An evaluation tool for the sustainability of pig farming systems

ÇINAR M. U. , Bonneau M. B.

French annual meeting of the scientific and technical actors of the swine network, France, 1 - 04 February 2013, pp.1

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Country: France
  • Page Numbers: pp.1


Within the European programme Q-PorkChains, a tool for assessing the sustainability of pig husbandry systems at farm level was developed on the basis of the available literature and of the expertise of the participating scientists. Sustainability was assessedviaeight themes corresponding to the demands and expectations of farmers, consumers and citizens: Genetic Resources, Animal Health, Animal Welfare, Environment, Meat Safety, Meat Quality, Economy, Working Conditions. The required Information was collected from breeding organisations and farmer surveys, observationsof animals in the farms and measurements on the slaughter line. The overall evaluation of sustainability was performed by taking into account a limited number of the most significant primary indicatorsfor each of the eight themes. The tool was tested in five European countries on a total of 15 contrasted systems. All eight themes contributed significantly to the observed variability and they were not redundant. The most striking conflict of interest was observed between Economy and the remaining themes, particularly with Animal Welfare. An important output of the tool isthe establishment of patternsshowing the strengths and weaknesses of the systems. Because the tool was tested in highly contrasted systems, it is expected to be robust enough to accommodate all kinds of existing systems, from the very conventional to the most traditional. Simplifying the tool by deleting half of the primary indicators did not hamper its capacity to exemplify the strengths and weaknesses ofthe husbandry systems.