Focus on the chain: calfskin processing
Our subsidiary Oukro forms an important link in our chain. Oukro is the world's largest processor of calfskins, processing approximately 1.5 million calfskins a year, most of which come from the VanDrie Group's calf slaughterhouses.
Oukro's calfskins travel across the world to tanneries and manufacturers of shoes, bags and clothing, and to the automotive industry for upholstery and interiors. Bert Bruinier is a quality manager at Oukro. He has the following to say about his job: "Producing the calfskin begins in the slaughterhouse, where the hide is stripped from the animal after slaughter. We ensure that the calfskins are properly processed for our buyers, such as tanneries. It takes the entire chain to produce a calfskin of optimal quality. Transport, farm and slaughterhouse: each link contributes." Oukro's customers are very critical and demand high-quality calfskins. Bert explains why the care given to calves on the farm and during transport is so important to Oukro: "Damage done to the calfskins reduces their quality and price. Sometimes, damage to the hide is only revealed while we process it. If a calf is young, skin damage can largely heal without leaving a scar. However, the scars are still present under the skin. It is therefore important to handle calves gently and carefully. A small, incorrectly-fitted bolt in a stall or truck can already result in damage to the calf's hide. We therefore work together with our veal farmers and slaughterhouses in order to ensure that we limit damage."