Belgian pork processing groups Westvlees and Covalis have outlined plans to merge.

A framework agreement between the two was signed on Tuesday (31 March) to create a company called the Belgian Pork Group, subject to the approval of local regulators.

The group will process four million pigs per year – one third of the Belgian market, a joint statement claimed.

The Belgian Pork Group, the companies said, is a "shared vision" of sustainable pork production. It will invest in better genetics to guarantee maximum benefits for farmers, slaughterhouses and processors, they added.