The company was set up in 1963 by Bennie Boerkamp. He started his one-man livestock business ‘Veehandel Bennie Boerkamp’, with a few calveshe collected in a cart behind his bicycle. In the Seventies, the firm started to import and export calves, doing business with Germany, France, Italy and (the then) Czechoslovakia. Since 2010 his son Bart Boerkamp has been at the helm and the focus is now on importing calves from Germany. Boerkamp is a real family firm with short lines of communication. Annual turnover is around 30 million euro.
About 28 million calves are born each year in Europe. Approximately 20% are destined for veal farms. About half the calves born are bulls; a farmer can do nothing with them. But heifers also come to market. Not every female calf has the potential to become a good milking cow and the farmer cannot expand his herd indefinitely.
The purchase of calves is entirely in Boerkamp’s own hands. A select group of people are responsible for sorting and buying the calves. The drivers make up part of this team. They know exactly what they have in their cattle truck and are a valuable source of information for buyers.
Almost all the calves are transported with the company’s own livestock lorries which are equipped to the highest standard. The lorries have a thick layer of straw on the floor and are sparsely populated, to give the calves the best possible start. Everything possible is done to create the best animal welfare conditions. Boerkamp tries to transfer most of the calves to cowsheds in the Netherlands as quickly as possible. Boerkamp and the farmers work together to maximise comfort for the calves. The animals are kept in sheds where they are separated from others, or are immediately sold to third parties.
After rearing, most of the calves find their way to the white and pink veal sectors. The Veluwe is the most important veal centre of the Netherlands; two-thirds of all veal calves are reared there. This is thanks to the very soft water of the Veluwe which produces fine, white meat. Close by is Apeldoorn with its many slaughterhouses, the veal capital of the world.
BBoerkamp | Bart Boerkamp