SustainIT partners presented their project results at the conference of the International Society for Economics and Social Sciences of Animal Health in Helsinki, Finland. The focus of the conference was on understanding stakeholder behaviour and socio-economic implications of practices and policies of animal health and it brought together veterinarians, animal scientists, economists, and other social scientists from all over the world.
The presentation “Building on the old foundations: prospects for digitalization of cattle health sector” by Ants-Hannes Viira from the Estonian University of Life Sciences discussed the WP2 results of the databases. The presentations focused on the potential of existing databases in promoting animal health and creating connections between farmers and consumers. The case of the Estonian dairy health management program was demonstrated. The main message was that a significant amount of data is already stored or can be stored in existing databases, but there are challenges related to the classification of diseases, data transfer, and incorporations of existing databases.
Anne Põder from Estonian Dairy Cluster discussed the “Consumer perspectives on animal welfare and food purchasing decisions: an international comparison” which focused on SustainIT consumer survey comparison across the four countries. The main takeaways were that overall taste and low price are the main drivers in food purchasing decisions in all countries, but significant differences exist between the countries and the decisions are affected by the consumers’ gender, whether they are the main person’s usually buying the food, and their dietary habits. The German consumers were willing to pay more, while Estonian consumers are willing to pay less for animal welfare-related aspects.