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Co-definition and evaluation of SUSTAINable BEEF farming systems based on resources non edible by humans

Challenge - The emergence of intensive ruminant production systems, relying on increasing use of concentrated feeds with food value, and the related increase in land abandonment in traditional grassland regions, has increased scrutiny in respect of the sustainability of EU livestock production.

Objectives - The hypothesis is that cattle farming systems which rely mainly on grasslands and agro-industrial resources that are non-edible by humans are more sustainable than systems which use feedstuffs that could also be directly used as food or that was produced at the detriment of food production.

Expected results - Actual and potential performances of beef production systems will be compared, mobilizing multidisciplinary and multi-actors approaches to co-define beef system types, and the set of sustainability indicators to be mobilized. The effects of technical innovations, at farm scale on beef farming, territorial and value chain performances and resilience will be assessed.

Potential Impact - Potential scenarios for the evolution of more sustainable systems, that would be able to convert non-edible feedstuffs into valuable human food under a diversity of beef farming systems representative of a diversity of soil and climate conditions and farm management schemes across Europe, will be evaluated. Suitable incentive measures to enhance their implementation will be tested, and when relevant, proposed.

Coordinated by: Dr. Didier Stilmant - Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (BELGIUM) - Contact

Funded by: SPW-Wallonia, ANR, BMEL, DAFM/Taegasc and MILPAAF 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).

7 research partners:

  • BELGIUM: Walloon Livestock Association
  • FRANCE: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique and Institut de l’Elevage
  • GERMANY: University of Bonn
  • IRELAND: Teagasc and University College Dublin
  • ITALY: Council for Agriculture Research and Economics

More information

This project has been funded by SPW-Wallonia, ANR, BMEL, DAFM/Teagasc and MIPAAF as a part of the ERA-Net Cofund SusAn (grantnr 696231) through a virtual common pot model with EU top-up.