October 2, 2017

Project summary

Current EU pig production has suboptimal resource utilisation, resulting in unnecessarily high emissions and wastes. This has much to do with outdated building standards, control systems and barn management approaches. At the same time animal welfare is of increasing concern, farmers are struggling to maintain economic competitiveness and the public image of the sector is poor. Whilst there are many approaches for the improvement of individual aspects the system, none provide effective whole system consideration.
PigSys will address these issues by the adoption of a multi-disciplinary, system level approach to pig production systems. A system model of mass and energy flows and Decision Support System, as well as novel building climate control systems, will be developed to underpin a sustainable improvement in system performance. By taking a cross-scale, multi-disciplinary approach, the project will ensure that all aspects relevant for the development of sustainable, socially acceptable and economically viable pig production systems are adequately addressed. The geographical and climatic balance, with partners from different European regions, and including France, Germany and Denmark as three of the five biggest European pig producers, will ensure the relevance of the project across the EU and beyond.
PigSys will provide the sector with (a) a whole system model of energy and mass flows and decision support system (DSS); (b) measurement and control devices for improved barn climate control and animal welfare; (c) ‘big data’ to support barn and control system design; (d) sound LCA and LCCA; (e) increased animal welfare and performance; (f) increased sustainability of production through increased resource efficiency; (g) reduced emissions, waste and carbon footprint; (h) improved public perception of the sector and decreased product prices; (i) increased competitiveness of the sector.

Research areas:

  1. Improve the productivity, resilience and competitiveness of European Animal Production
  2. Improve and manage resource use to reduce waste and enhance the environmental sustainability of European Animal Production
  3. Improve on-farm practices to enhance consumer acceptability and address societal challenges associated with animal welfare, product quality and safety, biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services

Project duration: 36 months