‘The Dutch Way’

The Netherlands are famous for innovative farming and the high quality of agricultural products. However the increasingly intensive land use by agriculture has led to deterioration of the soil quality. This manifests itself in structural decay and impoverishment of soil life. This deterioration threatens future food production and has great impact on the quality of ground and surface water, the landscape, nature and biodiversity, and, in a broader sense, quality of life and working conditions in rural areas. These facts has resulted in the Dutch initiative: the innovative ‘Circular Agriculture’-system, a solution for securing the continuity of the food chain and the environment.

Dutch Farmers frontrunner in Circulare Agriculture

Already 50% of the Dutch farmers in 2020 work according to the “Circulare Agriculture”-system and more to come, since the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, believes this is the only way to secure the future of the food supply. She states in 2018: “It now becomes the challenge to produce our food with as few raw materials as possible and therefore less harmful to the environment. To use all products that leave the company as an end product or as a raw material for other links in the cycle. Circular agriculture does justice to nature and also makes a good living. For this vision, we have had many conversations with farmers, horticulturalists and various social organizations. Based on these conversations, I am convinced that we can secure the future of our food supply if we switch to circular agriculture." 

This process includes a diet with high-structure and low-protein for the cattle, reduced use of fertilizers, spreading animal manure only above ground and an emphasis on increased soil utilization of nitrogen from animal manure. Business operations are aimed at making optimal use of the company's resources and stocks and making the least possible use of external sources. Consequently, to guarantee the future harvests of the land and to maintain the high quality of the natural ecosystems. De Leeuw Hides, as a Dutch based country, is proud of this Dutch policy and believes this agricultural system is the long-term solution to secure our food supply (chain) and to secure the fertility of our lands.

Watch here the Dutch Circular Agriculture movie



“Circular Agriculture” ensures vital soil & quality of the living environment

Current agriculture depends for its own survival on a healthy, vital soil, on a valued social embedding and on the care for the quality of the living environment. “Circular agriculture is optimizing production with the selective use of external inputs, realizing long-term income and respecting natural systems (Stuiver & Verhoeven, 2010). Globally, the quality of ground and surface water is threatened in many places by surface and subsurface run-off of nitrogen and phosphate, which is applied via fertilizers and manure. In addition, ammonia and nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas) lead to effects on nature and to climate change. Circular agriculture is a solution for the side-effects of the intensification in agriculture and therefore has a positive impact with regard to the threat to the landscape, nature and biodiversity, and environmental quality. 

Products in line with the circular agriculture concept

De Leeuw has the believe that the concept of optimizing production with the minimum use of external inputs, realizing long-term income and respecting natural systems is the only sustainable way. For this reason De Leeuw chooses in line with this concept to turn the by-products from the slaughter industry into a high-quality product itself. De Leeuw's hides and skins have world's highest quality due the strict animal welfare regulation controlled by the government. 

The assurance of the quality and origin of the skin is regulated by the slaughterhouses by the IKB (or a similar quality mark) and the IFS quality management system or FSCC 22000. To complete assurance of the food chain, De Leeuw is ISO 22000:2018 and 14001:2015 certified.

De Leeuw choses to guarantee long-term sustainable quality, by making the well-considered choice to work in line with the Circular Agriculture. 

Afbeelding: Dutch Agriculture - sustainability

This figure gives a concept of the concept of circular agriculture. Circular agriculture has the ambition to provide ecosystem services through the soil. The quality of the body is determined by the circumstances of the body. This development can be achieved through ecosystem services. By communicating the land area, it is possible that the conditions of the organization are changed and that the various functions are improved. Higher organic substances can help improve a body's nutritional and sustainable development (Bennet et al., 2010), as well as the quality of the soil.