The European Union (EU) is the world’s second biggest producer of pig meat, and is the market’s largest exporter. To maintain an economically viable and sustainable pig industry, innovation is a key factor.
EU PiG is a novel four-year €2m project launched in November 2016 that specifically aims to improve the connection between producers and the latest science, husbandry techniques, and technologies from within their industry, via fellow producers, academics and advisors.
The consortium consists of 19 organisations from all across Europe, representing 13 Member States, that together accounted for 92% of the EU’s pig meat production and 89% of the EU’s pig herd in 2014. The project is led by the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Beta will have a lead role in supporting dissemination activities over the next four years.
The project will look at health management, precision production, animal welfare, and meat quality issues, and will see tools created and practical guidance available for all parts of the industry. Innovative best practice combined with scientific knowledge will be identified and shared via a comprehensive website explaining in detail the project objectives and how to get involved.
Funded by the European Commission’s research and development programme, ‘Horizon 2020’, the project will also link with the European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) which works to foster competitive and sustainable farming and forestry that ‘achieves more and better from less’.