Background (completed research project)
Meat production contributes to environmental problems such as global warming or overfertilisation. Livestock farming can also be a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria – also in the production of pork meat. Comparisons indicate, however, that a great potential exists for improvement in the short term. The project identifies market-oriented measures for producing pork meat in a more resource-efficient way and with a lower use of antibiotics while improving meat quality and animal welfare at the same time.
Meat is an important and nutritionally valuable component of human nutrition. Thus a large amount of pork meat is consumed in Switzerland. Nevertheless, the production of meat contributes to environmental problems such as global warming and overfertilisation. Livestock farming can also be a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Field data shows, however, that there are large differences between individual farms in this respect within the Swiss pork meat production industry. This would indicate that considerable improvements are possible even in the short term, if the existing knowledge about resource efficiency and reducing the use of antibiotics can be implemented. In addition, certain measures in relation to feeding and meat production may improve the taste and nutritional quality of pork meat and give the product a higher value status. The aim of this project is to provide a model for developing and establishing a pork meat production process in which the negative environmental influencing factors and use of antibiotics throughout the value chain can be reduced. At the same time, animal health will be promoted and animal protection improved. The excellent quality of the products created will ensure customer acceptance and therefore guarantee market success.
The project offers approaches for bringing pork meat production into line with the requirements of the Swiss population while remaining competitive in the market. Alongside technical measures relating to production, it will analyse factors that influence the choices made by farmers. On this basis it will be possible to develop advice packages that will promote faster improvement of the sustainability of pork meat production and less use of antibiotics.
Healthy Pork from Sustainable Production Systems – developing basic knowledge and skills of implementation