The open-front barns provide fresh air and employment material for the pigs.
The open-front barns provide fresh air and employment material for the pigs.

Under the direction of the meat giant, 250 open-front barns were realized within a year. How the conversion and new construction succeeds, the group now reveals in a manual.

Food retailers are increasingly changing their meat assortment in the direction of animal welfare. Both in the beef and pork sectors and in poultry, products are to be gradually converted to higher animal welfare levels. A changeover to husbandry type 3 requires the rebuilding or construction of new barns. And it is precisely for this purpose that the Tönnies Group has now published a conversion manual together with the expert Rudi Wiedmann.

Expertise in the construction of outdoor climate houses

The first partners in the food retail trade have announced that they will significantly expand the scope in housing levels 3 and 4, which have so far only been marketed in the niche. The Rheda-Wiedenbrück-based food company Tönnies has brought many farmers together during this time to exchange experiences and further develop joint housing solutions. Rudi Wiedmann has also been an expert in the construction of outdoor climate-controlled barns for many years. The pooled experience has resulted in a joint manual, which is now available online. "It is intended as a reference work and provides good and concrete suggestions," explains Dr. Wilhelm Jaeger, responsible for the agricultural division of the Tönnies company. "So far, the barn construction solutions already implemented on farms are diverse, with each farmer contributing his own ideas."

The manual "Pig barn of the future - concepts for sustainable pig farming" shows various conversion or new construction solutions. The challenges and solutions are explained using practical examples and numerous pictures and graphics. The focus is on animal welfare requirements as well as requirements in the areas of the environment, emission control, sustainability, economics and marketing. "We share our experience with this elaboration and are sure that we can thus offer valuable assistance to almost every interested farmer in the possible conversion or construction of new stables," adds Franziska Budde from the agricultural department at Tönnies.

Adapting building and environmental legislation

The company sees the announcement by the food retail trade on the expansion of housing types 3 and 4 as a clear commitment to farm animal husbandry in Germany, but at the same time also as a signal to politicians to create the necessary framework conditions now "The implementation of the Borchert Commission's plans is a mandatory prerequisite for the realization of more animal welfare on farms," says Dr. Wilhelm Jaeger. The conditions must now be created for the conversion of the stables: Criteria and financing must be in place, and the conversion of the barns must also be possible without red tape. The building and environmental laws must be adapted in such a way that the "barn construction brake" is solved, he said. "For farms that cannot open their barns for various reasons, there must also be possibilities for recognizing further development of animal welfare measures," adds Jaeger. Higher animal welfare due to higher expenditures in the stables would also have to become income-effective on the farms.
For many years, the Tönnies company has been driving programs in all types of housing together with customers in the food retail trade "We guarantee all farmers of all types of housing a future perspective," says Clemens Tönnies, managing partner.