Creating a global animal production database: why?

The animal production sector plays a crucial role in our society, economy and environment. Animal production provides nutritious food and livelihood to hundreds of millions of people around the world. However, in this changing world, the sector is facing major challenges: volatile climates, dietary changes, disease outbreaks are but a few examples of forces driving change. A better understanding of the role of animal production worldwide will enable us to identify substantial opportunities for the livestock sector to adapt to these challenges and to secure its sustainable development within the food system.


We need to develop a global understanding of the differences between production systems among countries to be able to help livestock keepers adapt to this changing world. High quality data will provide the evidence needed to optimise the strategies and investments that can support the livestock sector’s sustainable development. We are constructing - together with anyone interested in the future of sustainable animal production - a worldwide survey to collect data for the construction of an extensive database covering animal production per country around the world. We aim to launch the survey in October 2020. The data enables us to define future pathways in sustainable animal production. This is of vital importance to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to define the role of animals in sustainable food systems.

Type of data within the database

The survey asks respondents to input data on, for example, animal productivity, feed, housing and manure systems, and breeds of farmed animals. Data are collected for different animal production systems such as monogastrics (pigs, layers, broilers), ruminants (dairy, beef, goats, sheep), and aquaculture (salmon, carp, tilapia, catfish) production systems.

Constructing a global database

The global database will become an open resource (after an embargo period) for researchers, policymakers, farmers, business and anyone interested in the future of sustainable animal production. Do you want to collaborate? Are you in need of data, or would you like to contribute to research which will help define the role of animals in sustainable food systems? Please contact us: we need you because we can only develop this database together!

Ensuring data protection

Once all the data have been received, our team will create the database. To ensure data protection we will never make identifiable data available, therefore we will aggregate all data to country level.

The core team

The following members of the CiFoS team are engaged to develop the Global Animal Production Database:

  • Dr. Hannah van Zanten - project leader
  • Renée Cardinaals - coordination, survey development and data analysis
  • Wolfram Simon - survey development and data analysis
  • Felipe Cozim Melges - data analysis

For more information about the team, check out the Team page.