Focus on the chain; the link with dairy farming

Professionally, the veal industry can trace its roots back to the early 1960s and originates from the dairy farming industry.

After the Second World War, Europe never wanted to starve again and European agricultural policies were aimed at expansion. Until that time, farmers often had mixed farms which produced a little bit of everything. They had a few cows, some pigs, some grain and a vegetable plot. However, rapid expansion was taking place in the food domain. With the growth of the post-war population, demand for food increased sharply. Cattle farming expanded and became specialised; the dairy plants and cheese factories increased in size, along with consumer demand.  Where there are cows, there are calves. After all, a cow will only produce milk after it has given birth. The farmer keeps some of these new calves to replace and expand his dairy herd. The remaining calves are destined for veal farms and are transferred there when they are at least 14 days old. For the most part, these calves are young males and they are kept in animal-friendly group accommodations at the veal farms. So, the birth of calves is tied in with the consumption of milk, butter and cheese. 

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