Danish Crown is hoping to launch the first pork from pigs fed on GM-free material in a few months time. The company revealed that it has already started production of the GM-free pork, and will be discussing contracts with its farmer suppliers that will mean all herds are exclusively reared on GM-free feed.

"We have made the strategic decision that we want to offer our customers differentiated products," explained CEO Kjeld Johannesen, adding that "we now have the documentation necessary for showing that the imported protein feed is GMO-free, and we have obtained guarantees that the feed supply industry is able to supply the necessary volumes of GMO-free feed such that production may be started."

The project, which has been in the pipeline since feasibility studies were initiated last autumn, will begin with a weekly production of 5,000 to 7,000 GM-free pigs.

Initially, the production is focused on the UK market, where customers of Danish Crown have shown particular interest in the project. Farmers who already have a contract with the company will be the first to be offered a contract based around GM-free feeding, and Johannesen explained that they will receive a supplement to the standard price of pork in order to compensate for the added costs of using GM-free feed.

If the retail trade shows a similar interest in Denmark, Danish Crown will also produce meat products for the domestic market.