Focus on the chain: buying calves
We purchase calves from dairy farmers that cannot be used to replace, or supplement, members of the dairy herd. We acquire calves once they are 14 days old, or older. The calves are purchased through our company Van Drie B.V.
Jan Bronkhorst is one of our employees. He is a buyer, and responsible for selecting the calves. That is important for the farm. Jan explains: "When I was three years old, I said that
I wanted to be a 'calf worker', and well, that’s what happened: I have been working with calves all my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The nice thing about my work is the contact with the animals and the farmers. I select the calves in uniform groups by breed, weight and size.
Calves are herd animals and they define their own hierarchy themselves. If you place strong, large calves together with light, small calves, then the small ones will suffer. Selection is therefore important in order to make management at the farm easier.
The calves are supplied by the dairy farms and stand or lie here peacefully in the straw. Once I have made a selection, the transporter comes to take the calves to our veal farmers. This link in the chain isn’t as well known, but it is very important."