Chinese and pigs from Brabant

So there they are, the bus makes a last turn and stops in front of the Heihoef farm About forty Chinese get out of the bus and immediately start taking pictures on their smartphones. It was indeed a beautiful site, the Heihoef farm – or actually ‘Heyde Hoeve’ as mentioned on the front of the old farm – in autumn glow in the rural surroundings of the Brabant province in the south of the Netherlands. Inside the farm the coffee is ready and can the Chinese try the Dutch cake.

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The largest part of the delegation consists of ceo’s and owners of companies active in the Chinese pig sector. They are on a mission in the Netherlands, to learn more about the sector. On the programme are a slaughterhouse, a meat producing company and a feed company and right now they are about to learn from Heihoef and its philosophy.

Tiny Schepers stars telling about his farm, where he grew up at the very place they are sitting right now – the Chinese get a little bit nervous, if this farm is really that old, is the building still safe? He tells about the cooperation and the joint mission of the pig farmers to realise a healthy pork supply chain using sustainable production methods. And about the ambition to enrol this concept also internationally. Tiny shows the different Heyde Hoeve and Hoevenaer meat products. Of course the sausages in Vincent van Gogh packaging are being admired, and the story that Vincent painted the Sunflower painting in Nuenen itself is almost good to be true! There are a lot of questions asked and a lively discussion starts about sustainability, about the Duroc breed, about the challenges of the Dutch versus the Chinese pig farmer. We all walk outside to ‘Lucy’, the art project with Koen Vanmechelen. This is really difficult to explain of course! And then there is this real Dutch lunch with freshly baked bread bins and pea soup with sausage. We explain that the original recipe contains pig leg in the soup, but right now these parts are immediately being transported to China. So, how Dutch do you want this all to be?

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