Project: Power to strengthen welfare and resilience in organic pig production

Acronym POWER (Reference Number: 1883)
Duration 01/05/2018 - 01/05/2021
Project Topic European organic pig farming continues to face challenges to its ecologic and economic competitiveness. High piglet mortality, reduced health post-weaning and environmental issues related to ammonia emissions and nutrient leaching require improved resilience at animal and production system level. POWER will contribute to this development by addressing the start of the production cycle: the young organically reared pig. POWER provides new scientific and practical knowledge in 3 focus areas: 1) Design and management of housing systems offering growing-finishing pigs a stimulus-rich (natural) environment, whilst reducing the risk of emissions from outdoor areas, 2) Farrowing nest design and genetics to improve survival of piglets and 3) Management strategies to improve gut health and piglet performance following weaning. Reducing stress by offering the right environment will increase the ability of young animals to cope with the first stressful weeks of life and keep them healthier, thus reducing the need for contentious inputs like antibiotics. The project involves partners in 8 countries with access to an extensive network in the organic sector, thus supporting stakeholder driven activities throughout Europe. It will identify and demonstrate best practices in various combinations of housing and pasture systems related to animal welfare, feed efficiency and environmental impact. Finally, an overall assessment of cost effectiveness and environmental impact of the investigated innovations will assure practical guidelines on cost- and eco-efficient pig practice. These will be communicated via farmer targeted tutorial videos and manuals in several European languages. Through research on animal welfare, the farming environment and farm economics, and through best practices identified via the stakeholder network, POWER will contribute to resolving some of the most significant obstacles in current European organic pig farming with benefits for the whole pig sector.
Website visit project website
Network CORE Organic Cofund
Call CORE Organic Call 2016

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Aarhus University Coordinator Denmark
2 Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, Institute of Organic Farming Partner Germany
3 Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria Partner Italy
4 Wageningen Livestock Research Partner Netherlands
5 UMR 1348 Physiologie, Environnement et Génétique pour l'Animal et les Systèmes d'Élevage Partner France
6 SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden Partner Sweden
7 Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Partner Switzerland
8 University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Partner Austria
9 Center of Development for Outdoor Livestock Production Partner Denmark