Aim of the project
Collecting, summarising and disseminating evidence-based information on successful strategies for improving sustainability in various pig production systems across the EU.
Despite pig farmers’ needs to balance apparently conflicting pillars of sustainability (economy, environment, society), there is very little data to support holistic decisions at farm level. SusPigSys aims to collect, summarise and disseminate evidence-based information on successful strategies to improve sustainability in various production systems across the EU. Project outcomes include an on-farm assessment and feedback tool to help pig farmers improve their economic, environmental, and societal sustainability (e.g. animal health and welfare), as well as job satisfaction. Farmers in all partner countries are actively involved throughout the project to ensure outcomes meet their needs.
What: The project will be the first holistic approach of sustainability using actual transnational on-farm data. The results have the potential to increase the competitiveness of the EU pig production by making a more convincing benchmarking of sustainability possible.
Why: Despite pig farmers’ needs for recommendations on how to optimise the balance between apparently conflicting pillars of sustainability (economy, environment, society), there is very little on-farm data to support informed holistic decisions.
Where: The research is been done in eight academic centres in Germany, Austria, Finland, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom.
Main project activities
Project outcomes include an integrative on-farm assessment and feedback tool to help pig farmers to improve their economic, environmental and societal sustainability, as well as their job satisfaction. This toolbox will include information on possible trade-offs between the three pillars of sustainability. It will be integrated in a software to form a farmer decision support tool with farm-individual feedback. In addition, descriptions of best practices will be published in various formats to help farmers learn from each other across borders.
Interim research findings
The project started by collating background information and stakeholder views in a report (Project partners then established a dialogue with pork production stakeholders in each of the participating countries about what contributes to sustainable production systems and what are the most useful metrics at farm-level.
Stakeholder inputs were used for creating a detailed sustainability assessment protocol, which was applied to 68 farms in 7 European countries (AT, DE, FI, IT, PL, NL, UK). From this, a valid, condensed protocol was developed and applied on 155 farms in the same countries. The results are used to produce a ‘toolbox’ for analysis. In addition, descriptions of best practices will be published to help farmers learn from each other.
Coordinated by: Dr. Sabine Dippel - Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (GERMANY)
- AUSTRIA: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
- GERMANY: FiBL Deutschland e.V.
- FINLAND: University of Helsinki
- ITALY: Fondazione CRPA Studi e Ricerche
- THE NETHERLANDS: Wageningen University of Life Sciences
- POLAND: Warsaw University of Life Sciences
- UNITED KINGDOM: Newcastle University
Funded by: BMEL, BMLFUW, MMM, MIPAAF, NWO, NCBR and DEFRA as part of the ERA-NET Cofund SusAn through a virtual common pot model including EU Top-Up funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no 696231).
- The SuSPigSys project started on 1 September 2017 and runs until 30 November 2020.
- Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/project/SusPigSys-Sustainable-pig-production-systems-ERA-Net-SusAn
Presentations and posters
- Project flyer: pdf
- Presentations Kick-off seminar 2017
- Poster mid-term seminar 2019
- Poster mid-term seminar 2019
- Presentation Mid-term seminar – SusAn Objectives 2019
- Research project seminar November 2020
- Article newsletter June 2019 - Stakeholders’ Views
- Policy brief based on project experiences
- The SusPigSys protocol
- Protocol development
- Toolbox for integrated system analysis
- Report on beacon systems