A family tradition

With 25 companies, the Netherlands’ VanDrie Group is the world leader in veal production. Despite this status, the company is fundamentally a family business, with family values coming first.
This is founder Jan Van Drie’s definition, which sums up the group’s way of doing business in a nutshell

Jan Van Drie senior tells us: “...I’ve left running this wonderful company to my children, who are aware of their own responsibilities. I brought them up to treat people, animals and nature with respect. Being a world leader also involves certain obligations. We have to ensure we produce responsibly, and that the product is safe and constantly monitored. It’s no coincidence that our brand, which specialises in white meat veal, carries the Controlled Quality Veal seal.”
These are more than just words, since VanDrie farms are in fact constantly monitored by an EU-approved external body, the Veal Sector Quality Guarantee Association. Moreover, the Dutch royal family recently granted the group official recognition for the quality of its work in all aspects of the production chain.

This is Dutch meat, as traditionally produced by family businesses, from a socially responsible firm and a country at the forefront in terms of environmentally friendly practices, treating people, animals and nature with respect.

www.vandriegroup.com

www.ekro.nl

 

Tender Beef: young steer and heifer meat

For a long time now, there has been a clear distinction between white meat veal and adult beef in the “young steer” and “heifer meat” classifications, both in terms of appearance and taste. TENDER BEEF, a new type of young beef we would like to introduce, combines the very best of both categories. Meat with a distinctive identity: as lean and tender as white meat veal, but with the characteristic flavour of young beef.

The TENDER BEEF concept is the Van Drie family’s own creation. It is the outcome of the collaboration of the Van Drie group with other Frisian cattle farmers from the northern Dutch province of Friesland. This stunning area is traditionally renowned for dairy cattle farming. These cows have to give birth every year to a calf in order to produce milk. This led to the idea of crossbreeding our Frisian cows with a hardy breed, with natural growth characteristics such as the Belgian Blue.

Following a lengthy process of genetic selection, the result was something remarkably different from all other meats. It brings together the very best in terms of taste, tenderness, succulence, digestibility and enjoyment of the breeds crossed.

There are two versions of this delicious meat to be tasted: YOUNG STEER and HEIFER MEAT.

These are the labels setting our meat apart.

Food safety

Safety Guard: the VanDrie Group’s integrated quality-assurance system This quality-assurance system ensures the safety of our products and the welfare of animals throughout the production chain. Safety Guard is also oversees the responsible use of antibiotics and environmental management. Safety Guard is based on ISO 22000, which is implemented throughout the VanDrie Group’s chain. Safety Guard is configured to meet the requirements of buyers from all over the world. Safety Guard includes both the standards of the IFS and the BRC. Safety Guard’s framework comprises a system of traceability throughout the production chain. At each production phase the animal has an identification number, the ear tag ID code, which remains linked to the animal and the meat with no possibility of error. Likewise, within the meat processing companies each piece of meat is always assigned a unique ID code, which makes tracing the source animal straightforward. This is what sets the VanDrie Group apart from other veal producers.

SKV/IKB

Through Safety Guard the VanDrie Group also meets the IKB’s standards. IKB stands for Integrated Chain Management (Dutch: Integrale Keten Beheersing). This independent quality assurance system for the production chain enforces certain rules, such as those concerning using and registering drugs. By participating in the IKB, farmers also meet the EU’s official food safety regulations. The SKV ensures that the IKB’s directives are followed and the ban on growth promoters is adhered to.

The latest quality system “FIT CALF” (Vitaal Kalf) meets the ISO 17065 standard and combines, improves on and includes all of the previous IKB stands in a single monitoring and control system. The SKV, a semi-public body, implements this and ensures the rules are strictly followed in their entirety.

Animal welfare code

The animal welfare code has been included in Safety Guard for the benefit of the calves’ welfare. The Code’s aim concerning animal welfare is compliance with the Five Freedoms. Safety Guard oversees the Code’s application on animal welfare in all phases of the production chain. The VanDrie Group has provided training for dozens of Animal Welfare Officers, who monitor the animals’ welfare. The VanDrie Group in fact attaches great importance to animal welfare, and this also underpins our certified quality control system. All our partners, contracted veal suppliers and cattle farmers work together for the health and welfare of all of our animals. The animals live together in groups, so that they become socialised. The stables are air conditioned, provided with drinking water, light and all other amenities, which go far beyond EU standards on animal welfare.

Our Tender Beef comes from animals reared in groups and fed with milk, supplemented by hay and enriched with multigrain muesli. This healthy, high-fibre, vitamin and mineral-rich diet is reflected in TENDER BEEF’S organoleptic properties. Indeed, in the 1980s, the VanDrie Group pioneered the practice of rearing calves in groups, as well as the practice of supplying feed other than milk. Together with the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals and the University of Wageningen, the VanDrie Group is constantly looking for new ways to improve animal welfare. For instance, the Comfort Class was introduced for transporting Tender Beef. Temperatures in Comfort Class carriages are adjusted as necessary for the benefit of the young animals, who are provided with water and all amenities during transportation.

