13/07/22

Working together towards a healthy and sustainable future

We proudly announced our B Corp certification in March 2021. Only companies that demonstrate a committed effort towards a healthy society, economy and planet are eligible for this certification. Since then, we have undertaken many steps in our mission to become the best company for the world. We are working hard at reducing our environmental impact, for example through our collaborations with Justdiggit and Climate Neutral Group. We also support numerous social projects from our offices in Amsterdam North and in countries where our support is required. Our new policy regarding animal testing also puts the B Corp ethos into practice.

Why?
Animals are living, sentient creatures, which obviously have intrinsic value. Winclove Probiotics is of the opinion this should be deeply respected. The ethical concerns of the general public regarding the use of animals in research, must also be respected. Coline Gerritsen, R&D director of Winclove Probiotics: “We see the B Corp Certification as a starting point for new initiatives to improve wellbeing of both humans and animals. Our hope is that this policy regarding animal testing will inspire our business partners and associates to take concrete actions as well.”

In this together
For this new policy, we have set a list of animal testing prerequisites. Winclove Probiotics does not own any animal facilities itself, but external research partners like universities do. In the close collaboration with these partners, we are involved in studies that include animal testing experiments. This means that we ask our collaborators to confirm their adherence to this new policy. To this end, we ask them to sign the policy document at the start of each project.

The 3Rs of the policy
For research involving animals, Winclove Probiotics fully adheres to the 3Rs; Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal use in research & development. Based on those principles, animal testing is performed only when non-animal alternatives are unavailable (replacement), the number of animals used is kept to a minimum (reduction) and practices are implemented to promote animal welfare (refinement).

Use of animals not totally avoidable
Winclove acknowledges that animal testing is unavoidable in some cases in its research & development processes to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of its ingredients and finished products. Therefore, the responsible use of animals remains a small but integral part of a comprehensive research and testing strategy. That being said, Winclove stresses that it is committed to developing and implementing non-animal alternatives.

Intestine-on-a-chip

A relevant example of this commitment is our involvement in the development of the ‘intestine-on-a-chip’(Project INIMINI health). These chips containing human intestinal cells, immune cells and a microbiome are developed to accurately mimic the complex interactions in the intestine. By the development of new animal-free model like this intestine-on-a-chip model,  we take another step towards a future where we can develop and study the effectiveness of new food supplements without the need for undesirable animal testing. You can read more about Project INIMINI health in the press release below.

Want to know more about our animal welfare policy? Please contact Coline Gerritsen, Director R&D, C.Gerritsen@winclove.nl.

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