The topic of 51st Annual conference of the Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Sociology was “Transformation of Agri-Food Systems – Sustainability and Digitalization of Food Value Chains”. SustainIT team and ClearFarm project organized a session “ICT for sustainable cattle value chains” to discuss the results of two projects. The session was led by Ants- Hannes Viira from Estonian University of Life Sciences.
Pekka Kilpeläinen from University of Oulu focused on the results from the SustainIT WP2 in the presentation “Information sharing in current databases focusing on animal health and wellbeing: A benefit for sustainable value chains”. Countries share similarities as cattle registries, monitoring of antibiotics use and infectious diseases are required by the EU legislation. Milk recording and databases for breeding purposes are commonly administered by advisory services, while databases held for product quality purposes are maintained by different stakeholders. Differences between the countries are largest related to animal health and veterinary data.
Per-Ola Ulvenblad from Halmstad University discussed the SustainIT consumer survey in the presentation on the consumer responses on the ICT adoption in the livestock sector. The survey demonstrated that taste and price are the most relevant factors affecting the food purchasing decisions. For the consumers, the most relevant aspects related to the animal health and welfare were the lack of disorders and animal diseases and pain and stress for the animals. The biggest challenges related to the ICT use when buying food is the lack of interest from the consumers.
The German team was represented by Natascha Schlereth from Technical University of Munich, who provided insights from the SustainIT Living Labs and multi actor approach. The presentation focused on the structure of SustainIT Living Labs and the iterative process for the co-learning that is based on combining qualitative and quantitative data collection, sharing the knowledge and validating the results through the country Living Labs and cross-country sharing and validation in the project Living Labs.
The presentation of Jarkko Niemi from Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) discussed the analysis of standards of European animal welfare schemes and regulatory frameworks conducted in the ClearFarm project.
The conference took place on April 20th – 21st in Lindau Switzerland and was organized by the ETH Zürich.