Testimonials

 

Dutch chef Ries Verburgt, of the De Schans restaurant in Monfoort, had the opportunity to be one of the first to taste this meat in the Netherlands. Verburgt, who in 2018 was awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin, is also a member of Euro Toques International the association French chef Paul Bocuse founded in 1986 together with his friend and colleague Pierre Romeyer.

For the then president of the European Commission Jacques Delors, Euro-Toques was the association for the defence of food quality in every member state.

Ries Verburgt, having tested Tender Beef described it as: “...a super meat as tender as butter!”

His restaurant is right in the green heart of the Netherlands. Ries has an innovative and unusual style, which marries a refined technique with seasonal and local products. Having used a wide variety of cuts of this refined beef in his restaurant, he added: “Tender Beef combines the tenderness of white meat veal and the consistency and flavour of adult beef.”

 

Fabrizio Albini, born in Brescia on 28 February 1976 and, in line with tradition, graduated from the hotel and catering school of Gardone Riviera. This was followed by this on-the-job training or rather him “cutting his teeth”, between 1993 to 1996, during which time he held a variety of jobs until the end of 1996 when he became sous-chef at the Il Pastaio restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel. This was his first work experience abroad, where he also worked as an instructor at the 5-star luxury hotel chain Ramada.

From 2003 to 2005 he was the executive chef at the Epoca restaurant in Verolanuova in Brescia, the Sopravento Club B in Porto Cervo, Olbia, and Milan’s Place Vendome restaurant.

 He had the unique experience of working during the summer months of 2004 at Giorgio Armani’s “Mariù Ltd” yacht. He then oversaw the opening of the Le Fate Ignoranti restaurant, and from March 2006 to April 2007 he transferred to the Golf Hotel S. Andrea Montorfano in Como province.

During these years, he also worked as a consultant for Piaceri D’Italia in Lecco, where his expertise with using premium quality Italian products in cooking and organising catering around such products was sought after. It was in this context that he met and had the pleasure of cooking for certain international celebrities, such as the then Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, the Sultan of Brunei, former OPEC president Yamani, the Gaddafi family and Prince Albert of Monaco. He subsequently also cooked for other leading personalities and various entertainment and sports VIPs.

In 2002, he taught at Arthob in Brescia, and on 24 October 2000 he was a finalist at the Bocuse D’Or, a global competition for chefs held at Ischia. For several months in 2007 he worked with the Alma di Parma institute and Henri Chenot at the Albereta restaurant of Gualtiero Marchesi, and finally in December 2007 with the Relais Franciacorta (La Colombara restaurant).

From 2011 he was the executive chef of the newly opened Assapora restaurant in Parma, and following stints at the Cucina San Francesco del Cappuccini Resort in Cologne, Bresc, and at the Cristallo Hotel Spa & Golf in Cortina d’Ampezzo (The Leading Hotels of the World), the only luxury five-star hotel in Cortina Ampezzo, Belluno, is now executive chef at The Stage  - Replay restaurant in Milan.

A few big names feature amongst Albini’s mentors, including Vittorio Fusari, Davide Botta, Alessandro Cappotto and Gualtiero Marchesi.

Fabrizio Albini is also a member of the Compagnia degli Chef and the association Euro-Toques International.

 

Recipes : Costoletta Milano, Ossobuco Milano-Palermo,.
 

Quintessentially Sicilian, from the class of 1983, Peppe Cannistrà has always had a passion for cooking. In fact, when he was little, he used to really enjoy playing in his grandmother's kitchen. He underwent intensive training and worked in the world of catering for many years throughout Italy, falling in love with the country’s local traditions. Peppe Cannistrà’s renowned mentors include Marco Parizzi and Ciccio Sultano. “Emerging chef” of 2013, and currently executive chef and proprietor, together with two-Michelin-starred chef Ciccio Sultano in Ragusa, of the I Banchi restaurant in Ragusa Ibla.


COOKING

Peppe Cannistrà’s cooking is fresh, light-hearted and instinctive. It is underpinned by a meticulous attention to tradition and the ingredients used. Cannistrà loves to describe his kitchen as a “creative office,” which crafts locally inspired recipes. Colours and scents are always expertly combined in his dishes to bring out their flavours, making them an unforgettable experience.

Recipes : LE RICETTE DELLO CHEF PEPPE CANNISTRÀ

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Where to buy TENDER BEEF

Tender Beef can be purchased at  Agri. in. Zona instriale III° Fase Ragusa, viale 19.














info@ekro.nl

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