Where it all started
In Goodvalley, we have always believed that quality begins with caring. That is how it all began. When Tom Axelgaard questioned the efficiency and environmental impact of farming back in 1980, he began to form an idea that would grow into a proven model for sustainable farming.
Over the decades since, the Goodvalley way has been established in a number of European countries, all following a path to self-sufficiency, climate friendliness, high quality products and food safety.
Coming from a family of farmers, and with a pig farm in Denmark himself, Tom has an extensive understanding of agricultural processes and is motivated by a desire to achieve continued high quality and better sustainability. At a time where international food imports and exports is gaining momentum, Tom is perplexed by how agriculture becomes inefficient and impacts on the environment. He can’t see the logic importing corn on ships, just to export the pigs back to the countries where the corn and employees came from.
Curious about pig farming outside Denmark, Tom travels to Ukraine where he visits a number of farms to see how they operate and whether or not his knowledge of Danish agricultural practices might benefit the quality and sustainability of production.
With his farming experience in Ukraine in Eastern Europe, Tom is eager to do more. He decides to invite a group of skilled and adventurous Danish farmers on a trip to Poland. There, he shows them several Polish state farms and explains his vision about enabling Danish farming know-how and technology take root and grow in Poland. After just a few days there, the group is determined to also share their knowledge and invest in the project. This marks the beginning of a long-lasting relationship between Tom and these Danish investors and ensures a solid foundation of Danish competence at Goodvalley.
With both knowledge, funds and support in place, Tom purchases the first farm in Poland, with its infrastructure centred in the middle of a large cornfield to minimise feed transportation. This is in accordance with his vision that all core competencies be integrated in one place to increase sustainability and minimise environmental impact.
We take the next step towards an integrated, sustainable farming model and acquire the first Polish food production unit in 2000, where we process our own quality meat.
We expand our climate-friendly vision to Ukraine.
Our first biogas plant opens in Poland, fulfilling our ambition of owning an integrated, fully-sustainable farming model. With our own biogas plant integrated in our production, we are now able to generate green energy from manure and crop waste. This enables us to come even closer to our goal of being a carbon neutral company.
With our full-circle, sustainable production in place in Poland, we take our unique farming model to other countries in Eastern Europe. In 2011, we integrate the first biogas plant in our Ukrainian division.
We establish our first farm in Russia in 2013.
Our sustainable way of farming gains international recognition. We are awarded for being a first mover in climate-friendly, carbon neutral production at the Transformational Business Award held by The Financial Times and The World Bank.
A climate-friendly, sustainable production model is the foundation of everything we do. The natural next step is to transfer our ambition all the way to our quality products. In 2016, we deliver the first pork products from pigs raised without antibiotics.
We continue our vision to work for a better tomorrow by focusing on sustainable agriculture – and in 2018, we received our Carbon Neutral Company certification for the entire company.
We shift to recycled – and recyclable – plastic for our Goodvalley products. It’s an optimal use of resources, where we don’t add new plastic, but only use what is already there. An important step towards creating a (more) circular economy.
As part of our sustainable philosophy we have put QR codes on our products in Poland, so you can scan each of them and see its specific journey from field to fork.
We believe and hope that the future will continue to become more sustainable, and that both transparency and dialogue are key elements in achieving this.
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