Farmer Lyon Hutten is content that fur farming follow ethical standards to ensure responsible production. His farm has got both the Saga Certification and the Welfur assessment. ”I can learn a lot from the certification process and at the same time the certifications are really necessary, as the consumers demand transparency and sustainable products.”
Holland’s fur ban comes into effect 2024, but farmer Lyon Hutten is doing business as usual.
“Even though we don’t exactly know what we are going to do after 2024, I want to make the best of the business up till the end. Among other things, I want my farm to have the required certificates and assessments. That means both the Saga Certificate and the Welfur assessment. As auction houses don’t accept non-Welfur certified skins in 2020, we of course need to be prepared.
“Saga representatives help me make business decisions.”
The co-operation with Saga Furs started 3 generations ago and Hutten is very satisfied with the way Saga works with the farmers.
“The Saga representative Ron van Essen is more like a partner to me and supports me and my business from many different perspectives. The animal well-being is naturally the most important aspect of the certification, but it also includes requirements concerning the development of the farm. Discussions with the Saga people about different options, helps me make business decisions.”
“Adapting to the market situation is common business sense.”
The market situation in fur farming is for the moment challenging and the production of mink is higher than the demand. Hutten thinks that a prompt reaction to the circumstances is better than just to wait and see. For the moment he has plans to cut down production on the farm with 20%.
“ It is better to act upon the fluctuations of the market and secure the returns on investment, than do nothing and make a loss for a couple of years and then realize that you can’t keep on going. If we cut production now, there is a good chance that we can be more profitable, when the market picks up.”
It is of outmost importance for the industry to assure the consumer that animal welfare is top priority on the farms. That all parts of the value chain take sustainability and transparency seriously is likewise important. This will help the market to recover and will give everybody a license to operate.