of food, quite apart from the high number of food miles that some imported products have. Together with the Dutch hunters, we want to introduce the whole of the Netherlands to a complete range of products from nature. So not only geese, but also other types of game such as ducks, hares and rabbits. Just like the 'superfluous' geese, many of these natural products are not used or wrongly labelled as 'waste'. Hollands Wild wants to offer them to Dutch consumers with respect for the laws and regulations and without disturbing the natural balance. De Woeste grond makes products for Hollands Wild (chipolata and burgers) in combination with the Scottish Highlander, Goose and organic herbs.
We only work with well-trained hunters who share our vision of hunting and sustainability. Hunters who treat their hunting grounds with care, who ensure a good balance of wildlife within the laws and regulations and who see the importance of the coherence of nature. Before you are allowed to hunt in the Netherlands, you must first follow a theoretical and practical training course. This training is broad and is not only about hunting, but also about ecology, agriculture, wildlife diseases and social interaction. The course is followed by a state exam: not passing is not hunting.
Traditionally, game is eaten mainly in the autumn, while hunting for different types of game takes place throughout the year. It is only in the spring that hunting is slow. Geese, for example, are mainly shot in the summer, which is a nice replacement for the tame duck that is eaten a lot then. Our wild geese are manually processed in a traditional way.
Should you have any questions about the farmers and/or animal species as a result of the above information? Call, mail or visit us! We will be happy to help you!