Holland’s ‘Vegetarian Butcher’ Will Go Fully Vegan By 2019

Holland-based veggie meat company “The Vegetarian Butcher” is set to go fully vegan by the end of next year, says founder Jaap Korteweg.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Korteweg revealed that currently, around 70 percent of his meat alternative products are vegan, however by the end of 2019 his aim is to reach 100 percent.

Founded eight years ago by Korteweg and former animal rights activist Niko Koffeman, The Hague-based Vegetarian Butcher produces around 40 products, in the form of sausages, tenders, mince, meatballs, patties, and even “tuna.”

By the end of this year, the company aims to produce around 44,000 pounds of vegan and veggie meat each day from its new wind and solar-powered factory, aka the “Plant Slaughterhouse,” which opened in March. The factory is the first-ever European home of a brand new machine specifically developed by researchers at Wageningen University. The contraption processes veggie meat and gives it the muscled chewy texture of a steak or a pork chop.

Prior to its new site, The Vegetarian Butcher was already thriving. Its journey began in a shop in The Hague, which the pair designed to look just like traditional butchers from 100 years ago. Now, with a restaurant, a factory, and distribution deals in 17 countries around the world, the meat-free butcher has an annual turnover of $29 million.

However, this level of success wasn’t expected, not least by Korteweg himself, who was initially inspired to go vegetarian 20 years ago after an outbreak of swine fever caused the slaughter of millions of animals. Following his epiphany, he began to think of the environmental impact of meat production, too, and soon realized that cutting the “middleman,” i.e., pigs, cows, and chickens, and instead making meats from grains, wheat, and soy, etc, could do the planet a lot of good.

The Vegetarian Butcher is part of a booming vegan meat market in Europe. In Germany, flexitarian dining is rising in popularity, with many consumers frequently reaching for veggie alternatives as the centerpiece of their meal, instead of traditional animal products. In the UK, the story is much the same. According to one recent report, the country’s vegan meat market has grown by 17 percent in the last year.

Image Credit: The Vegetarian Butcher

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